Your feet are the foundation for the rest of your body. They do support your entire body weight so taking care of them and making sure they are properly supported is incredibly important to you moving pain-free.
With this in mind, there are a number of reasons why orthotics can be a good idea. The simplest definition of an orthotic is that they provide added support to the foot. They help the foot return to a more normal movement pattern with the ultimate goal of recruiting the right balance of muscles to work in conjunction with each other.
In order to find the right orthotic for you it’s important to understand some key facts. The biomechanics of the foot are complex, before you begin using an orthotic, your proper gait and biomechanical analysis should be done.
Ongoing Foot Pain
First and foremost, it’s important to have a thorough assessment to rule out certain issues. When serious issues have been ruled out, orthotics can be beneficial by removing pressure and stress from painful areas.
You Stand For Long Periods At Your Job
If you are spending long periods of time on your feet, you will need extra support because your muscles will fatigue. It’s important to move around and give your feet a break, however in this situation orthotics can be helpful.
If you suffer from diabetes, you have an increased risk of corns and calluses , especially if your foot alignment altered. These corns and calluses and impact your skin integrity, and if left untreated can result in diabetic wounds. Orthotics can be helpful in reducing these key pressure areas of the foot.
Ongoing Foot PainYou Have A Fallen Arch
While orthotics don’t correct a fallen arch, they can reposition structures in the foot to improve biomechanical function and reduce chance of injury.
There a few different conditions that contribute to, and are aggravated by a fallen arch.
Plantar Fasciitis: The plantar fascia connects the heel bone to the toes as well as supports the arch of your foot. If it becomes strained, weak, swollen, or irritated, you get heel pain when you stand or walk.
Hallux Valgus: This situation is commonly referred to as a bunion. It is a a deformity at the base of the big toe in which it deviates or points towards the lesser toes. This causes muscle imbalances within the toe joints. As well the big toe provides significant stability for the foot, so if it’s drifting it can contribute to a fallen arch and less foot stability.
Arthritis: Osteoarthritis occurs from “wear and tear”. It affects the smooth, gliding surface (cartilage) of the joints. As it becomes worn, it can contribute to inflammation and pain. As well the joints can often move more which results in bigger challenges for you to maintain your arch.
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