Orthotics are supportive devices that are placed inside footwear to change the mechanical function of the foot.   They work dynamically during weight-bearing activities like walking, running, and standing to support and correct abnormal foot arches, which is a common problem today and one responsible for a variety of ailments.

However, be aware, not all orthotics are created the same! Most orthotics are either just cushions or are created from a one-size-fits-all type model.   These non-customized orthotics may feel fine, but fail to actually change foot posture and function.  Ultimately, they will not prevent or alleviate the usual painful deformities or syndromes. Worse, they allow existing conditions related to bad foot arches to deteriorate.

The foot is designed to pronate (turn the foot so that the sole is facing downward or inward) when it hits the ground for shock absorption orthotics3and to conform to variable terrain.  It then must supinate (turn the foot so that the sole is facing upward or outward) for efficient leverage as it propels the body forward onto the next step.  When either of these phases are excessive, the foot has faulty mechanical action.  Most people over-pronate, that is our arches flatten too much (FLAT FEET) and do not re-stiffen for efficient propulsion.  About four percent of us are over-supinators with high, rigid arch structure, creating poor shock absorption and weight-bearing pressure concentrated in a few spots.

Pain and deformities can arise in the feet such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, corns, and hammertoes. Because foot function affects the entire chain of bones leading to the spine, pain and dysfunction in the knee, hip and low back often result as well.  In all there are OVER THIRTY common diagnoses related to poor foot function. Of these are included metatarsalgia, knee pain, ITB syndrome, hip problems, and spinal issues such as back and neck pain.

If the problem is caught early enough, pain, deformity, and related conditions can often be prevented. Regular use of customized orthotics can often reverse the problem or at least, help alleviate symptoms.  How?  By restoring normal FUNCTION to your foot and hence, helping restore function to the rest of the kinetic chain upwards (ankle, knees, hips, low back, etc.), you help remove or mitigate stresses to these tissues.  Additionally,  when you restore healthy foot function, other treatments or therapies to the foot and/or other affected joints, are more effective and last longer.

orthotics 2If you have symptoms as described above and feel you might be a candidate for custom orthotics, contact our office to get professional help. (661) 942-5000.