Either tourist or local, we all have one thing in common when being in London. We walk a lot… The only city that can challenge us at the top would be New York, maybe a few others.
Walking is good for us in many ways, but can all this walking also create problems?
We have all walked on the beach and looked back at our footprints imprinted in the sand behind us. What makes these footprints is the natural curvature of the foot, with the raised arch working as a shock absorber. In the sand the foot is in, what we call, the neutral position, and for different people different shaped footprints. This neutral position of the foot is of outmost importance through the gait for the rest of the body to stay in line. Any deviations will have knock oneffects further up the kinetic chain (ankle - knee - hip - pelvic - spine - etc.).
When walking on sand the sand changes it shape to suit our feet, but what happens when the ground is solid? Our feet will have to change, to suit the ground. And this is what happens with us walking in London.
Over-pronated or flat feet, can be the cause of everything from knee pain to recurrent headaches. For us living in London, to stop walking is not an option. There are 28 bones in the foot, all forming joints that are important for the gait cycle. Keeping these joints mobile, and the associated musculature strong, is the first line of defence. This can be achieved through specific foot and balance exercises. Chiropractic manipulation and wobble board exercises can help with this.
The second line of defence would be a functional insole or orthotic. Having come this far it has already been established that the feet are dysfunctional, and they would need treatment to restore the neutral function, before an insole will be moulded to the foot for a perfect fit. A functional insole or orthotic will give the foot the same support as when walking in sand, letting the foot remain in the functional neutral position through the gait cycle. As a result of a more functional and efficient gait cycle, wear and tear of the knees, pelvic and spine can be reduced, and general aches and pains resolved.