Foot Levelers, a provider of hand-crafted custom orthotics serving multi-disciplinary professionals and clinicians, announces a $500,000 endowment to create the Foot Levelers Chair in Biomechanics and Human Performance at Northwestern Health Sciences University, Bloomington, Minn.

The new chair supports research and education to advance a deeper understanding of biomechanics, the science of movement of a living body, including how muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments work together to produce movement and will provide the opportunity to find more efficient, effective care that leads to improved patient outcomes and better quality of life, especially pertaining to spine care, throughout the world.

According to Kent S. Greenawalt, chairman and CEO of Foot Levelers, “Research is the backbone of high quality spine care, human performance and biomechanics and we are extremely gratified to play a role in supporting health care teams worldwide,” says Greenawalt, noting that some 16 million adults — 8 percent of all adults — experience persistent or chronic back pain, and as a result are limited in certain everyday activities. “We’re honored, excited and immensely proud of these efforts to enhance well-coordinated patient care among different providers and institutions that brings together care for the whole person. Our level of commitment to research resonates with providers, patients and payers.”

Concurrent to this endowment, Foot Levelers has also created an annual $25,000 matching gift to NWHSU which will be used to further clinical research on functional orthotics products and their effect on the biomechanics of the whole body, especially the spine.

Jamie Greenawalt, senior vice president, Foot Levelers, adds, “This level of support provides benefits that extend to payers and self-insured employers who are seeking pain management solutions that avoid the use of opioids or incur expensive hospitalizations, surgeries or interventions that drive up the cost of care. Studies document that Foot Levelers orthotics are proven to reduce lower back pain by 34.5%, an impressive result that translates into better care for patients, lower costs for healthcare systems and better outcomes for providers in the spine care continuum.”

According to the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, back pain is the sixth most costly condition in the United States, with health care costs and indirect costs due to back pain reaching over $12 billion per year and back problems representing a patient’s’ most frequent complaint to doctors. Many of the indirect costs of this chronic condition are related to missed days of work and disability payments, with some 83 million days of work lost per year due to back pain. Back pain may also affect other activities, including athletic performance and exercise.

[Sources): Foot Levelers, Business Wire]