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Barefoot Science and the treatment of Corns and Calluses

The development of thick, hard layers of skin on the toes or bottom of the feet are known as corns and calluses. They develop when the skin tries to protect itself against friction and pressure. While they can both cause pain and discomfort, they are not the same thing. Calluses, which are not usually painful, develop on the soles of the feet, in particular under the heels, and vary in size and shape. Corns are typically smaller than calluses and have a hard centre, surrounded by inflamed skin. They typically develop on the tops, sides and even between the toes and can be painful when pressed.

Corns and calluses grow from pressure and friction which can be result of things such as: wearing ill-fitting shoes; wearing shoes without socks (which cause friction on the feet; and in relation to other foot conditions such as bunions and hammertoe. Corns and calluses can become painful and inflamed leading to infection. People who suffer from diabetes or other conditions related to poor blood flow can suffer from complications from corns and calluses.

Treatment for corns and calluses usually involves avoiding the repetitive actions that caused them to develop in the first place. Other treatments include: wearing properly fitting and cushioned shoes and socks; soaking and scrubbing the excess skin with a pumice stone; moisturizing the skin to keep it soft; trimming away excess skin (which should always be done by a doctor); topical callus-removing medications or antibiotic ointments; and in extreme cases surgery.

Barefoot Science insoles are helpful aids for the prevention and treatment of corns and calluses. Unlike traditional orthotics that can be restrictive in their attempt to stabilize the feet, the Barefoot Science insoles provide stimulation to the otherwise isolated area of the foot to keep it strong. This minimalizes collapse and friction which can lead to the development of corns and calluses.

Barefoot Science Helping Tend to Tendonitis

Tendonitis is the condition resulting from the irritation or inflammation of the tendons (the thick cords that join the muscles to the bones). This condition causes pain and tenderness that makes it difficult to move the affected joint.

In relation to the foot, it is the Achilles tendon that can develop tendonitis thus causing pain along the back of the leg near the heel (particularly when taking the first steps of the day or after long periods of rest).

Common causes of tendonitis are excessive exercise or walking. It is quite common in runners, particularly if they’ve increased the intensity or duration of their runs. Other contributing factors include exercising without properly warming up; playing sports that require quick stops and changes of direction like tennis; wearing old or ill-fitting foot ware, and wearing heels for prolonged periods of time Rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes are also linked to tendonitis.

The most common symptoms of tendonitis are: discomfort or swelling in the back of the heel (particularly when walking or running); tight calf muscles; limited range of motion when flexing the foot; and the skin on the heel feels overly warm to the touch. Treatments for tendonitis can range from rest and ibuprofen, to steroid injections and surgery (depending on the severity).

Preventative measures can be taken such as: proper stretching of the calf muscles (both before and after a workout) to improve agility, easing into a new exercise routine with a gradual intensification of physical activity; reducing the heel size of a shoes gradually when transition from heels to flats and by cushioning the foot and providing arch support through the use of the Barefoot Science system.

The Barefoot Science system can assist as both a preventative and treatment measure. Barefoot Science promotes a balance of strength and flexibility in the foot and legs muscles that relieves tension on the Achilles tendon, protecting it and the calf muscles from injury.

The Sole of the Matter
Dr. Peter Gorman, DC and Dr. Anne Shadle, PhD

Does anybody else find it amazing that athletic testing is usually performed EYES open only. This might sound normal, but let’s think about it for a moment. Muscle testing, Gait, ROM, Jumps, Reaction, Accelerations, TRUE Agility, etc. are all done with eyes open. However, when you play- Your eyes are on the game not on the ground. You read the ground through your proprioceptive ability (feet reading the ground- knowing where your body is in space). If your proprioception is weak, then you do not read the ground as effectively as you should.

A simple test to understand this is stand on one leg with your eyes open. Typically, an athlete can do this easily for 15 seconds without shaking. Now perform the same test with your EYES CLOSED. This may show a dramatic effect on your ability to stand, causing a shake or sway to the athlete. Everyone balances from their eyes, vestibular and proprioceptive ability. The vestibular is constant in this example. By closing the athlete’s eyes, more demand is placed on proprioceptive ability. If the proprioception cannot meet this added demand, a loss in stability will result. Decreased proprioception will increase ground contact time thus SLOWING all performance.

All movement is touch and go. Forward, backward, side to side, it is all basically touch and go. As your foot touches the ground all eccentric movement happens. Eventually when fully loaded you will stabilize and then all concentric movement happens. This is the preverbal, “load and explode!” It is the stabilization period that is most affected by proprioception.

