How Many Pairs of Shoes Do You Own? (And Are You Sure?)

Let’s face it. No one wears the same shoes all the time, because there’s more to life than just the office or gym. In fact, the average American owns an average of 19 pairs of shoes at any given time!

We challenged our employees to get out their shoes, count ’em, and take a picture. (Our “winner” so far on number of pairs owned is Corrie, 125 pairs of shoes!)

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How many pairs do you THINK you have? And how many do you ACTUALLY have?

Answer the first question in your head, and then take a moment to do an actual count. You’ll be surprised.

To optimize the health benefits of custom orthotics, you should be supported with every step, during every activity.  Make sure you have multiple pairs of orthotics for your multiple pairs of shoes. Your feet and body will thank you!

Popping a Daily Aspirin for “Health”? (What Manufacturers Don’t Want You to Know)

Popping a daily aspirin for purported health reasons is a growing trend–but not a good one.  In a recent survey, 52% of respondents who were middle age or older said they took to “prevent heart disease.” Unfortunately, there’s very good science that says for most, the risks outweigh the benefits.

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While aspirin thins the blood, which can help prevent blood clots that lead to stroke and heart attack, long-term aspirin use can increase the risk of ulcers, stomach bleeding, even brain bleeding! What’s more, research suggests that for most people, the chance that aspirin will prevent a first heart attack is about the same as the chance that it will cause serious damage.*

The same survey found that 43% of those popping a daily aspirin are doing so without their provider’s knowledge (yikes!).

Drugs are not the answer to prevention.  Go for natural, conservative care instead, through healthy eating, daily exercise, and regular Chiropractic care. Not sure where to start? Your healthcare professional can help you develop a regimen that’s right for you.

*The Food and Drug Administration only recommends aspirin for those have already had a stroke or heart attack, or for those at extremely high risk–and always under the care of a health professional.

Hey Guys! Standing: You’re Doing It Wrong!

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Stand up. Now grab your butt. Is it tight?

If your glutes aren’t slightly contracted, you’re standing all wrong. And that could be why your squat numbers are stagnant, why your low back hurts, and why just can’t seem to get into correct form on your favorite exercises.”

…That’s according to a great article on posture posted today on MensHealth.com.

Most men stand “lazily”–with shoulders slumped, feet flared, and their weight shifted to one hip (to be fair, most women shift their weight to one hip while standing, too). It may feel comfortable or “natural,” but it’s anything but–and the stance has  consequences–like muscle stiffness and poor workout outcomes. Long-term consequences are even more serious.

“The ‘ideal’ way to stand is with your feet forward instead of flared out (actively try to ‘screw’ your feet into the ground), glutes and abs slightly contracted, and shoulders externally rotated (to find this position, place your palms on your pecs),” writes the author’s article Michael Easter, who’s quoting Kelly Starrett, P.T., creator of MobilityWOD.com and author of Becoming a Supple Leopard. “Try to maintain this position for as long as possible whenever you are on your feet.”

To read more about how posture can affect your health, be sure to check out the article (or some of ours too, on this here blog!).  And remember: custom-made orthotics can help support your proper posture for a healthy, pain-free body for life.  Talk to a health professional today to see if orthotics are right for you.

What’s a Subluxation? Plus: How to Make Your Adjustments Last Longer and Stronger

You know how great you feel as you leave your Chiropractor’s office?

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(These guys clearly just left the Chiropractor’s)

You’re energetic, but not edgy. Calm, clear-headed and alert. If you came in with pain, it’s likely that it feels lessened; perhaps, it’s even disappeared (hallelujah!).

It’s as if every cell of your body just seems to be humming in unison, and that all is right with the world!

There’s a reason for that! In Chiropractic-speak, your Doctor’s adjustment has helped to eliminate subluxations in your spine. The term subluxation describes what happens when spinal joints are shifted out of ideal alignment thanks to stress, trauma, or chemical imbalances.

Because the nervous system (spine/nerves/brain) is “command central” of the body, eliminating subluxations helps the body do its thing better: adjustments reduce pressure on the nerves, easing the flow of communication and signals between them. Also, adjustments trigger the release of endorphins, which cause a near instant relief of pain.

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But what happens when the effects of that adjustment “wear off”? Or when you’re not getting the kind of relief you were hoping for–your body is just not responding as well as it should?

This may be an indication of problems beyond the spine. Frequently, pain or other symptoms in the body start with the body’s foundation: the feet.

As one study noted, “there are small, but important, inter-segmental movements of the spine during gait” (walking). And if you have foot problems (which are often “silent“), spinal subluxations, pain and degeneration throughout the body can occur. In fact, researchers have found that poor foot mechanics “can adversely influence the normal functions of the ankle, knee, hip, and even the back.”

Got pain? Avoid dangerous painkillers; your Chiropractor can help with safe, natural and conservative care.  Orthotics, which support and stabilize your body from its foundation, help Chiropractic adjustments hold longer and stronger. Subluxations occur less frequently–good news for your all-important nervous system.

Next time you visit the Chiropractor, be sure to have your feet examined. Talk to your Doctor about how orthotics can work in conjunction with adjustments to help you stay healthy and subluxation-free.

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Runners Break Records–and Boost Economy–at Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon

Talk about an impact! In 2015 alone, the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon ushered in $556,000 to the beautiful Roanoke region of Virginia, where Foot Levelers calls “home.” Over the past six years, the event has contributed more than $2.6 million to the local economy!

We are so proud to support the region and all the wonderful businesses and folks that inhabit it–and a big “shout out” to all the runners, fans, and Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway organization, which the marathon supports! (Read more about the economic impact here).

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But the marathon touches more than Southwest Virginia, where it takes place: this year’s event drew athletes from 37 states – in addition to the District of Columbia – and six countries: Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Haiti, and the United Kingdom!

We can’t wait for April 2016! It’s not too early to register for America’s Toughest Road Marathon… You can do so here.

Congratulations, World Cup Champions!

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Foot Levelers congratulates all the talented footballers of the U.S. Women’s Team, FIFA World Cup champions!!

The fastest hat trick in any World Cup game, Carli Lloyd’s goal scored from midfield… The U.S. team’s performance smashed records and “reduced polished sportswriters to all-caps expressions of awe — and that was just in the first half,” to quote NPR’s Camila Domonoske.

GO TEAM!