So, I have been seeking-out and testing footwear that allows my feet to work the way their supposed to. Now, if you’re the type of person who thinks your shoes need to support your arch or that your shoes need to have lots of padding…… you’re thinking the wrong way about your feet!
There are definitely exceptions but most of our feet are built with an arch and arches support themselves; here’s an article by Dr. Ray McClanahan who has a podiatric clinic in Portland, Oregon: Arch Support
Now, go to your closet and check out your shoes, are the back of your shoes higher than the front? I’m not just talking about high heels. Most running shoes and sneakers have this destructive quality to them. This changes the way your foot carries the weight of your entire body and it doesn’t change it for the better!
It takes the forces that used to be spread throughout your entire arch and focuses them to the front of your foot. This is bad…. period! Here’s another article that talks about this aspect of footwear: Heel Elevation
Now….. look at the toe box of your shoes, is it boxy or tapered? Well, if it’s tapered and narrow, it doesn’t allow the bones of your feet spread apart with every step. this can lead to bunions, neuromas, intermetatarsal bursitis and more…. again, here’s another article, this one is about tapered toes boxes: Tapering Toeboxes.
So which shoes allow your feet to work the way they were made to?
One of my favorite companies that uses barefoot technology in their shoes is Vivo Barefoot. I have a couple of pairs and even run in them; here’s an article about these shoes: Vivo Barefoot Shoes – Product Review.
Patients at my chiropractic, nutrition, hypnosis and functional movement clinic, Optimum Function in Portland, Oregon (click to go to my site) often hear about this topic from me and I have even prescribed shoes that have barefoot technology in them like:
They often can’t believe how good their feet feel and also how wearing the right footwear can help reduce and even totally get rid of back, knee, ankle and hip pain.
In addition to the proper footwear, making sure your body has the correct and optimal balance between adequate mobility and stability with chiropractic, Graston Therapy, Kinesiotape and other manual medicine techniques. To find out more about thes treatments, leave a comment here or go to my website.Yours in Health,Tim Irving DC, MS, LMTOptimum Function: 819 SE Morrison St. ste. 215, Portland, OR, 97215Optimum Function = Optimum Health
In a pilot study involving 34 postmenopausal women (average age: 66 years old) who were given a combination of 600 mg/day vitamin E and 1000 mg/day vitamin C for 6 months; it was found that this combination helped to protect against bone loss as effectively as resistance training (3 times/week). While bone density in the lumbar spine (low back) decreased significantly among subjects who received a placebo, it remained stable among subjects given the antioxidant combo and those who performed resistance training. In fact in a group who took the antioxidant combo and performed resistance training, no significant additional benefit was found.
Does this mean you should all just take Vitamin C and E and not participate in any resistance exercise?
Abolutely not! This is a pilot study and future studies are needed to confirm these effects. In addition, even if this were confirmed, resistance exercise is beneficial for overall cardiovascular disease risk, blood sugar regulation, hormone regulation and more.
Does this mean you all have to go to the gym 3 days a week?
Nope…my favorite exercises are done in the comfort of my home and only take 10-20 minutes per day. Bodyweight exercises and kettlebells are becoming the functional resistance training of the future here in the USA even though they’ve been used for decades in Russia.
Call 503-866-9739, email info@OptFunction.com or go to www.OptMovement.com for more information about my Optimal Movement Screening to check your primitive movement patterns and get you to the point where you can maximize any activity without the fear of injuring yourself.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Tim Irving DC, LMT, Nutritionist, CKTP, MScan.
Optimum Function, Portland, Oregon, 97214
Optimum Function = Optimum Health
Chuin A, Labonte M, et al,”Effect of antioxidants combined to resistance training on BMD in elderly women: a pilot study” Osteoporos Int, 2008 Nov 20; [Epub ahead of print].
This is a bold statement….I know.
I made the statement in the title of this blog because of the new optimal movement program at Optimum Function. For years, I have been studying chiropractic and manual medicine. One common denominator of all that I have studied is that these techniques help to relieve pain by balancing movement. Too little movement tears down the foundation of your movement patterns. Techniques like chiropractic manipulation, soft-tissue mobilization, the Graston Technique, Kinesiotape and more help to increase movement when there is not enough and reduce movement when there is too much. What I have known for a while now is that there is another component to optimal movement and optimum function…..STABILITY!
This is where many manual techniques fall short and many doctors/therapists fail. Granted, you cannot have stability without first having mobility but you must eventually address any stability issues you may have or you will almost always injure yourself in the future.