Instead of touch and go, the athlete might touch, shake and then go due to lack of proprioceptive ability. The increased time need for stabilization increases ground contact time. This is the hidden SOLE (Sensation of Lower Extremity) of an athlete’s movement pattern. The good news is, no matter what the proprioceptive ability of the athlete is, it can be trained and improved. In many cases, the test, (eyes closed) also becomes the training. Repeating this test for 3 min in the morning and 3 minutes in the evening improves proprioceptive ability tremendously, in a very short time.

We have learned that barefoot walking in sand improves proprioception due to mid arch stimulation. However not everyone has the opportunity to walk in the sand barefoot 24/7. Luckily, there are products that claim to help this fact. Barefoot Science out of Toronto Canada, is one such product that should be looked into. For more information go to barefoot-science.com/4yourgait The Barefoot Science has patents registered in 27 countries based on its insoles bringing progressive proprioceptive/neuromuscular stimulation into the shoe. Here a non-orthotic, mid arch stimulation system, is showing profound results by the users.

What is the sense of having a “perfect movement screen” if the SOLE of the matter is causing you to be slow? Do that same forward lunge with your eyes closed. See how well you perform this test. Does the athlete still step and move gracefully, or is there now added sway and contact time to the movement. All athletes must realize that not everything controlling movement is physical. To understand the role that brain has in movement, will be addressed in a different article. For this example, it is about time that all of us understand that there is a SOLE to our physical ability. Let’s do a simple test. Have the athlete perform a multi joint overhead squat, and record the results. Now have the athlete sit on one foot until it “falls asleep”. It sounds crazy, but now perform the same overhead squat. As expected, the test is not performed as well. This lack of performance is obviously not caused by any joint change in the athlete but is caused by the athletes diminished proprioceptive ability. This example was extreme but it does show the point, that lack of proprioception will negatively affect movement. The examiner has to be very careful in making movement decisions and recommendations. Many times, the joint (knee, ankle, hip) are blamed. When actually they are healthy, and are made unstable through proprioceptive difficulty.

Many times, the proprioceptive deficit is minor, and a closer look is needed. The sway of the athlete can be measured on a force plate, or out in the field using a GYKO system http://www.gyko.it made by Microgate. The point is to measure the athlete precisely with eyes open and closed. Remember all athletes have the Capacity to compensate. Visual dominance can mask a proprioceptive deficit, and must be evaluated for *** Please note there are times when the athlete performs better with eyes closed than they do eyes open. This is a special situation that requires follow up and understanding. Note, when the visual field gets disturbed, say from head trauma, this scenario could exist and must be evaluated for. Your visual field is your body’s RADAR and when it gives false information, it will adversely affect the body’s movement and coordination patterns.

A very nice test to perform on our athletes, is looking at balance while on a slant board. The different positions of the foot, dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, supination, and pronation can be studied. Using the board have the athlete balance in each position and record the results for each leg. If using a GYKO for precise understanding perform each test for 10 seconds in each position. Then repeat the procedure having the athlete close their eyes. Not only will the examiner get an understanding on proprioception, but will also get to understand which moment of the foot strike is strong or weak for the athlete. Remember the Kinematic chain starts here at the foot strike. Once this is understood corrections can easily be made.

Want to perform Optimally??? Make sure you get to the SOLE of the matter.

In the next article, we will explore the development of and look at better understanding CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).

Facing Flat Foot with Barefoot Science

An individual is said to have flat feet or fallen arches, when the arch on the inside of the foot is flattened, allowing the sole of the foot to touch the ground entirely when standing. As a result of this people with fallen arches may see the foot roll over the inner side when standing or walking and see the feet point outwards.

Flat foot is typically the result of the arches not developing during childhood however it can also occur after an injury, after a pregnancy or from the simply from aging (years of wear and tear can weaken the tendon that runs along the inside of the ankle that helps support the arch). Other factors that can contribute to flat foot are obesity, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.

People with fallen arches may experience pain in their feet, particularly when connecting ligaments and muscles are strained. Flat foot can also affect leg joints most commonly resulting in pain in the ankles and knees and altering the alignment of the legs. Other symptoms of this foot ailment include: pain in the foot or the arch of the foot; swelling in the ankles, hip and lower back pain; stiffness in one or both feet; and shoes wearing unevenly (due to the uneven distribution of body weight which can wear the shoes more on one side than the other).

Treatments for fallen arches include exercises to stretch the Achilles tendon (which is often shortened with some people who have flat feet); physical therapy and arch supports (which provide only temporary support). The Barefoot Science System offers clinically proven aid with the pain and symptoms associated with flat feet.

