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Why You Hurt

bad posture

It might be hard to accept that your pain may be caused by something as simple as bad posture. After all, if pain is serious enough to limit your activities and keep you awake at night, you might think it must be caused by sometning serious that can probably only be treated with extreme measures like foot or back surgery. Pain as severe as yours couldn’t possibly be caused by something simple like bad posture or a seemingly insignificant structural problem in your feet - or could it?

Even if you have already been down the long, costly and painful road of surgery, drugs or custom orthotics, we hope you might find relief on the pages of this website.

elements of posture 1
elements of posture 2

Bad Posture is a vicious downward spiral.

It goes from slouching to small aches and pains to disabling immobility. Musculoskeletal pain is the #1 reason for doctor’s office visits, and the #2 highest reason for taking prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Inactivity from loss of mobility ultimately is blamed for cardiac disease, obesity, diabetes and a slew of other diseases. Correcting your posture just makes good sense and can save you a lot of grief and a fortune in medical bills.

The Body Mechanics Connection

If your body’s joints are in proper alignment in their neutral position, your posture muscles are balanced and relaxed. If you have a forward leaning "Head forward posture", over time, the muscles on your back side (Gastrocs, Hamstrings, back and neck muscles) become elongated while the muscles on your front are shortened. The same happens if one leg is physically or functionally shorter than the other. The body becomes misaligned and over time the muscles comply by shortening and lengthening, making your crooked posture permanent until you or something you do causes a change.

The Foot Connection

Your feet are like the foundation under a house. "As goes the foundation, so goes the house". If you have ever tried to square the door frames in a house standing on a sagging foundation you know exactly what we mean. It is nearly impossible and it won't last. The same is the case with the body. Your chiropractor is trying to square you up structurally, but if your feet are wrong the adjustments just won't last. Your physical therapist is trying to strengthen your body, but suspended over a collapsing foundation, the joints, muscles and ligaments will succumb to the forces of gravity. Muscles that would support good posture almost effortlessly are committed to constant extra labor just to keep you upright. A "good" massage may not feel so good because your muscles are so sore they can barely be touched.

Overpronation (Hyperpronation)

over pronation

Standing or walking at a relaxed pace should not require much effort, and certainly should not cause pain. But when your body is unsure or out of balance, your muscles become tense. Hyperpronation causes instability and throws your body off balance. The posture muscles from your feet to your neck remain tense all the time. They never get the “relax” signal like when you finish climbing a hill and are back on level ground, or sit down for a rest.

Hyperpronation causes your arches to collapse and your ankles to roll in when you shift weight to your forefoot. Two things visibly happen because of hyperpronation. First, your posture changes – your legs rotate inward, your hips rotate forward (one more than the other) and your whole upper body and head rotate and drift forward. Second, because this “head forward” posture creates muscle tension and spasms, your body subconsciously tries to compensate for it. Medical professionals call this “Common Compensation Patterns.” Unfortunately, over time, this typically deforms your posture further causing even more muscle strain and pain.

Over eighty percent of us structurally hyperpronate - our ankles lean inward when we stand and walk. What confuses everyone is that about 60% of all people who structurally hyperpronate try to compensate for it by shifting weight to the outside of their feet. They try and succeed to various degrees to supinate their feet. So, if your ankles lean outward don't stop reading because the most common cause of supination is hyperpronation.

Good body alignment and mechanics allow your body to use its maximum strength, agility and endurance with minimal risk of strain or injury. Unfortunately, the combination of flat surfaces, shoes and hyperpronation puts your body mechanics in disarray. First: Flat surfaces exaggerate natural pronation because as it turns out, the structural problem of the feet prevents the brain from picking up the correct signals from the ground. Second: The internal rotation caused by hyperpronation kinetically impacts every joint from your feet to your jaw so that they all become misaligned. A misaligned joint will injure with accumulative use so the harder you run and exercise without correcting hyperpronation, the greater your chances of injury and long term damage.

The Solution

The are many reasons for chronic pain, but clearly a major solution to your pain, and lack of physical performance may be improving your body mechanics including your gait. The first step in that process is controlling hyperpronation. To do that, you need to assess how serious your structural foot condition is and how you individually respond to it - your personal compensation patterns. That is what our quick self assessment does, and we suggest you do it next. Once you understand your own body mechanics, all this will make perfect sense to you, and you'll understand exactly what our insoles are designed to do.