You may not know it yet, but walking is an activity that puts up to 1.5 times your weight on the foot, and running has been seen to put 3 times your weight through every inch of one foot. Therefore, it’s clear that the foot is very complex structure and that in order to function optimally, it needs proper balancing.
Unfortunately, there are many people who do not realize the importance of proper posture, balance and most importantly, shoes that are right for their feet. According to research, it is found that an improper shoe that fails in balancing the body can leads to severe issues like localized foot pain, bunions, hammer toes, arch/heel pain, leg or knee pain and even hip and back pain.
This pretty much sums up the fact that custom orthotics are not just a trend – they are a reality. Investing in them is therefore a decision you are making for your health and one that affects your entire body – and not your feet alone.
This is where the need for custom orthotics comes up, as the one and only way to protect your feet and therefore influence proper balance and posture throughout your body. But what are actually orthotics?
Orthotics As The Devices That Go Beyond Correcting Foot And Ankle Problems
Also known as orthoses, orthotics are devices that are worn to correct foot and ankle problems without the need for surgery. They combine a few different parts of shoe inserts, also called inlays, insoles, foot beds and arch supports – resulting in a device that is used to treat disorders of all kinds.
Technically, orthotics are prescribed to:
- reduce pain
- provide support
- prevent or slow down food deformities
- provide better positioning of the foot
- improve the function of the body
Therefore, functional orthotics allows the muscles, tendons and bones of our feet to function at the highest potential and decrease the pain in not only the foot, but every other part of the body. From the knee to the hip and even the lower back, orthotics are known to eliminate the need for one’s muscles to compensate for imbalances. They are also known to reduce fatigue and promote efficient muscle function whilst enhancing performance.
The use of this type of orthotics is definitely a new dimension in healthcare. It prevents injuries while providing the perfect balance of not only the legs but the hip and back as well. Still, there is a lot of confusion regarding orthotics and what they are, what they can and cannot do.
In the next part, we are talking about it.
What Can And Can’t Orthotics Do
Generally, the term orthotics comes from the Greek word that means straight, upright and correct. The biodynamic device can therefore accomplish these two things:
- ensure that the foot moves correctly while you are walking or running, and while the foot contact with the ground is as close to effortless as possible, without putting your feet, legs or body at strain
- support the foot and align it with the rest of the body, balancing it in midstride as well as when it is on the ground
As you would probably guess, our feet go through a complex series of movements to help and propel us forward. In that series, our feet are the main subjects that help our body absorb shock every time it hits the ground. when running, every time we strike the ground our lower extremities experience a force.
The motion that absorbs that shock helps prevent injuries in our legs and body. However, the force to the ankle, knee, hip and back can be additionally reduced with proper devices – known as orthotics. Compared to improper shoes, orthotics are the perfect way to control the motion of the foot and are designed of materials that are supportive and limit the amount of inward roll when walking or running.
How Do You Know If You Need Orthotics?
More than 80 percent of people worldwide are concerned with potential issues coming from their feet, known as biomechanical imperfections. However, not all of them require orthotic control. If you are an athlete, runner or walk too much, it is crucial that you invest in orthotics in order to prevent knee pain, arch pain, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, hip and lower back pain. All of these disorders are serious and affect your health and overall performance.
As a licensed and certified orthotics provider in Toronto, Body Works Physiotherapy would love to show you the benefits of orthotics and discuss your issues in general. For more information, contact us today and book your appointment!