The Barefoot Science insoles are designed to help align the feet to their proper positioning thus providing them with the right support to function normally, and strengthen the arch. The patented dome helps with the stabilization of the entire foot which in turn rehabilitates and strengthens weakened foot muscles. It naturally stimulates and strengthens the foot, optimizing performance and comfort.

Addressing Lower Back and Knee Pain

Pain in the lower back and knees can stem from a number of different things. Knee pain can be related to injuries (such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage) and fractures; types of arthritis and other risk factors such as excess weight, lack of muscle flexibility or strength, and physical activities or sports that put a lot stress on the knees (like alpine skiing). Symptoms typically associated with knee pain are: swelling and stiffness; redness and warmth to the touch; weakness or instability; popping or crunching noises; and the inability to fully straighten the knee.

Back pain too can result from a number of different factors such as: muscle or ligament strains; bulging or ruptured disks, arthritis, skeletal irregularities; nerve-related pain caused by irritated or pinched nerves; and osteoporosis. Common symptoms of back pain include lower back muscles cramping; muscle spasms with associated discomfort in the gluteal region; and pain in the lumbar spine.

Both knee and back pain can be debilitating making daily activities like walking sometimes intolerable and can lead to poor posture which further exacerbates the problems. Treatments for both knew and back pain can range from stretching, to medication and injections to surgery in some cases.

A clinically proven, non-medicinal and non-surgical treatment for both knee and back pain is the Barefoot Science Strengthening System. Unlike traditional orthotics that offer only a short-terms solution, Barefoot science addresses the underlying issue of strength in the feet. By reducing strain in the lower back and strengthening the muscles of the feet and lower leg, Barefoot Science, efficiently manages impact force and stabilizes the lower back. Barefoot Science Insoles strengthen the foot muscles, exercise the feet, help support the arch, alignment, and even posture, with a patented domed arch.

Stronger feet are better able to manage forces that would quickly fatigue the knees, hips and back.

Barefoot Science and Metatarsalgia

Pain and inflammation at the ball of the foot (known as the metatarsal) is referred to as metatarsalgia. This type of foot condition is most prevalent in people who participate in sports or activities that involve running or jumping. Ill-fitting shoes can also be a cause of metatarsalgia.

Symptoms typically associated with metatarsalgia are: sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of the foot (the part of the sole just behind the toes); pain that worsens when standing, ,walking, running or flexing the feet; sharp or shooting pain, numbness or tingling in the toes; and the feeling of having a pebble in your shoe. These symptoms can be brought on by a number of different factors such as: intense training or activity related to a high impact sport (runners are extremely vulnerable to this condition); having a high arch (which puts extra pressure on the metatarsals); foot deformities such as hammertoe and bunions; excess body weight which puts increased pressure on the metatarsals and poorly fitted shoes (such as heels or shoes with narrow toes, or shoes that aren’t well padded); and suffering from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

Remedies to aid the pain of metatarsalgia include: resting and elevating the feet after prolonged periods of standing or walking; icing the affected area; taking anti-inflammatory medication; and the use of arch supports or metatarsal pads.

Barefoot Science can remedy this problem through the use of the Barefoot Science insoles. Our insoles feature a dome contour that help to open up the affected area through gentle pressure thus reducing pain. The Barefoot Science System encourages the foot to work, increasing circulation and making the muscles stronger. The insoles also help with shock absorption and arch support helping to minimize problems with metatarsalgia.

Barefoot Science: Healing Heel Spurs

A calcium deposit causing a protrusion on the underside of the heel bone is known as a heel spur. Heel spurs are typically linked to plantar fasciitis (when the ligament connecting the heel bone to the toes is strained, weakened, swollen or irritated). Heel spurs are the result of strains on foot muscles and ligaments, stretching of the plantar fascia and repeated tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone. This is a common affliction of athletes who practice sports involving great amounts of running and jumping.

Heel spurs themselves do are not cause pain but rather the soft tissue injuries associated with them. People suffering with heel spurs will often feel as if a pin is sticking into the bottom of their feet when the first stand up in the morning. The pain will typically subside over time but can return after standing or sitting for prolonged periods.

This condition can result from a number of different factors. Causes of heel spurs can include: walking gait (an abnormality that places excessive stress on the heel bone, ligaments and nerves near the heel); running on hard surfaces; ill-fitting shoes (in particular those lacking proper arch support); and carrying excess weight.

Treatments for heel spurs can include stretching exercises and physical therapy; anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections and even surgery.

Heel spurs can easily be prevented and treated through the use of the Barefoot Science Strengthening System. The Barefoot Science insoles help to ease the tension and strain placed on the plantar fascia which heal the damaged tissues and prevent a recurrence of the problem. The insoles allow the arch to stabilize naturally, keeping the heel spur parallel to the ground, and less likely to protrude into surrounding tissue.

