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Correct Toes

Foot pain is a common reason for people to seek care. And with the current increased popularity of barefoot running there is now more awareness of natural foot health. Traditional footwear can actually lead to many common foot disorders. Along with acupuncture for foot health I also promote Correct Toes a wonderfully simple tool that will realign the bones in your feet to optimize performance and reduce the risk of injury.

What if you could correct a myriad of hip, knee, foot and ankle problems, WITHOUT expensive surgery, orthotics, or pharmaceutical drugs? What if you could reduce your chances of developing osteoarthritis? What if the approach was simple, logical, and cost-effective?

By promoting the natural alignment of the structures in the foot, Correct Toes protect your foot and other weight bearing joints from most disorders and injuries.

In some parts of the world, people consistently wear minimalist footwear, either going barefoot or using flipflops and sandals. A very small percentage of this population suffers from foot problems. In the industrialized world, however, the occurrence of foot, ankle, and musculoskeletal problems is significantly higher. What are the causes of this disparity?

The natural anatomical design of the human foot includes toes that are spread and extended. This toe configuration allows for optimal balance and stride. In geographical regions where primarily flip-flops or sandals are used, foot integrity is maintained throughout life and foot problems are avoided. In industrialized societies, however, where rigid and narrow footwear is the norm, the foot's natural shape changes over time. This is especially true in shoes or boots that possess tapering toe boxes.

The vast majority of footwear in the industrialized world elevates the heel above the forefoot, or the ball of the foot, bends the toes upward (a phenomenon called toe spring), and squeezes the toes together. Over time, this deforms the foot, leading to a host of foot problems, gait abnormalities, and musculoskeletal pathologies. The long-held conventional podiatric view is that the feet are inherently misshaped, and that they need to be corrected with orthotics or surgery. When these methods fail, pain is to be managed by anti-inflammatory drugs.

Dr. Ray McClanahan is a podiatric physician who challenges this viewpoint. He has discovered, through extensive literature research and years of clinical experience, that the best way to treat most foot problems is by allowing the foot to function exactly as nature intended. Dr. Ray's approach involves teaching his patients about foot anatomy and how it affects both gait and musculoskeletal health. He demonstrates how most shoes on the market damage the foot shape. He then shows how returning the feet to their natural shape eliminates existing foot problems and prevents new ones from arising.

This is done using a Correct Toes spacer, a toe-spacing appliance that re-approximates, or spreads, the toes to their natural and correct position. This toe realignment improves proprioception, which allows the brain to better promote balance and optimal muscle function. Finally, Dr. Ray educates his patients on choosing shoes that provide a flat surface, or base of support, and sufficient room in the toe box for the toes to spread. Clinical experience has shown repeatedly that returning the foot to its natural state treats most foot problems, and by extension, many lower extremity musculoskeletal problems.

Examples of Positive Outcomes Using Correct Toes:

Below are a couple of pages with additional information about Correct Toes.

  • Benefits of using Correct Toes vs other toe spacers
  • Correct Toes Users Guide
  • Research supporting minimalist footwear
  • Please contact me if you have any questions or if you would like a consultation to review if Correct Toes are right for you.