As fitness walking catches on as a regular exercise routine, there will be walkers who develop back problems, and many will seek chiropractic care. To effectively treat their spinal conditions, most walkers will benefit from custom-made, flexible orthotics - either to decrease the biomechanical stress on the spine caused by arch collapse, foot hyperpronation, or leg length problems, or to help absorb and dissipate the shockwaves transmitted into their spines with each step.2 This is especially true in middle-aged and elderly walkers who have developed degenerative changes in the joints of the lower extremity and of the spine. The gradual aging of the soft tissues results in a progressive stiffening of the natural shock absorbers. This stiffness eventually leads to clinical symptoms, and will be accentuated by a regular walking program.
The answer, however, is not to cut back on the walking, but to address the issue at its source - by providing well-fitted, custom-made, flexible orthotics that decrease biomechanical asymmetry and excess motion, absorb much of the shock, and fit comfortably into the walker's shoes.
Orthotic manufacturers who recognize the value of walking in the treatment of spinal conditions have developed specialized lightweight inserts to address these concerns. This is the type of orthotic to consider whenever you are dealing with a patient who already has an established walking program. Such an orthotic is also appropriate when you recommend that a patient begins a walking program to help a spinal condition and improve general well-being, but the patient has an interfering condition (such as arch collapse, degenerative joint changes, or spondylolisthesis).
Info Source: Chiroweb - By Mark Charrette, DC