Barefoot Science and Metatarsalgia

Pain and inflammation at the ball of the foot (known as the metatarsal) is referred to as metatarsalgia. This type of foot condition is most prevalent in people who participate in sports or activities that involve running or jumping. Ill-fitting shoes can also be a cause of metatarsalgia.

Symptoms typically associated with metatarsalgia are: sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of the foot (the part of the sole just behind the toes); pain that worsens when standing, ,walking, running or flexing the feet; sharp or shooting pain, numbness or tingling in the toes; and the feeling of having a pebble in your shoe. These symptoms can be brought on by a number of different factors such as: intense training or activity related to a high impact sport (runners are extremely vulnerable to this condition); having a high arch (which puts extra pressure on the metatarsals); foot deformities such as hammertoe and bunions; excess body weight which puts increased pressure on the metatarsals and poorly fitted shoes (such as heels or shoes with narrow toes, or shoes that aren’t well padded); and suffering from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

Remedies to aid the pain of metatarsalgia include: resting and elevating the feet after prolonged periods of standing or walking; icing the affected area; taking anti-inflammatory medication; and the use of arch supports or metatarsal pads.

Barefoot Science can remedy this problem through the use of the Barefoot Science insoles. Our insoles feature a dome contour that help to open up the affected area through gentle pressure thus reducing pain. The Barefoot Science System encourages the foot to work, increasing circulation and making the muscles stronger. The insoles also help with shock absorption and arch support helping to minimize problems with metatarsalgia

Barefoot Science Helping out Hammer Toes

For those who may be unfamiliar with this condition, hammer toe is a deformity causing the toe to bend downward instead of pointing forward. While any of the toes can be affected, it’s primarily seen on the second or third toe. While this deformity can be present in some individuals from birth, it is a condition that typically develops over time.
There are two joints in the toe, middle and bottom that allow for it to bend. It is when the middle joint becomes dislocated or misaligned that hammer toe occurs. There are many factors that can contribute to this joint dislocation including:
Trauma caused by injury
-Arthritis
-Unusually high arch in the foot
-Ill-fitting shoes
-Atrophy in the 40 intrinsic foot muscles
-Tightened ligaments from the hip or tendons in the foot —
-Pressure from a bunion;
-Spinal cord or peripheral nerve damage.
All of these factors lead to the fact that the foot is no longer healthy and capable of being self-supportive.
Symptoms of hammer toe can include a curling toe; pain or discomfort in the toes and ball of the foot or on the front of the leg, as well as a thickening of the skin on the affected toe along as well as corns or calluses. Treating the symptoms of hammertoe can consist of warm foot soaks, toe stretches, splinting of the toe, and in extreme cases, surgery to straighten out the toe (which could lead to complications including pain and numbness).
Barefoot Science offers a treatment option for these foot conditions with the use of Barefoot Science insoles to promote balance and the use of foot, lower & upper leg muscles for increased muscle strength, symmetry and flexibility. These features help to maintain long-term foot health as wearing our insoles helps shift the toe’s position, relieving pain and correcting its appearance.
Use of the Barefoot Science Strengthening System is a great preventive measure, not only for hammertoe but other foot and leg afflictions.

Barefoot Science Found Helpful For Bunions

Hallux valgus, otherwise known as bunions, is a deformity of the joint connecting the big toe to the foot.

What is the cause of a Bunion?

Bunions occur after the 40 intrinsic foot muscles, that are responsible for forming the arch, become weak or atrophied as a result of being cushioned, supported or braced with an orthotic from birth. Without a functional arch, the flattened foot and bone structure has nowhere to go but out, creating a bunion. When we take a step the front of the foot naturally stays or gets wider to assist in the gripping and launch process. When you are wearing tight shoes this splaying or gripping action causes the big toe to tap against the side of the shoe which causes the body to lay a protective layer of bone which is why the Bunion grows over time. “When the arch becomes dysfunctional pressure is applied to the side of the hallux (big toe), forcing it inwards, towards and sometimes under or over the other toes.” Continual application of pressure causes the tissues surrounding the joint to swell and become tender. Unless surgically corrected, bunions are permanent. Barefoot Science will stop the growth of bunions and reverse the symptom to a degree. If you do not address the weak foot muscles and form a functional arch after surgery the bunion will reform.

Hallux valgus can have a number of negative effects which include irritated skin around the bunion; pain when walking; joint redness and pain; possible shifting of the big toe towards the other toes; and the formation of blisters around the bunion site.

