Friday, February 27, 2009

Get Off Your Butt and on Your Feet

Scientists that include a group of paleontologists and students directed by John W.K. Harris of Rutgers University in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya have found the oldest evidence of a human footprint, one they've dated at approximately 1.5 million years ago.

The New York Times article, Prints Show a Modern Foot in Prehumans, by John Noble Wilford, details the discovery  that  helps to explain that "human ancestors had adapted the ability for long-distance walking and running."

If the recent trends for human activity continue, finding footprints will be harder than ever. In most of the U.S. human kind is spending more time on their butts.

Walking and running were a huge advantage is the evolution of human kind. The best walkers and runners prospered from their improved opportunities being upright and agile. A good stride and the ability to move easily could make the difference between life and death. 

Things have changed. Except for the athletes among us, most Americans are no longer moving their bodies the way they were designed to be moved. We've become a culture addicted to screen-time and the result could be deadly. 

For the first time in America, it's likely that if obesity trends persist, this generation of young people will die at a younger age that their parents. Currently one third of all American's under age 18 are either overweight or obese. Eighty percent of the youth that are obese grow up to become obese adults.

This information is so disturbing that my family supports the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an alliance between the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation to combat childhood obesity. My daughter, Isabella Acosta Barna is a volunteer on the Alliance's Youth Advisory Board and encourages other kids to live a healthy lifestyle. You can read about her activities on her blog.  

I believe strongly that a healthy, strong foot and optimal gait are part of the foundation of a healthy life. I write this blog to help people realize the importance of foot health and how to achieve their best results.

Call for an appointment: 541-389-4547

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sports Pedorthist - Supporting the Athlete and Active Person

A lot of people don't know what a Certified Pedorthist is or does. Pedorthics is a specialty in foot orthotics and shoes. It's often confused with Podiatrist. The difference is that Podiatrists are doctors treating a variety of foot related ailments, including doing minor surgeries and prescribing drugs. Podiatrists also prescribe and provide orthotics. 

The big difference between getting orthotics from a Pedorthist (me), rather than a Podiatrist is that the Pedorthist is a specialist who usually fabricates the orthotic and fits it into shoes. Podiatrists usually send out their orthotics for fabrication. Because of cost and insurance issues, many Podiatrists and Pedorthists are turning to the less effective pre-fabricated, off - the - shelf orthotics.

The majority of Pedorthists across the U.S. focus on the diabetic foot problem. But, there is a small niche in pedorthics called Sports Pedorthists.  Regionally (the Pacific Northwest), I am a widely known Sports Pedorthist, and operate my Footform Performance Orthotics Center in Bend, Oregon. Though I do make orthotics for clients with diabetes and other maladies, my specialty is custom orthotics for the active person with repetitive strain injuries and issues.

Sports Pedorthists have the skills to fit orthotics into specialty athletic shoes, such as ski boot orthotics, skating orthotics, cycling orthotics, running orthotics and golf orthotics. Maybe you're thinking that, "Hey, anybody can put an orthotic in a shoe." Here's the answer. A Sports Pedorthist spends a lot of time analyzing the athletes biomechanics, their sport and their footwear. Fitting the orthotics into the specialty shoe correctly makes a huge positive difference to the athlete's performance and relief of strain.

At Footform Performance Orthotics center, in Bend, Oregon, our foot orthotics price includes 2 one-hour appointments to ensure the best result. 

Bend, Oregon is a vacation area and many of my clients visit Bend for a vacation or to participate in one of the many races and sports events in Bend. They'll get their orthotics while they are here. I have many clients from around the country that will get their foot molds on file with me, then have me mail them duplicate orthotics over the years. 

Call my Footform Sports Orthotics clinic in Bend, Oregon for an appointment, 541-389-4547.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our Orthotics Materials are Enviro-Safe

All of our Footform foot orthotics are artisan made in our labs. That means that not only are the technicians making the foot insoles exposed to the orthotics materials, but that any pollutants present are released into the local area.

In the old days orthotics were made out of a rigid plastic known as rohadur. Rohadur was banned due to it's harmful environmental impact. The substance also lacked shock absorbing properties. Rohadur was old and bad technology.

My Footform orthotics are made from non-toxic polyurethanes and cork (a renewable resource).

Many years ago, before it was cool (in the early 1990's) I developed my current enviro-safe orthotics materials and fabrication process. Here's why: I personally make orthotics and work with the materials, as well as supply colleagues with the visco elastic polymer orthotics supplies so that they can fabricate orthotics. It's important to me that the technicians have a safe working environment. Also, during those years, my wife and baby were in the office during much of the day, and I wanted to ensure their health.  An added plus is that my Footform orthotics last for many years (5 to 10 years) and I am confident that my clients are using a safe product.  

If you're looking for a safe and effective orthotics material, contact me and I will talk with you about my orthotics materials and supplies. I named the product Viscork (TM), and it is packaged for distribution.  

Randall Barna 541-389-4547