Hip and or knee replacements are life- changing surgeries. Patients often suffer pain and immobility for months after the surgery. Where physical therapy, chiropractic care and medicine fail is in the prevention of a second surgery. In 15 years of practice I’ve seen first hand the struggle patients have after these surgeries. Often, by the time they come to see me, it’s too late.
Leg and foot health can do much to preserve a normal spine. A healthy human skeleton, when viewed from the front, is straight with no lateral shifts or high (unbalanced) shoulders or hips. The leg lengths are equal and the arches in both feet are the same height. From the side, the neck has a half-circle/ oval shape, the thoracic cage is a half-egg shape and the lumbar spine is the other half of that egg shape flipped upside-down. The sacrum is the triangle-shaped bone in the lower back and must be laterally balanced as well as tilted forward about 40 degrees.
Balance is Key.
A balanced spine needs a strong balanced base. Both legs must be equal in length and both feet must maintain 3 natural arches (“transverse, medial and lateral longitudinal”). Without this balanced posture in the lower extremities (hips/legs/ knees/ feet), the body’s weight on the spine and discs will be poorly distributed. The shortening of one leg because of a surgery (the result of 80% of all surgeries) will result in poor biomechanics, early degeneration and pain.
The unfortunate part of this is, that most people either don’t know they have a short leg and resort to living with the pain and drugs (illicit, semi-illicit or prescribed) or they spend hundreds of dollars seeing a Chiropractor or DO/ MD specializing in pain management. Individuals who do know they have a short leg can suffer these same problems as well. Many will try to manage their short leg with an annoying heel lift that they; a) have to remember to put in their shoe, b) stick in with glue and c) limit their choice of shoes- i.e., no heels or sandals. Some patients have the short leg shoe modified to balance their sacrum and leg lengths. This is much better than just putting a shim in their shoe but it can get expensive! And whatever steps people take following a hip or knee replacement, research shows that wear and tear will worsen on the non- replaced side which leads to a second surgery!
Rather than expensive non-solutions, a much better alternative would be to balance your body weight on both legs in a natural, healthy manner and avoid a second surgery. Your spine and natural joints will thank you.
We’d like summer back!
But here’s the catch: summer sandals and other fashionable shoes that don’t have a covered heel or wide insole look ridiculous with a therapeutic heel stuck to them. This is a pain in the heel all on it’s own.
At UpRight Footwear, we believe there is a much better way! I’ve created a convenient way to maintain healthy, balanced spines and lower extremities while wearing attractive, comfortable shoes. We are in the prototype stage of creating the perfect heel lift sandal with built in heel lifts. No more glue, deconstruction of your favorite sandal or defacement of the shoe. Not only are our sandals are made with your comfort and health in mind, they’re made with the environment in mind as well. Our patent pending designs are comfortable, cute, and provide the lift you,and your spine, need. Our sandals, flip-flops, and slides come in standard sizes and include left or right heel lift sizes up to 12 mm (just under half an inch).
The most spectacular part of our shoes is the lifts won’t be noticed- nor will your short leg! Your pants will hang evenly on your hips. Best of all, you have the best chance to be PAIN FREE! I believe UpRight Footwear may help you both look and feel better. These amazing shoes may get you back to living your life without the hassle of remembering where you put your heel lift last.
Our prototype is in testing right now, and we expect to be on the market shortly. Join our mailing list to be among the first to know when our shoes will be available for purchase.
Be ready for the next blog post on Short legs in Children, Scoliosis and possible PREVENTION of development of that Scoliosis.
Dr Huma Pierce DC fCBP Oregon