Who Needs Orthotics?
With all of the fancy shoe choices out there, not to mention the “barefoot” craze, we are often questioned in our clinic about the benefits of orthotics, or arch supports. Who needs them and how can they help? In short, problems with alignment of the foot and ankle can not only cause foot and ankle issues but also knee, hip, and even back problems. Often a doctor will recommend orthotics to correct some biomechanical problems (i.e. overpronation, oversupination, or “flat feet”) in order to treat certain conditions. Orthotics are often called arch supports and are simply placed in the shoe. They resemble the insert that comes in many athletic shoes but have more structure and support to alleviate problems and increase comfort with weight bearing activities.
5 signs you may need Orthotics.
Worn out shoes – Take a look at your shoes – are you wearing the soles on one side more than the other? You may pronate (foot rolls inward) or supinate (ankles turn out). Is the left shoe more worn down than the other? You may have a leg length discrepancy. You can learn a lot from your old shoes, and so can we. When a new client comes in to see our Certified pedorthist we ask that you bring in 2 pairs of well worn shoes for us to examine.
The Wet Test – With Wet Feet, stand on a piece of newspaper or paper towel and then examine your foot print. A footprint without a c-curve in the arch could signify a pronator, and a prominent c-curve could suggest a supinator.
Foot Pain – You would think this one would be obvious but you would be surprised by how many people allow themselves to suffer unnecessarily with foot pain. Repeated exposure to improperly fitted footwear can cause permanent damage to your feet. High heels, pointed toes shoes, and any shoe that doesn’t properly conform to the shape of your foot can cause undo stress and fatigue. If you are experiencing pain – talk to someone who can help!
Heel Pain – Severe pain in the heel is not normal. If you are experiencing pain, particularly in the morning it could be the sign of a foot condition like Plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can be treated with orthotics, metatarsal pads, stretching and lifestyle changes.
Injury to Lower Limbs – If you have recently suffered an injury to your lower extremities it is important to make sure you are properly support your recovery from the ground up. A misaligned gait can cause issues with you ankles, knees, and hips.