Footwear Tips & Custom Orthotics

What are some causes of foot pain?

Choosing the right footwear is important to maintaining not only the health of your feet and ankles, but also for avoiding imbalances in the pelvis, which can cause hip and knee pain. Ensuring that you are wearing supportive shoes will increase your comfort and performance and decrease your risk for injury and pain.

Foot pain can be caused by differences in the arch of your foot, which can affect the way you walk and run. The arch of your foot develops during childhood, and so your footwear needs may change throughout development until you reach adulthood. Depending on the course of development, arch insufficiencies can also arise from functional faults and weakness in the hips and glutes; these deficits can be addressed through exercise in conjunction with chiropractic care.

A foot with a typical arch provides support and balance and evenly distributes forces and shock absorption when you walk, run or dance. A foot with a high arch can cause pain in the lower back, knees, and hips due to poor shock absorption and unevenly distributed weight and balance, putting stress on those areas to compensate for the poor shock absorption. On the other hand, a foot with no arch or a fallen arch, commonly referred to as being “flat footed,” can cause pain in the ankles, hips, and knees. It is also possible to have have different arch development in both of your feet.


Foot Levelers inserts provide customized support to your feet to alleviate pain and promote better balance.

Footwear and Suggested Exercises

Flip flops and ballet flats offer little to no arch and ankle support. Although comfortable, it is not recommended to wear them for long periods of time if you are going to be standing or walking. Similarly, high heeled shoes and boots do not offer ergonomic support. Dr. Gustin recommends limiting the amount of time spent wearing high heels as much as possible. On days when wearing high heels for long periods is required, he recommends bringing a pair of flats or tennis shoes to commute in and to change back into this pair of shoes during breaks and lunch breaks. To relieve pain from wearing high heels, Dr. Jacobs suggests using a lacrosse or golf ball to roll under the ball of your bare foot. This exercise, similar to using a foam roller, will help provide stretching and pain relief.

How chiropractic care can help

Foot pain and the associated pain that accompanies an unsupported arch can be treated with chiropractic care. Further, another service offered at SF Custom Chiropractic is complimentary foot scanning to see if you could benefit from custom orthotic inserts. SF Custom Chiropractic offers Foot Levelers, which are Spinal Pelvic stabilizers that support the arch of your foot; Foot Levelers are customized to your needs to prevent spinal and pelvic imbalances resulting from uneven distribution of forces on the foot.

If you are experiencing discomfort in your feet, ankles, knees, hips, or lower back, give our office a call at (415) 788-8700 to schedule a complimentary foot scan.


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