Dr. Kiper offers Silicone Orthotics for arch support.

A Step in Time - The Nature of Foot Alignment

The human foot is a complex yet marvelous structure of living machinery.  It is designed to transport us through life and provide us with the mobility to ensure our survival.  Other than the heart, there is no other structure that takes a beating like the foot (no pun intended).  The foot is stuffed into a variety of dark and cramped spaces, forced to go places and distances it might not normally choose for itself.  Relegated to the bottom of the totem pole, it hardly ever requires personal attention and sometimes is denied even personal hygiene, yet manages to "carry on".  Yes, it's quite a structure and performs its "feats" of strength, and eventually falls prey to natural abuse.  It is for all intents and purposes, a locomotive structure, capable of initial shock absorption, performing in most cases at least 8,000-10,000 times per day.  There are lots of moving parts, each working in conjunction with the rest of the system.   Some feet have lots of available motion and others have little.  Certainly, some feet work better than others and fall prey to fewer problems but, all feet are prone to normal wear and tear and depending on usage can be pushed to problems sooner. Everything starts as the foot makes its first contact to the ground (with the heel). Motion in the foot takes place in preparation of weight being transferred through the body and into the foot.  As this process continues, two things happen 1) the arch of the foot moves towards the ground and 2) the muscles try to control the speed and depth at which the arch moves.  Eventually, the arch falls as close to the ground as possible.  At this very moment in time is when the foot is at its weakest, most unstable and vulnerable to the forces passing through (a bag of bones as it were). Every joint is twisted to the max, which in turn allows the body above to also move in correlation to this instability and vulnerability. The "soft tissue" (muscles, tendons, ligaments) are also straining because they too are being stretched and off their best "track". As this mechanical action repeats heat builds up (called inflammation).  This marvel of engineering, however, is designed to perform this task, repeatedly in fact. The body will release endorphins to "cool" the heat buildup, it will adjust the entire system if it recognizes a "pattern" of inefficiency.  This adjustment may in time produce a recognizable inefficiency further promoting a "new" adjustment. Meanwhile heat continues to build and build until the system's endorphins can no longer manage the upper limits and the system says "OUCH!".  Here then starts the process of trying to reverse the pain. Self treatment, modern medicine, old world medicine, external devices, and maybe even prayer all methods used and abused to treat a "step in time".