Do you want optimal performance this ski season? Then, pay attention to your feet!
Feet are significant because, to paraphrase an obvious point, “When your feet aren’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” But beyond the issue of pain, how your feet are supported affects other parts of your body.
First in line are your knees. Studies show that collapsed arches can pre-load and predispose the knee, making ACL and meniscal injuries, commonly seen in winter sports, more likely. Lumbar fatigue and injury are often found when feet are not properly aligned and supported. At one time or another, most people will have low back pain. Be preemptive and manage the problem before it starts.
Even your neck and jaw can be influenced by the status of your feet. In Italy, more orthotics are fit by dentists than any other professional group because they know and address the relationship between the feet and the jaw! Beyond comfort and safety, proper alignment can impact your ability to ski. By supporting your feet, muscle activity is optimized so you will have more strength and less fatigue.
In order to address your feet, so that they are at your service and not the other way around, I recommend the following steps:
- First make sure your feet are properly aligned. This may involve manipulation of the feet, knee, pelvis and/or other parts of the spine. It all moves as a unit.
- Once the joints are aligned, better support may be implemented with quality, custom-made orthotic footbeds.
Orthotics are inserted into footwear to alter the way the foot hits the earth. Quality orthotics have good heel cups, are flexible enough to maintain normal foot dynamics and support the arches of the feet. Also, it is important that the fitting be performed by an experienced practitioner. Orthotics are particularly important if you are over forty years old because the ligaments of your feet typically become lax and your feet spread causing the arches to collapse.
Regardless of your skiing ability, if you want the most comfort, safety and performance this season, see a professional who can properly adjust your feet and evaluate them for orthotics.