“Foot and Body Health” by Cindy Powers

Greetings! Cindy Powers, founder of Power in Motion Rehabilitation Services, supplied Chiappetta Shoes with the content of this blog post. We hope by featuring content from Cindy, and other professionals, you the reader will find the information educational and beneficial to your foot health and overall body health. By collaborating and partnering up with direct professionals in our community, we are creating a network that is very special. Chiappetta Shoes feels very strongly about living life to the fullest and being your healthiest self. And of course we want your feet happy.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. As always, we can only offer recommendations based on our knowledge and expertise. We are not doctors. We recommend discussing with your doctor prior to changing your routine.

 

  

Cindy’s Background:

Cindy Powers, founder of Power in Motion Rehabilitation Services, graduated in 1972 from Southern Illinois University. Cindy has been involved in patient care and rehabilitation for 45 years and is committed to providing superior quality rehabilitative services that patients recommend to family and friends and that Physicians prefer for their patients. Cindy was previously frustrated with the mediocre results that a ‘traditional’ approach to rehabilitation produced. She experienced the extraordinary, efficient and expedient outcomes that a ‘hands-on’ rehabilitative approach facilitated in the recovery and repair of acute and chronic injuries. Cindy’s focus for the past 20 years has been exclusively devoted to the study and development of Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) skills. Her expertise lies in identifying and remediating musculoskeletal and biomechanical dysfunction, traumatic brain injuries, sports and performing artists injuries and performance enhancement. She works in close collaboration with physiatrists, neuro-optometrists and neuro-scientists, in a dynamic team approach to the the identification of  traumatic brain injuries and leading-edge restorative approaches for the treatment of TBI’s and learning disabilities.

The Downtrodden Foot:

The lowly, often maligned and misunderstood foot and ankle, has 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles, 3 arches and 107 ligaments that are exquisitely capable of controlling our balance and holding our shifting weight through hundreds of varied movements. The total of 52 bones in both of our feet account for 25% of the total bones in our body.

We spend much of our lives taking our feet and ankles for granted…if we’re lucky. If we’re less fortunate, we suffer from one or more of the painful, often debilitating, conditions that can affect the feet. Our feet and ankles work very hard by carrying many pounds of weight and are required to perform reliably for up to 10,000 or more steps per day!

Even minimal dysfunction or misalignment of the ligaments, bones, or muscles, can initiate foot, ankle, knee, hip, low back and even neck pain; creating a rippling effect that influences posture and our pain-free ability to sit, stand or walk. We humans are known as ‘bipeds’ amongst our furry friends of the animal kingdom. This style of locomotion, creates a major challenge to our balance and ‘control system’. Because two-thirds of our mass is positioned two-thirds of body height above the ground, we are inherently unstable unless our control systems are continuously acting.

Three major sensory systems are involved in balance and posture:

  • Visual system plans our locomotion and alerts us to obstacles along the way
  • Vestibular system is our ‘gyro’ which senses even/uneven surfaces, inclines/declines
  • Somatosensory system is a multitude of sensors that tell us where our body is in space, the speed at which we move, awareness of our contact or impact with the ground or objects and our orientation to gravity.

These sensory systems are influenced by aging, traumatic brain injuries, the diabetic foot, poor footwear, trauma and a host of neurological disorders and dysfunction.

The Foundation of Our Body

Most people would not dream of building a home on an unstable foundation. The foundation of our homes is extremely important to the longevity, reliability and integrity of the building. A foundation is more than just a platform that holds up the structure – it connects it to the structure, potentially having a profound effect upon it.

If the foot/ankle complex [the foundation of our body] is not functioning optimally, then our base of stability is lost or compromised. If our base is unstable, then all areas above the base that depend upon this support and stability, will be also be compromised [knees, hips, low back, etc.]. Studies indicate that 80% of people develop some type of foot/ankle imbalance by the age of 20 and virtually everyone has foot/ankle imbalances by the age of 40. After years of walking, standing, wearing shoes, the arches of our feet gradually weaken and are not able to provide the necessary support for our body structures.

Structural Correction & Management

Physical Therapists who specialize in a gentle, osteopathic approach to structural assessment and alignment, evaluate the weaknesses, disorganization and dysfunction stemming from the foot/ankle complex. Every individual is unique in their needs and dysfunctions. Our bodies are not meant to be in pain and we were all born with an inherent, self-regulatory mechanism to correct imbalances. Due to the many stressors of life, old injuries, illnesses or traumas, this mechanism can become ‘disabled’. Correcting the bio-mechanical dysfunction and disturbance with the foot/ankle complex has a profound effect upon every joint and structure above the foot. Years of pain and declining function have been profoundly improved with the improved structural alignment, symmetry and mobility of the foot/ankle complex. 

Expertly Fitted Orthotics

The importance of well-designed orthotics cannot be overstated. No doubt, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been ‘circular filed’ over the years, due to the pain of poorly fabricated orthotics, supporting a poorly aligned body. Improving the alignment, symmetry and organization of the foot/ankle complex, knees, hips and low back, will be enhanced and reinforced with the use of well crafted, individualized orthotics. A winning combination, second to none.

“When our feet hurt…we hurt allover”   Socrates

Author:  Cindy Powers / LPTA of Power In Motion Rehabilitation Services, Inc.

www.pimrehab.com / 847-680-5045


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