As an infant, you had absolutely no mobility issues, you had all the mobility you needed for any task at hand. The problem back then was stability; your immature nervous system could not control all of that mobility thus not being able to stabilize your movements. Back then, it was hard to stand, walk, do complex tasks and movements because of a lack of stability. WIth no lack of mobility, gaining stability was a matter of time; your nervous system was like a sponge that soaked-up all the information it needed to eventually stabilize your body….well….what happened?
As you grew older, minor injuries, bad habits etc. created lack of mobility in certain areas but because you are a human being with a very adaptable nervous system, you just adapted by creating compensatory patterns of movement to bypass that which was not there. Now, a little bit of this is OK but the more compensation that occurred the more your primitive movement patterns were affected. Things like touching your toes, squatting, reaching behind your back etc. became dysfunctional or maybe somewhat impossible.
Because you like many others, have a busy, active life, the lack of proper, foundational movement patterns eventually spells the breakdown of things like ligaments, tendons and muscles. In addition, movement in general takes more energy and things that you used to be able to to without fatiguing become tedious.
Well, improving the health of your ligaments, tendons and muscles while also addressing the mobility of your muscles and joints helps immensely but if your primitive, foundational movement patterns are not addressed and stability is not improved, you WILL BECOME INJURED AGAIN….period. It won’t matter if you’re an athlete, office worker, mom, dad, grandma or grandpa, your system will continue to create compensation and when there are too many compensatory patterns, it will break down again.
This is where my optimal movement screen and treatment program comes into play. I utilize some very insightful yet simple movement patterns discovered by Gray Cook PT, Brett Jones RKC, Dale Buchberger DC, PT, and others to evaluate the current state of your movement foundation. Then I deal with any movement problems that I find with the many manual techniques that I have at my disposal in addition to some custom mobility and movement prep exercises.
Once your mobility is adequate, I will work with you to develop some simple yet effective movements and exercises to regain the stability that you so desperately need. In the end, I will eventually help you transition into functional movement and exercises like kettlebell workouts to help you maintain optimal movement and start building performance on top of your new found whole body efficiency.
These techniques have never been paired with the unique combination of manual techniques at Optimum Function until now. The screening process has been used to improve the function of professional athletes while also decreasing the rate at which they get injured. I have combined the screening with some real-world techniques to make it more applicable to the general public. It will help you to also perform better, feel better, function more efficiently and not become injured as much in the future.
To find out more about my optimal movement screening and treatment program, click here
To get more information about me and Optimum Function, email email@example.com, go to www.OptFunction.com or call 503-866-9739.
Yours in Health
Dr. Tim Irving DC, LMT, CKTP
- Bahr R, Bahr IA. Incidence of acute volleyball injuries: a prospective cohort study of injury mechanisms and risk factors. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 1997;7(3):166-171.
- Baumhauer J, Alosa D, Renstrom P, Trevino S, Beynnon B. A prospective study of ankle injury risk factors. Am J Sports Med. 1995;23(5):564-570.
- Cholewicki J, Silfies SP, Shah RA, et al. Delayed trunk muscle reflex responses increase the risk of low back injuries. Spine. 2005;30(23):2614-2620.
- Hewett TE, Myer GD, Ford KR, et al. Biomechanical measures of neuromuscular control and valgus loading of the knee predict anterior cruciate ligament injury risk in female athletes: a prospective study. Am J Sports Med. 2005;33(4):492-501.
- Trojian TH, McKeag DB. Single leg balance test to identify risk of ankle sprains. Br J Sports Med. 2006;40(7):610-613; discussion 613.
- Kiesel K, Plisky P, Voight M. Can serious injury in professional football be predicted by a preseason Functional Movement Screen? North American Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 2007;2(3):147-158.
Click here for an article that I put together about preventing shoulder injuries. The information was compiled from my own lifting and clinical experience as well as from other experts.
If you are interested in learning more about my new Functional Movement evaluation and treatment, click here. I have developed a way to both screen and treat movement patterns that is both efficient and effective at improving patterns that are so simple, your average toddler can do them but most people (even elite athletes) have major problems with them. In fact, there is good evidence that if you do poorly on my screen, you will most likely become injured in the future if you continue your current exercise or athletic load.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Tim Irving DC, LMT, Nutritionist, CKTP, CHt
Optimum Function: Portland, Oregon
Yours in Health,Tim Irving DC, MS, LMTOptimum Function: 819 SE Morrison St. ste. 215, Portland, OR, 97215Optimum Function = Optimum Health