When we think of the arches of the feet we typically only think of the large arch on the inside of the feet. However, there are a total of three arches each foot. There is the large arch on the inside of the foot, a small arch along the outside of the foot, and a smaller arch across the base of the toes. These three arches work in harmony to provide a stable foundation and absorb all of the ground forces with each step.
If one or more of these arches are not functioning as they should be our foundation becomes unstable causing compensation patterns that can affect our ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. Much like a bad foundation in a house, it’s not a question if cracks will appear in the walls and floor, but when, where, and how severe they will be. It is similar with the arches in the feet not working properly. It is not a question of if there will be joint problems, but when and which joints, whether it will be knees, ankles, hips, etc.
Additionally, when we walk our feet absorb three times our body weight in force each step. When we jump or sprint our feet absorb thirty times our body weight in force. When the arches are working properly our feet are able to absorb all of that force. However, if they are not working properly whatever force they cannot absorb travels up the legs and is absorbed wherever it can be, placing extra stress on the knees, hips, and lower back.
At Active Lifestyle we offer custom orthotics to correct, bolster, and maintain proper arch function in the feet. We use 3D laser imaging to measure and map every aspect of the bottom of the feet to determine how the arches are functioning. If orthotics are required they are custom molded to the measurements acquired by the laser. Our orthotics do correct and stabilize all three arches of the foot. Most custom orthotics are only focused on stabilizing the inside arch.