The function of Orthotics
Orthotics are a medical device which is often utilized by health professional like podiatrist in supporting and realignment a person’s body postures. There are two main types of orthotics; over the counter generic orthotics or customized orthotics. Depending on the conditions, the purpose of having orthotics can be different. This post will explain how orthotics inserts/insoles can help with the conditions of flat or high arch foot, heel pain and bunions.
Orthotics for flat foot and high arch foot
For kids: If your child’s arch development is atypical for their age, such as flat foot or collapsed arches, or your child has other neurological or development conditions affecting the lower limbs and foot, it is important that your child’s foot alignment issues are treated early in their development. This would help to encourage normal development while preventing further deformity via reducing abnormal forces on the foot, ankle, knees, hips, pelvis and spine over the years of development.
For adults: If you have an established excessive pronation (flat foot) or overly supinated foot (high arched); depending on the conditions; you might be experiencing different pains and aches, ie: Plantar fascitis (plantar fasciosis), heel pain syndrome; Morton’s Neuroma; Achilles tendinopathies; bunion deformity as so on.
Orthotics for heel pain syndrome/plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most commonly encountered foot condition in a podiatrist practice. The prevalence of the condition was 2/10. That’s about 4-5 millions of the Australian’s population suffering from the condition daily. Pain is often presented first step in the morning and upon prolonged resting. Pain is often found upon palpation on the medial of the heel portion. Plantar Fasciitis is often presented secondary to tightness in the plantar fascia structure as well as the calves muscles on your legs. Pain is presented due to over used injury and degenerative state of the fascia structure. Hence, proper use of supportive orthotics and shoes are a vital step of the treatment to reduce the stress loading to the fascia.
Orthotics for bunions
Bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe. Bunions are not hereditary- but, inherited bad mechanics are an underlying cause. Bad choice of footwear such as high heel and pointy shoes could be the cause too. Pain maybe felt in the big toe joint, together with a lump that enlarges with age. Left untreated the big toe will increasingly deviate until it overlaps or underlaps the 2nd toe. Pain, discomfort and difficulty wearing shoes may be experienced due to deformity. Arthritis and stiffness in the joint can also develop. Before it is too late, this can be treated with correctly fitted orthotics to realign and control the foot. Orthotics when molded to your foot limit the effects of pronation and prevent further development of the bunion. Having said that, orthotics can slow down the bunion deformity, it is not possible to cure the bunion, it has to be done through surgery.
Best shoe to accommodate orthotics
Finding the right shoes are difficulty when it comes to using an orthotics daily. The shoes are needed to be wide enough; deep enough; and stable enough to accommodate for the orthotics. Very often the shoes were way too flexible and unstable for the orthotics. Let me ask you; would you ever built your house on a slumpy or a muddy grounds? No ! right? . You would find a good flat ground with solid and stable foundation prior to the construction. Similarly,; you would need to have a good supportive shoe to accommodate the orthotics. Most running shoes are the best shoes to put in orthotics.
Having said that, there are way too many types of orthotics are available in the market, how then can we as a consumer, know which one suits us more in treating painful aching foot?
The best place to get orthotics is from a Qualified Podiatrist
why the necessity?
- Podiatrists are trained to prescribed medically graded orthotics for your needs
- Proper assessment of your foot and body alignment and function as a whole.
- Helps you to understand the cause of the foot problems.
- Podiatrists can also provide treatment plans accordingly to further assist with your foot condition
- Podiatrists can also modify the orthotics to suit your shoes and your foot
After doing some mystery shopping at different chemist shops, most of the over the counter orthotics sold were not the ideal orthotics for you as they simply doesn’t provide sufficient control and support.
Henceforth, save up your money. Rather than spending on an orthotics over the counter randomly; it would be best to see a podiatrist who can advised and help you with your discomfort.
In doing this; it will help you not only to save money but also to get back on your foot in a much shorter period.
Hope the information helps you to understand a little about the functions of orthotics. Over the counter orthotics are cost-efficient, but in some cases custom-made orthotics can be more helpful.