An orthotic is a supportive device which is placed inside footwear, in order to change the mechanical function of the foot, and is customized to each individual. It works dynamically during weight-bearing activities like walking, running and standing. Ideally, it should provide full, custom and corrected arch contact so that the foot works in a biomechanically proper way to correct for faulty foot mechanics.
The foot is designed to unlock, or pronate, when it hits the ground for shock absorption and to conform to variable terrain. It then must re-lock, or supinate, for efficient leverage as it propels the body forward into the next step. When either of these phases are excessive or not in sync, the foot has faulty mechanical function. A majority of people over-pronate, which means our arches flatten out too much and do not re-stiffen enough for efficient propulsion. A small percentage of people over-supinate, with high, rigid arches, which creates poor shock absorption and pressure in a few locations.
Pain and deformities may arise in the feet such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, corns and hammertoes. The function of the foot affects the entire chain of bones leading to the spine. Pain and dysfunction in the knee, hip and low back often result as well. There are over thirty common issues related to poor foot function.
Yes! If the problem is caught early enough, pain and deformity can often be prevented. Regular use of orthotics can also often reverse the development of deformities, and may even prevent surgery. How can this be? When we restore normal function to our feet, we give our bodies what they need to heal themselves.
This depends on how advanced your particular condition is. For most people, significant relief is experienced within a few weeks of regular use of their custom orthotics.
At A Journey To Wellness, we would be happy to discuss orthotics with you further. Feel free to phone our office at 630-655-9840 to schedule an appointment.