It is the feet that lay the basis for the remaining part of the human body. In case a person suffers from neuromas, plantar fasciitis, low arches, high arches or any other foot problem, the remaining portion of the body is likely to suffer because of this. It is, in fact, typical for mysterious low back pain, leg pain, hip pain and knee pain to initiate in the feet. Every individual wants to lead an active life. Maintaining healthy and fit lower legs, ankles, and feet is a crucial part to stay active and it is here where orthotics can help one to reach their goals. The best part is this is ideal for every age. That is an excellent option to offer the relief that one needs.
Basic Facts About Orthotics
Now the question is what is orthotics? Well in straightforward terms these are arch supports or shoe inserts which can prove beneficial to manage an array of lower leg conditions. The icing on the cake is it can be custom made for one’s feet for reducing the force on the joints and muscles of their lower limb muscle that is causing their shin pain, ankle pain or foot pain.
Why the Need for Orthotics?
It has been specially designed to aid improvement of the manner in which one runs and walks. Besides, it has been developed in a way for re-distributing the force, pressure, and load placed on their feet. It is orthotics that can work wonders in reducing the surplus load and stress placed on the muscles, ligaments, and joints of the lower limbs and the feet that ultimately relieves the pain in the foot and also cut down the danger of any further overuse injury.
Difference Between Regular Shoe Inserts and Custom Orthotics
Often people think that regular shoe inserts and custom orthotics are the same. But it is not so. The former features a design for offering shock absorption and a cushion effect. The person wearing it at the initial stages may feel comfortable, but unfortunately, this will very quickly wear off. It is not for correcting over-pronation, a condition that includes dropped arches as well as rolling both of the ankles and the feet inwards. On the other hand, custom orthotics are for correcting and optimizing foot function. The regular insoles indeed may also offer arch support yet are mostly manufactured of soft materials. Thus, the support which it provides often is quite weak for being of an advantage.
Who Offers Orthotics?
There are plenty of providers these days that offer orthotics. Apart from the podiatrists, orthopedic surgeons and the traditional orthotics, chiropractors and physical therapists also provide orthotics. As with anything, it is quality that is related directly to the training especially of those offering the service. In fact, while doing a comprehensive biomechanical exam the foot is cast in the subtalar neutral position, orthotics will prove sufficient for use. Chiropractors and therapists offer good orthotics owing to their knowledge and skills of general biomechanics. Often accommodative padded inserts are seen being passed off as a functional orthotics.
Most retail stores of the non-traditional type that offer inserts and orthotics, unfortunately, have a minimal understanding regarding how a human foot function. So, they cannot make correct assessments when it comes to a compounding foot issue which may need orthotic fabrication. Often the devices produced are insufficient to offer the exact support and though initially are comfortable but will fail to provide support for long thereby resulting in a substantial financial loss. Often customers in most cases are provided orthotics which in reality is over the counter inserts that they match as per the shoe size of the person. Some retail stores charge a considerable amount for such devices whereby real orthotics will be covered under insurance and even if not covered it will not be so pricey. So, it is essential to do some homework before investing in orthotics before making the final bet to stay on the safe side.
How Long will it Last?
Good quality custom orthotics is likely to last somewhere between 3-5 years resting on the wear and tear. However, one may have to replace the orthotics if they undergo any foot surgery, or it is still growing which may affect their foot’s shape.
4 Steps to an Interesting and Active Life
When one takes orthotics from a reliable provider, he/she will undergo these four steps that will help to keep their life exciting and active. These include,
- Biomechanical Assessment- The experts will use different techniques to assess the injury carefully and measure the manner in which their foot is functioning. Based on these evaluations, they will advise the patient about the perks of orthotics and also help create a management plan which is specific to their injury. In fact, the professional Podiatrists are highly skilled and hold expertise in this assessment and can come up with a more functional and comfortable orthotic device that suits their patient best.
- Recommendation- If the injury and biomechanical assessment that these experts carry out indicates that the concerned patient can benefit from orthotics; they will suggest the ideal form of orthotic device for addressing their injury. This recommendation will be customized uniquely for the patient’s body and their injury. The best part is they offer a wide variety of orthotics including prefabricated, semi-custom and custom made. Not to forget they will discuss with the patient about the type of orthotic devices that are accessible for their specific condition and advise them with the most appropriate one which will work wonders in their injury management. After taking the consent of the patient, the Podiatrist will take a laser scan of their foot in the 3D digital format along with the other measurements which they require for designing the orthotics. As these are custom designed it will take a couple of days to get ready.
- Fitting Session-The Podiatrist will fit the orthotics to his patient’s shoes and ensure that it fits well and also functions correctly. They will offer the patient with lots of advice and support on ways to use the orthotics and also look after it. Besides, they will get proper advice on a gradual and slow wearing in period for ensuring that along with being comfortable it does create any discomfort.
- Review-These professionals will finally check everything in detail to ensure that just everything is in order and also monitor the progress. This consultation will offer a chance for one’s Podiatrist in seeing how their body is adapting to their new orthotics and make the adjustments if the need be.
The Endless Benefits of Using Orthotics
Orthotics are in high demand these days and below are some of the reasons why,
- It is helpful for athletes especially those having recurring foot problems. Orthotics will help to cut down fatigue and foot stress while boosting up the agility. Besides, it will also help in case of high impact sports that include enough of jumping and running by acting as a shock absorber thereby reducing the stress and load on the muscles and joints.
- Orthotics that have a custom design will not only balance the feet but also offer for better shock absorption that in turn will drastically reduce the shock impact before reaching the limbs and result in joint pain.
- It can help to correct one’s alignment and posture by thoroughly supporting the arch which will help to minimise the discomfort and stress of their improper gait.
- An orthotic device is ideal for those who require spending maximum time on the feet because of their job. It will help by upholding the correct distribution of weight to prevent untoward stress mainly on the arch or the heels while standing.
- An orthotic shoe insert will also help obese people who face difficulty to stand for long.
- If you have feet that have proper support and balance means lesser susceptibility of suffering from foot or ankle injuries, hip pain, knee pain and back pain.
- The flat feet orthotics will work by shifting the arc shape gradually and thereby treat the flat feet in improving one’s gait and walk. Today, orthotics are also available that can prove beneficial for people having unusually high arches as it will help to reduce the discomfort and stress of such high arches.
- Orthotics will help to reduce all forms of foot pain, fatigue and stress resulting from ankle problems due to bunions and foot calluses. It will offer support to the arches for cutting down the arch pain and reducing fatigue and muscle stress.
- It can augment a person’s poor balance resulting from incorrect lower limb alignment. Orthotic shoe inserts that are custom designed will assist by supporting their arch as well as cradling their heel to improve the pronation gradually.
- Lastly, it can help in treating foot pain that has triggered due to health issues such as diabetes.
So, what are you waiting for? Make the most of Orthotics today.