Almost everyone has suffered from foot pain at some point in his or her life. That’s not surprising when you take a close look at the composition of the foot. Each foot has more than 100 working parts in two very small structures, supporting and balancing the weight of the entire body. Feet are the major weight-bearing parts of the body, taking a force approximately one-and-a-half times a person’s bodyweight with each and every step.
The average person walks approximately 115,000 miles in a lifetime—more than four times the circumference of the earth. Is it any wonder that 3 out of 4 Canadians will experience foot pain during their lifetime?
Although most people experience foot pain at one time or another, foot pain is not normal and should not be ignored. Foot problems can affect the proper functioning of other parts of the body including the hip, knee and back. That’s why it’s important to ensure your feet are functioning properly and painlessly.
Custom foot orthotics are prescription medical devices, designed to adjust and control the functions of the foot and its alignment with the lower leg. There are three broad categories of orthotics:
- Those that primarily attempt to change foot function;
- Those that are mainly protective in nature; and
- Those that combine both functional control and protection.
Orthotics come in many different shapes and sizes and are constructed out of various materials. While orthotics can be made by several different processes, the gold standard continues to be a physical examination of the foot which includes a dynamic analysis of your walking cycle, followed by a non-weight-bearing plaster mould of your feet. Orthotics should fit into any properly designed footwear that fit well.
Orthotics eliminate the need for one’s muscles to compensate for imbalances in the body. This can reduce fatigue and promote efficient muscle function resulting in enhanced performance.
Orthotics are used to:
- Provide support
- Reduce pain
- Offer improved positioning of your foot, knee and hips
- Slow down or prevent the formation of foot deformities
- Improve the overall function of your lower extremities
The best way to know if you need an Orthotic is to ask a Chiropodist. We would be happy to provide you with our professional opinion.
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