The American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society’s running definition of orthotics describes it as footwear devices worn to correct foot and ankle abnormalities without surgery. Many people imagine nothing more than a shoe insert or arch support when they hear the word orthotics, but it goes beyond that. Orthotics can also include foot pads, ankle braces, and more. There are off the shelf varieties and custom orthotics that are prescribed by a physiotherapist, should the diagnosis and symptoms call for it. It is within the latter what we will focus on today.
If you’re experiencing heel or arch pain, shin splints, knee pain, hip or back pain, exhibit bunions or hammer toes (when toes bend or curl downward instead of pointing forward) or any other issue that feels as if it originates in the foot or ankle region, you have probably heard that orthotics may be a solution. After some research, you may also have heard contradictory information – you can blame the trolls of the internet for that. Without a doubt, orthotics can provide the answer to your ailment, when a physiotherapist diagnosis dictates so. Before you take one more painful step in the wrong direction, let’s find out how orthotics can right your path.
4 Key Benefits of Custom Made Foot Orthotics
Orthotics Can Falter Foot Pain
The Canadian Federation of Pediatric Medicine states that 75 percent of Canadians will experience some form of foot health problem at one point or another in their lives. In addition, 19 percent of the country’s population has an average of 1.4 foot problems per year. Pain is a symptom of many of these problems, and given that we depend upon our feet to take us where we go, and the fact that they have a direct impact on our overall quality of life, you should not have to go another day in pain. In most patient cases, custom foot orthotics can be employed to help alleviate and correct a foot/ankle condition which will ultimately remove pain and discomfort altogether.
Orthotics Can Obliterate Other Pain
As stated in the introduction, abnormalities in the foot and ankle region can cause pain and discomfort in other parts of the body, including the shins, knees, hip, and back. There is no need to quote another study when we state that all of that equates a serious pain in the rear. The results are conclusive!
When custom foot orthotics are prescribed, applied and worn as directed, your foot or ankle condition will either be alleviated or corrected. When this happens, you will begin to notice a significant reduction in referred pain (pain felt in a part of the body other than its actual source).
Orthotics Can Stop Strain from Nerve Damage / Numbness
Orthotics are also brought in to address situations where patients experience nerve damage and numbness in the foot or ankle region. Look to those with advanced diabetes as a direct example. Many patients have experienced a loss in sensation in their feet and toes. Since a patient is unable to feel pain, heat, or cold – their feet will not accept the physical cues needed to correct their manner of walking (or running, etc.) and thus other parts of the body become stressed and strained. Custom inserts will account for this loss in lower extremity sensation and help ensure that the rest of the body is not tasked beyond means.
Orthotics Can Bring Balance to Your Life
Any reduction in pain will improve your quality of life, that’s for certain. But custom foot orthotics also help in another important physical area. If you’re experiencing problems with balance because of abnormal footing and lower extremity positioning and function, orthotics can swoop in for the assist. Custom inserts can correct your Gait (manner of walking) and improve many other areas where you need to call upon balance for enhanced performance on the track, field, concrete, mountain, or board (sidewalks included). Learn more about how orthotics (together with a comprehensive physiotherapy regime) can help you improve balance.
Ready to take a step in the right direction? View more on the custom orthotics products and services provided Absolute PhysioCare and follow up by contacting us to schedule a consultation.