What if you could correct a myriad of foot and ankle problems, WITHOUT expensive surgery or pharmaceutical drugs? What if you could reduce your chances of developing osteoarthritis? What if the approach was simple, logical, and cost-effective?
Common Foot Problems
Common foot ailments include bunions, hallux limitus and rigidus, neuromas, plantar fasciosis, hammertoes, and ingrown toenails. Related conditions include knee pain, other joint pain, and osteoarthritis. Imagine being able to CORRECT these conditions, as well as PREVENT them from occurring. Perhaps it would help if the approach was completely rational, as well as being backed by scientific study and research? Such an approach does indeed exist, and it is introduced below.
Barefoot vs. Shoe-Wearing
In some parts of the world, people consistently wear minimal footwear, either going barefoot or using flip-flops and sandals. A very small percentage of this population suffers from foot problems. In the industrialized world, however, where narrow and rigid footwear is the norm, the occurrence of the foot, ankle, and musculoskeletal problems is substantially higher. What is the reason for this disparity?
Natural Foot Shape & Function
The human foot is designed such that the toes are spread and extended. This allows for optimal balance and stride. In societies where mainly flip-flops or sandals are used, foot integrity is maintained through life and foot problems are avoided. In industrialized societies however, the foot’s natural shape changes over time. The toes become elevated and pinched together, resulting in weakened flexor muscles combined with overly tight extensors. Subsequently, natural gait and balance are compromised. The main culprit is rigid footwear. The vast majority of footwear in the industrialized world elevates the heel above the forefoot (ball of foot), bends the toes upward (known as toe spring), and squeezes the toes together. Over time, this deforms the foot, leading to a host of foot problems, gait abnormalities, musculoskeletal pathologies.
The long-held conventional podiatric view is that the feet are inherently misshaped, and they need to be corrected with the use of orthotics or surgeries. Where these methods fail, pain is to be managed by anti-inflammatory drugs. Dr. Ray McClanahan is a podiatric physician and avid athlete who challenges this viewpoint. He has discovered, through extensive literature research and years of clinical practice, that the best way to treat most foot problems is by allowing the foot to function exactly as nature intended. Dr. Ray’s main approach with his patients is teaching about foot’s innate ability to walk and run with a perfect gait.He demonstrates how most shoes on the market damage the foot shape, thereby compromising gait. He then shows how returning the feet to their natural shape eliminates existing foot problems and prevents new ones from arising. This is done using a Correct Toes spacer, which spreads the toes to their natural and correct position.
This improves proprioception, which then allows the brain to better promote balance and optimal muscle function. Finally, Dr. Ray educates patients on choosing appropriate shoes that provide a flat surface and sufficient room for the toes to spread, thus allowing the gait to occur as nature intended. Clinical experience has shown again and again that returning the foot to its natural state treats most foot problems, and by extension, many musculoskeletal problems.
Examples of positive outcomes with the use of Dr. Ray’s Correct Toes:
1. Correction of: bunions, hallux limitus and rigidus, tailor’s bunions, corns, ingrown toenails, heel pain, plantar fasciosis, neuromas, capsulitis, lower leg pain, and runner’s knee. No surgery or medications required!
2. Better balance in athletes, Parkinson’s patients, and the elderly.
3. Decreased injury rates in athletes, due to allowing the body to make better use of natural physiological adaptations that are hampered by current footwear available to athletes.
4. Increased performance in athletes (especially walkers and runners) by promoting foot positions that scientific studies have shown to have a 4 to 5% performance edge.
5. Improved strength and flexibility of the toes. This enhances proprioception, and subsequently, the brain signals the body to move forward more naturally.
6. Less osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative arthritis), which currently plagues a majority of senior citizens, as well as a high percentage of the younger population.
Contact Balance in Motion Physical Therapy today in NYC – Midtown East!