Treat the Cause Not the Symptoms

certified-pedorthist-jack-jensenWhen your car develops a problem, a light may indicate the malfunction. Unfortunately, the human body’s warning signal — pain — may come long after damage is done.

“That is the way it is with your feet,” says Jack Jensen, owner of Jensen Shoes in Nashville, TN.

“The average person does not do something until it is really bad. If only I could get people to be proactive and learn to take care of their feet,” laments Jensen, a board-certified pedorthist who has been in the shoe business for nearly five decades. He launched Jensen Shoes in 1965.
“We dramatically change people’s lives.”

The highly qualified professionals at Jensen Shoes are trained to handle challenging foot disorders, from plantar fasciitis to heel spurs to bunions to hammertoes. Accident victims and sufferers of arthritic feet have found relief in Jensen shoes and orthotics, and diabetics turn to Jensen’s even with maladies as serious as open ulcers.

As a pedorthist, Mr. Jensen is an expert at fitting shoes and orthotics, which are custom-molded shoe inserts designed to prevent or correct a problem.

In the case of Jensen’s orthotics, they are designed to hold the foot in what Jensen calls “the neutral position,” neither pronated nor supinated. “The magic thing about our orthotics is that they have enough medial and lateral control to hold the foot in the neutral position.”

That is what most orthotics do not do. If the foot is not neutral, nothing good ever happens,” he says. A pronated foot rolls inward when walking or running and does not properly pass the weight over the foot, creating a bio mechanical problem that stresses the foot and lower leg. The knee and hip are affected as well because of the inward rotation of the leg. A supinated foot has a curved, highly arched profile. Both can be a problem.

“Medicine treats the symptoms rather than the cause. And the cause is that the feet don’t have the kind of support and control that they should have,” he says. “Most orthotics are made, and then the patient is told to go find a shoe. Well, that’s an impossibility. The only thing that makes sense is to start with the correct shoe first, make the orthotic to go with it, and then you have a workable combination.”

In fact, Jensen says ill-fitted orthotics can actually damage the foot. For example, a hard orthotic can weaken the foot, because the orthotic is so rigid the the muscles do not work. “After time, the muscles atrophy because they are not needed,” Jensen explains.