What Are Orthotics?
Orthotics (also knows as orthotic insoles, shoe inserts, or orthoses) are devices placed inside the shoe with the purpose of restoring our natural foot function. This is necessary when the natural biochemical balance of our lower body has been disrupted by over-pronations.
Many common complaints such as heel pain, knee pain and lower back pain are caused by poor foot biomechanics. Biomechanics is the science that studies the body's movements during walking, running, and sports. The most common form of bad foot biomechanics is over-pronation, which is the dropping of the arches and rolling inwards of the feet and ankles.
Orthotic insoles correct over-pronation and realign the foot and ankle bones to the neutral position, restoring natural foot function. In turn, this will help alleviate problems not only in the feet, but also in other parts of the body, such as the knees, hips, and lower back.
The fact that so many of us suffer from over-pronation due to fallen arches can be contributed to the hard, flat surfaces we walk on daily. other factors that play a role include age, weak ankles, and excess body weight. As a result, over-pronation is much more prevalent in people in their fifties and older, and also in overweight persons.
Over-pronation doesn't pose a serious problem in many cases, especially for younger people. However, abnormal foot function caused by over-pronation can lead to serious foot problems like heel pain, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia-even knee pain and lower back pain in some instances.
Orthotics correct the problem of over-pronation, and can help reduce or eliminate many common aches and pains. Orthotics are an effective and inexpensive solution to the over-pronation problem. Buying a pair of orthotics can be a worthwhile investments in your health, since they can prevent many serious lower body problems.
How do orthotics work? Orthotics do a lot more than support the arches. Orthotics realign the feet and ankles, and restore deficient foor function. In addition, orthotics enable a more even weight distribution, taking pressure of sore spots (e.g. the heels, the ball of the foot, corns between toes, and bunions). They also provide some degree of shock absorption, but this is not the main purpose. The main purpose of an orthotic insole is to improve foor function, in many cases reducing pain and preventing serious problems and injuries in the the future. Plaster casting is the gold standard for fabricating custom orthotics. With this method, a plaster cast is created to capture the shape of your feet. Wet plaster strips are applied to your feet, which are held in the neutral position-the most anatomically correct alignment of the feet.