Taking care of your feet combined with chiropractic care may have a significant effect on how you feel according to the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association (NZCA).
Chiropractor and NZCA spokesperson Dr Cassandra Fairest explains: ‘We’ve warned people about the effects of high heels and challenging footwear on health but the latest research suggests that modifying what you wear on your feet combined with chiropractic care may have a significant effect on foot function as well as decreased pain throughout the rest of the body, especially the spine.’
A new study suggests custom orthotics (shoe inserts) in combination with chiropractic care are significantly effective for relieving pain and improving function in patients with chronic low back pain.
The randomised study of 225 adult subjects with symptomatic lower back pain for three months found that patients who received custom-made orthotics and those who received custom orthotics plus chiropractic care experienced significant improvements in pain and function compared to patients receiving no intervention. Comparing the orthotics-only and “plus” groups, the patients receiving chiropractic care achieved greater improvements in function, but similar pain relief was found in the orthotics-only group.
Dr Fairest adds: `How you walk and how you look after your feet can have a tremendous impact on posture, spinal function and overall health. We know that for every 20 minutes you spend sitting, it takes your spine about 30 minutes of standing or 5 minutes of walking to recover., Spring is the perfect time of year to gently increase activity after the winter months. Walking regularly will also help improve your immune system, blood and lymph circulation, enhance mood and energy levels, and help maintain good levels of bone density.’
The NZCA has developed a Just Start Walking programme to put a spring in your step but recommends getting a spinal check-up with your family chiropractor prior to starting any new exercise regime. An NZCA chiropractor will evaluate your spine and nervous system for dysfunction and analyse your posture for imbalances, two conditions which may predispose you to walking related injuries.
Some Tips on How to Get Started
- Visit your local NZCA chiropractor for a spinal system check up
- Commit to a nine week walking programme
- Start slowly – set achievable targets to prevent injury and to motivate you
- Find a friend or work colleague to walk with
- Wear appropriate footwear which is designed for walking
- Warm up with gentle stretching exercises at the start and end of your walk
- Drink plenty of water and have regular breaks and healthy snacks
- Mix it up – walking different routes, at different speeds with different inclines
- Enjoy your walking!
 Restaino RM, Holwerda SW, Credeur DP, Fadel PJ, Padilla J. Impact of prolonged sitting on lower and upper limb micro- and macrovascular dilator function. Experimental Physiology 2015;100(7):829-38.