Problems can range in difficulty from finding proper fitting shoes (people with bunions might often buy larger sizes to accommodate the width the bunion creates), loss of balance and good posture, to severe foot pain even without the constriction of shoes. Because the joint at the base of the big toe carries most of the weight when walking, bunions can cause severe and constant pain. Those who suffer with stiff joints or arthritis can have a difficult time tolerating pain caused from bunions.

Hallux valgus can be hereditary only in people that have worn restrictive footwear from birth. It is an affliction that tends to affect women far more often than men, due to the fashion footwear that they choose to wear over a long period of time.

Treatments for the symptoms of hallux valgus can include wearing a toe spacer or bunion splint; using warm soaks, ice packs, ultrasound and massage; use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; and in extreme cases, surgery.

Barefoot Science Insoles can offer relief to people suffering with hallux valgus. Our non-orthotic strengthening system is the only patented product that proactively protects against bunions and rehabilitates excessive pronation. For people who excessively pronate, the big toe can be pushed toward the other toes as their foot pushes off when they walk or run. This leads to a great amount of degenerative stress at the joint of the big toe which contributes to the formation of bunions.

Just like walking barefoot in the sand or grass every step with Barefoot Science System targets the root cause of Bunions by stimulating , strengthening, and retraining the arch muscles that align the bones of the foot for optimal strength and stability prior to the foot’s contact with the ground. This ensures proper foot position at all times during ground contact, effectively and safely eliminating degenerative stresses. Our insoles not only control excessive pronation but provide extra padding underneath the ball of the foot as well.

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Surgical team operating on patient in theater in hospital

Surgical team operating on patient in theater in hospital

The Results are in from our Hospital Testing

A pain study recently conducted by a third party at Toronto East General Hospital (one of Toronto’s busiest hospitals) concluded that the use of the Barefoot Science Foot Strengthen System significantly reduces many types of musculoskeletal pain and fatigue in a working environment involving long periods of weight bearing activity.

This clinical study was conducted on personnel in the hospital’s emergency department (nurses, administrative and medical staff, who, spend most of their work day on their feet, and are physically active). The following findings from the study were reported:

• Significant decrease in fatigue of the foot

• Significant decrease in foot pain

• Significant decrease in overall fatigue

• Significant decrease in knee pain

• Significant decrease in lower back pain

• Significant decrease in shoulder pain

• Decreased pain and discomfort in the knee

• Decreased pain and discomfort in the lower back

• Decreased pain and discomfort in the shoulders

The significant statistics compiled from this study demonstrated clinical declines in pain for the feet (73% of participants), knees, shoulders, and lower back as well as declines for general fatigue (65% of participants). In terms of overall satisfaction with the Barefoot Science Foot Strengthening System, 87.5% of the participants reported they thought it was “great” or “good”.

As expected, muscle activation with resultant exercise and strengthening, produces a more stable foot structure. With increased muscle strength and efficiency also comes increased management of energy within the foot resulting in less muscle fatigue, less soft tissue destruction and improved musculoskeletal alignment. The reason being, that the BFS system addresses the cause of the pain, not just the symptoms, therefore providing long-term relief. The insoles stimulate, strengthen and restore optimal foot function.

This study is further proof that our system significantly reduces many types of musculoskeletal pain and fatigue; that it is proven effective rehabilitation for foot, leg, knee, back and shoulder pain.

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Brad Muir on Barefoot Science Insoles


What is Plantar Fasciitis?


Barefoot Science Therapeutic Foot Care Insoles


Experts are saying...

Barefoot Science insoles are the best I have ever come across including a $500 pair I have from a foot doctor. I think I originally saw them on an infomercial either on line or on TV. I have them in every pair of shoes and sneakers I own. They have improved my overall arch health dramatically since I began using them. They also last a long time as you can see from the time I placed my last order for 5 in 2010. Hopefully the company continues offering this great product in the future. Thanks again for your help.

William Westberg, Specialty Division Account Executive, Division of LFUSA

Customers are saying...

First and foremost, I am absolutely thrilled, and I mean thrilled, with your product. My problem foot has not felt this good in 25 years, and I am just astonished that your insoles could accomplish so easily what a zillion visits to 'experts' and a zillion dollars for custom orthotics could not. I admit to being a little skeptical when my wife first came across your product online (I am not usually persuaded by TV infomercial type of stuff) but the many online comments (mostly very positive) about the insoles and your own very prompt and comprehensive responses to my inquiries sold me initially, and the rest is history. My only fears going forward are either you change the design or you choose another line of work and your business closes!! Hopefully neither will happen and you enjoy continued success and prosperity.

Ken Honig