Foot Orthotics

By: Caringbah Podiatry & Biomechanics  07-Aug-2012
Keywords: Heel Pain, Shin Splints, Foot Orthotics

Orthoses / Orthotic Devices

Orthoses /Orthotics are devices which are fitted into footwear.  The aim is to improve the mechanics of the foot, control the abnormal or excessive motion, improve shock absorption, propulsion and proproception.  Generally it is accepted that a person who is excessively pronated or supinated and is suffering with foot of lower leg injury will benefit from orthotic therapy.  Treatment becomes more difficult when people are excessively pronated or supinated and who are not in any pain or discomfort.  We use discretion and only treat with orthotics those who are in pain and those that fall outside what is considered normal.  Orthotics are not corrective but accomodative.

Every orthotic will sit slightly different in most sports footwear.  If your clients change shoes it is worth a podiatrist checking their position ensuring they are not over corrected.

The foot can sit happily and function within normal limits being under corrected, however we do not want over correction as this leads to more problems.  Blocking all the pronation leads to the same conditions common in over supination.

The down side of orthotic therapy is that it can lead to muscle weakness.  Provided orthotics are used properly which includes using them when they are most needed, and generally not 24/7 (unless they have very bad mechanics) then orthotics are very successful in treating injury.

Advice for orthotic wearers

  • wear in gradually
  • do not wear 24/7, only when needed (running or exercising)
  • go barefoot on natural terrain where ever possible
  • stretch regularly
  • strengthen feet and lower legs

Keywords: Biomechanics, Foot Orthotics, Heel Pain, Shin Splints

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