What is toe spring and how does it help forefoot and midfoot pain
Walking is often described as a controlled forward fall. As your body passes over the foot, resistance is supplied by the calf that limits forward progression of your center of gravity. In the final stages of gait, as your heel starts to leave the ground, your opposite foot is put forward to catch your fall and start the same gait pattern just completed (heel strike, midfoot loading, forefoot loading and heel off). Influencing patterns in gait is one of the ways that your podiatrist treats your forefoot or midfoot problems. Often, use of a specialty insole is an easy and affordable way to influence gait patterns and treat foot problems.
The foot is a bag ‘o bones
If we think of the leg, ankle and foot as a lever that facilitates walking, the greatest efficiency of that lever would be if:
- the leg, ankle and foot acted in a single body plane
- the foot was a rigid part of the lever (resistance arm)
At the core of gait is energy efficiency. The goal of your body is to perform an action using the least amount of energy possible. If we look just at the leg, ankle and foot, some of this energy conservation does come from the fact that to a great degree, the leg, ankle and foot do work within a single body plane. The second statement regarding the foot as a rigid lever is much more difficult to answer. The foot is a bag ‘o bones consisting of 27 bones and 114 different ligaments. The primary reason for so many bones and ligaments is that the foot needs to adapt to a changing environment. The foot is designed to step on uneven surfaces, climb hills, jump and land and simply adapt to anything we throw at it. Therefore, adaptation to our environment results in a less than rigid lever. So how do we go about improving the rigidity of the foot while functioning in an ever changing environment? The answer lies in the use of specialty insoles.
Too much rigidity? Add a little toe spring.
Carbon Fiber Spring Plates are a unique category of shoe insert that are very thin and very rigid. The primary purpose of a Carbon Fiber Spring Plate is to act as a brace to splint the arch. When combined with a laced shoe, a Carbon Fiber Spring Plate specifically addresses the bag ‘o bones making the foot much more rigid and subsequently, more efficient in gait. And remember, efficiency and energy conservation are what lie at the core of gait.
If Carbon Fiber Spring Plates make rigid and flat, their use may actually make it hard to walk. To overcome some of the rigidity while still providing support for the foot, toe spring is added to the Carbon Fiber Spring Plate. Toe spring is a curvature, or what we call a rocker added to the forefoot of the spring plate. Toe spring has an incredible effect on walking by facilitating early heel off and decreased load applied to the forefoot. Rigidity and toe spring are two simple concepts that have a huge impact on gait and foot pain.
The Carbon Fiber Spring Plate Brace
The Carbon Fiber Spring Plate is really more than just a simple shoe insert. When used in conjunction with a laced shoe, the Carbon Fiber Spring Plate acts as a brace for the lever arm of the leg ankle and foot. But when compared to it’s big brothers, like an Arizona Brace or an ankle foot orthotic (AFO), the humble little Carbon Fiber Spring Plate offers a number of advantages. Thin, light, easy to switch from shoe to shoe and available without prescription, the Carbon Fiber Spring Plate often provides the support needed to solve a foot problem at a fraction of the cost an of other braces. Again, when used in conjunction with a any laced shoe, you can create a brace for the foot that is affordable and simple to use.
Light as a feather and stronger than steel – Carbon Fiber Spring Plates
Light and strong may be the two primary attributes of a Carbon Fiber Spring Plate, but toe spring is really what make the device effective. Carbon Fiber Spring Plates are just one of the many specialty insoles offered by Myfootshop.com. As America’s leading distributor of carbon fiber insole products, we offer specific foot inserts that are ‘just what the doctor ordered.’