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What the Experts Say   Date: Tuesday 13 December, 2005
News Summary:
The link between foot health, spinal health and the benefits of soft-soled baby shoes on developing feet.

News Content:
What the Experts Say

The link between foot health, spinal health and the benefits of soft-soled baby shoes on developing feet.
During foot development, it is important for bones, muscles, blood vessels and nerves to have room to grow without restriction.

As the beginning walker stands up and takes his first tentative steps, the muscles of his feet grip the floor and the toes separate to help the child have better balance and control. If her feet are confined within a rigid shoe, the toes cannot operate in this way, nor can the muscles of the foot and ankle develop the strength necessary to hold her upright.

Throughout a lifetime, foot health depends upon the flexibility of the structures involved. This begins in infancy and continues as we grow. If we wear rigid shoes, the bones cannot move freely, resulting eventually in crippling arthritis.

From a Chiropractic standpoint, spinal health is connected to foot health. Inflexible feet affect all the joints above, including the spinal column. Many times, pelvic imbalance originates in foot distortion such as fallen arches or dropped metatarsal bones. Every step a person takes translates into either stability or instability for all the structures above. This process begins with that first step.

Soft soled baby shoes allow the beginning walker to grip the floor, developing strong ankles and flexible foot bones.

This creates a solid foundation for bone and muscle formation in the rest of the body, especially the spinal column. A level pelvis and straight spine depend upon healthy feet through out our entire lives, beginning in infancy.

Lisa C. Moore
Doctor of Chiropractic
Auburn California

Your baby may not need a pair of new stiff shoes after all

Please welcome a new arrival to the list of obsolete wisdom for parents: Babies walk best in stiff leather shoes.

Not true, say researchers at Connecticut Children's Medical Center who spent months studying the way babies learn to walk. With the help of computer-assisted foot pressure sensors and slow- motion video, researchers learned that, from their first steps, babies walk with a rocking heel-toe motion, just like adults.

The findings toppled the long-held conventional wisdom that the first steps are flat-footed stomps. With that assumption, the stiff, high -topped baby shoe was born, designed by shoe companies to support flat-footed steps and wobbly ankles.

But babies' ankles, it turns out, are perfectly stable from the beginning, making the traditional high topped shoe unnecessary.

The conclusion, said Sylvia Ounpuu, a movement specialist at the children's medical center who directed the study, is that barefoot is best for babies."

Hartford Courant
independent expert, summer 2000.

Editors Note:
When barefoot is not practical - soft soled leather shoes are the next best thing.

Extra Information:
For more information, please visit this related link:  What experts say.

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