An Orthotic for Every Activity
Have you experienced foot or heel pain recently?
If you answered, “YES,” there are some aspects you need to consider before buying orthotics.
Feet carry all the body’s weight when we’re standing or being active. Bad posture, standing up for long periods, and not wearing the right shoes, among other factors, can cause foot pain.
What is an orthotic?
An orthotic is a special shoe insert that can be used to treat countless foot conditions.
Originally made of metal, orthotics have been improved to provide the best comfort and solution for their users. In Today’s standards, orthotics are made of cotton, spandex, silk, and gel, among other materials.
Orthotics provide a better function for the feet by altering the pressure from the ground to the feet when standing up, running, or walking.
The biomechanical orthotic’s function is to control excessive and potentially joint movement during gait (mane or walking).
Finding your pronation is the first step to finding the right orthotic.
Pronation refers to the way feet roll inward for impact distribution upon landing. It’s part of the natural movement of the human body, and it differs from person to person.
Each time a person lifts their leg and their foot strikes the ground, it supports three times their body weight. For this reason, it is very common to suffer injuries as a result of running or walking, due to less effective shock absorption.
How to determine the pronation type
The best option to determine your pronation type is to choose a specialist who will run some tests to define it. However, you can get an idea by recording yourself while running and walking.
Next, we will provide the main characteristics of the most common pronation types.
Most common pronation Types
- Supinator: The outer side of the heel hits the ground at an increased angle with little or no inward roll. This causes a large transmission of shock through the lower leg and will need support mostly on the outside edge of the shoe.
- Neutral: The foot lands on the outside of the heel and then rolls inward to absorb shock and support the body weight. This is the ideal pronation. However, orthotics with an “S-shaped” pattern from the outer heel to the big toe can be used.
- Overpronators: The foot lands on the outside of the heel, then rolls inward excessively, transferring weight to the inner edge instead of a ball of the foot. Overpronators will need support mostly near the big toe, on the inside of the heel, and under the ball of the foot.
Most common foot conditions
The second step to determining the right orthotic is to find out if you have a foot condition. The most common are:
- FLAT FEET: When the foot’s arches collapse, it’s barely visible. Flat feet are less shock-absorbent, therefore causing extra stress on the bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
- PLANTAR FASCIITIS: The plantar fascia is a thin layer of tissue on the underside of the foot. It swells, causing plantar fasciitis and chronic pain.
- CHRONIC ANKLE INSTABILITY: When the ankle frequently “gives way” while walking or during activity, especially after having suffered from multiple sprains.
Orthotics according to the performing activities
Finally, the third step is to consider your daily activities such as exercising or working and the type of shoes you prefer to perform such activities.
- Running and athletic activities: Running injuries are often part of being a regular runner. Most of these injuries are due to overuse and commonly include plantar fasciitis or runner’s knee, Achilles tendinopathy, Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, and ITB syndrome.
A light orthotic, preferably made of cotton that allows the skin to breathe with heel and arch supports, is ideal for performing athletic activities.
- Office work: Flat shoes can’t provide the necessary support for the feet. If you prefer to wear this type of shoe, it is important to use an orthotic with a slim design that can easily fit into flat shoes. They should provide 1-2 inches of arch and heel support. Materials can vary according to your preferences.
- High heels / Business shoes: Heels are a common fashion accessory, especially for women. Their long-term use can negatively impact the foot’s health. Foot pain, lower back pain, constriction of blood vessels, knee pain, and crooked feet are common results of wearing high heels. However, if you decide to wear them, make sure you use orthotics made of cotton, spandex, silk, or even soft gel. They must provide special support to the heel, metatarsal bones, and plantar fascia ligament.
Going to your trusted doctor is vital to determining the type of orthotics you need. Never self-diagnose and self-medicate.
For the past 40 years, Miami chiropractor Michael P. Newman (D.C., P.A.) has successfully helped patients. Call for your appointment today at 305-666-1402.
BY: Dr. Newman
Chiropractic In Miami, Pain, Posture, Stress
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