Custom Orthotics vs Over The Counter – Is There Really A Difference?

custom orthotics

The first step taken in the morning can tell you a lot more about the spine than you think. Any degree of stiffness or discomfort that you experience when your feet hit the floor can be indicative of an irregular posture, walking gait or misalignment in the spine.

The feet in a sense, are the window to the spine. When the pain starts in the feet at the foundation, it can, and often time does creep up through the weight bearing joints which then makes it to our low back. It can show up initially as a number of different conditions, such as: 

However, these are just a few of the diagnoses. All in which may be a sign that it’s time to take a closer look at what’s happening below. 

Did You Know?

“External rotation of the foot during running reduced the loads on the medial compartment of the knee.” –Journal of Sports Science & Medicine

Click here to read, “Acute Effects of Foot Rotation in Healthy Adults during Running on Knee Moments and Lateral-Medial Shear Force”.

foot pain

So How Do You Know? 

If you’re not already experiencing the clear signs of low back or foot pain, try this simple test. The next time you’re putting on your shoes, take a second to turn them over and look at the soles. What do you see? Where are they worn out?  “What are the bottoms of your shoes telling you?”.

Well, if your shoes are worn mostly in the middle of the heel and under the 1st and 2nd toe, you’re part of the minority that has a correct and NEUTRAL gait. These two spots indicate that you’re going through the motions of heel strike and toe off appropriately. 

If your shoes are worn mostly in the middle of the heel to the inside of your heel and primarily under the big toe, you are part of the 90% of the population that PRONATES (to some degree!). In simpler terms, this means that your feet and more noticeably your ankles lean inwards when you walk or stand. 

If your shoes are worn under the outside edge of the heel and near your pinky toe, you are part of the 3-7% of the population the SUPINATES– this is way more rare! Simply put, your feet and your ankles, lean outwards when you walk or stand. 

Click here to read, “How To Choose The Right Running Shoes – Part 1”and “How To Choose The Right Running Shoes – Part 2”.

foot scan
foot impression

So What Should You Do? 

Alleviating foot discomfort and associated stress to the low back is all about giving the feet the support they need. That’s where CUSTOM ORTHOTICS come into play! Custom orthotics are inserts that are created to cater to the needs of YOUR feet. Unlike store solutions, (ie. Dr. Scholl’s gel inserts) custom orthotics are made from a more rigid material that is based off the shape of your foot (literally a scan or foam cast of your foot is used!) to reshape and incorporate support where you need it.

Modifications can be made to address every part of the foot and the pain associated. Pressure can be taken off the heels. The arch can be reshaped. They can also cushion the toes amongst many other changes. But most importantly, with the right support, you are able to keep your feet, ankles, knees hips and low back in the RIGHT anatomical position. 

How Do I Get The Right Orthotics?

Orthotics can be prescribed and fabricated by a number of physicians, including your chiropractor. BUT be weary! Even custom orthotics can be made incorrectly. Here are some tips to optimize your orthotics and their wear: 

  1. Don’t Rock The Boat – A neutral rearfoot post should be included at the back of your orthotic to keep it from moving from side to side in your shoe. This also allows for a more comfortable wear in the shoe. 
  2. Let Your Orthotics Do The Heeling – Your heels deserve to be noticed too. A “hole in heel” feature will take pressure off your heels. 
  3. Level Them Out – If your doctor finds a leg length discrepancy, you can have a heel lift added to your orthotic to compensate for the difference in height on that side. It’s a great idea to keep you equal and to ensure a proper gait. 
  4. You Can Mix It Up – You don’t have to restrict your orthotic to only one pair of shoes. It’s recommended you do wear them in your most used shoes. For example your gym or work shoe. However you can move them around. Ask your doctor about a sulcus length orthotic that is shorter. This makes it easier to more around. 

Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Got You Down? Do This!

seasonal allergy symptoms

It’s that time of year- the sun is out, the smell of sunscreen is in the air and the breeze is blowing dandelion fluffs towards you at an alarmingly fast rate.  Nothing goes better with a nice summer day than a BBQ with a side of seasonal allergy symptoms- sneezing, watery eyes and if you’re really lucky- a rash. Yum!

Simply put, allergies are the body’s immune reaction to allergens.  Allergens are reactive products that are found everywhere in our environment- naturally such as grass or weeds, and in additives, like the parabens in personal care products.  When we come in contact with allergens that our personal system is not equipped to breakdown, the body prompts the release of histamine, a neurotransmitter that triggers unwanted symptoms- the sneezing, the watery eyes, the rashes.

For about 30% of the population, with about 55% of us being susceptible to at least one trigger, allergy season (and even year long symptoms) seems unavoidable.  That being said, it IS manageable to beat seasonal allergy symptoms and I’m not referring to the once- a- day anti-histamine that’ll make you drowsy.

There are ways to keep allergies in check naturally and for the long haul.  Here are some tips!

how to manage stress


We all know the damage that stress can have on our health such as:

  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Decreased energy levels
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Hair loss
  • Breakouts
  • Decreased sleep

But stress is also connected to how we cope with allergies.

Studies done as early as 2012 show that when we are stressed, we are more susceptible to allergies and the symptoms are much worse!  So what do we do?  Exercise, take a walk, meditate or journal.  Do whatever it is that helps you release stress.  This will ultimately decrease the effects of your allergies as well!

Click here to read, “5 Natural Solutions For Coping With Stress!”

natural supplements


Ditch the over the counter medications for allergies.  Instead, try a regular daily supplement that will help your health and alleviate the symptoms long term.  Vitamin D, specifically D3, in the form of a supplement or even just SUNSHINE, has properties that have been shown to decrease the sensitivity to allergens.  Omega-3s and vitamin C both have anti-inflammatory qualities that decrease the severity of allergic reactions as well.

The Sunshine Vitamin!

natural cleaning products


Read the ingredients in the products you use in your home- for your home care AND for self care.  This is important, whether or not you battle allergies.  A lot of self- care products include sulfates and aluminum that are damaging to the skin and can easily cause reactions.  Click here to read, “Are you poisoning your family?”

Home care products are loaded with ammonia and compounds, like triclosan, that can be irritants.  An easy fix is using products such as apple cider vinegar, clear vinegar or baking soda mixes as safe cleaning products around the home.  If you are married to pre-bottled cleaning products, head over to your neighborhood natural food store for safer cleaning product choices.

Click here to read, “This Common Ingredient Has Been Linked To Cancer”.

battle dehydration


Water is vital when battling seasonal allergy symptoms- here’s why!  When you’re not drinking enough water, you’re at risk of becoming dehydrated.  Dehydration shows itself in different ways such as:

  • Dry skin
  • Itching
  • Fatigue

Decreased water intake means that you have an increased amount of histamine.  Again, it’s that pesky neurotransmitter that’s causing all these symptoms as a defense to keep your body from losing any more water.  Water allows you to keep the histamine levels at bay, while flushing out additional toxins.  It also thins the mucus that you’re producing with the allergies, to support sinus draining.

chiropractic adjustment


Chiropractic care is the most natural way to let your body do the healing.  A misalignment in your spine causing a disruption in your nervous system could be causing the symptoms you’re having.   Click here to read, “Nervous System – What Conventional Medicine Doesn’t Want You To Know”.

If you haven’t seen us- why not come get checked?  If you have seen us, you know what the adjustment can do for you.  For your nervous system and your overall health.  So again, come see us!