Since the connective tissue in our feet is kept under constant stress, it is likely to stretch over time. The increased length of the connecting tissue causes an instability in the structure of the foot and this can lead to over-pronation, also known as fallen arches. This is referred to as plastic deformation, which is one of the most common types of deformations of the foot. Whilst this is not a life threatening condition, it can cause a lot of short and long term damage to the functioning of the whole body and should therefore be addressed.
What are Orthotics?
Orthotics is a field of medicine that combines their understanding of human physiology, anatomy and biomechanics to design and manufacture suitable orthoses. These are external devices that help modify plastic deformations such as the one described above. The specially designed mechanics of foot orthotics allows them to promote proper positioning of the bones in the foot, knees and ankles. The many muscles and ligaments that balance and coordinate the lower legs from the knees down are protected from stretching, and this keeps them from further risk of injury or aggravation of the condition. Foot orthotics can also mitigate the harshness of muscle fatigue by maintaining the proper working dynamic of the foot. But apart from the normal wear and tear of connective tissue, who can benefit from orthotics?
Those who would benefit the most from proper orthotic footwear include people who walk on hard surfaces and spend much of the day on their feet, such as restaurant waiting staff or hospital nurses. Those who practice high impact sports and those who have experienced injuries to their feet will also benefit from orthotics. But let’s look at some specific cases.
People who are overweight
Those who are especially overweight have found that orthotics can add a measure of strength to their stride while taking some strain off the ligaments and lower extremities. Some people have even avoided or postponed the need for surgery with proper footwear.
Foot Pain Sufferers
Over 75% of Americans will experience some sort of foot pain in their lives. Some are mild while others are severe and debilitating. With the right orthotic solution, many have experienced a great deal of foot pain relief.
Knee and back pain sufferers
Many people experience long lasting pain in the back, hips and knees, that has defied all treatments and remedies. If you fall into this category, there could be a strong connection between the pain you experience and the way your feet function. If your pain is related to the improper positioning of your feet, orthotics can offer you real relief.
People with diabetes
Those suffering from diabetes are also at risk of neuropathy in the feet. According to Orthotic Shop, this can cause numbness, pain, heat and coldness in the feet. Many of these uncomfortable symptoms have been relieved by orthotics.
Athletes and Runners
Those who have an active sports life will find that the proper orthotics can improve their performance in many ways. Endurance and strength can be increased with an improved muscle performance. In an effort to fine tune their performance, many athletes will have bespoke orthotic support created specifically to maximize the power in their feet and legs. Not only does this allow the legs to operate at 100% efficiency, but it protects the tendons, ligaments and muscles from future injuries.
People with Arthritis
Arthritis is a degenerative condition that can have a serious effect on the joints. When the condition affects the joints of the lower legs, mobility can become painful and even impossible. In many cases, orthotics has been an effective solution for those suffering from this debilitating condition.
In conclusion, feet are an important part of the function of our whole body. The rigorous demands placed on the body emphasize the need for better foot wear. Proper orthotics help to maintain proper balance and relieve the stress and pain normally experienced in the feet. At the end of the day, feet will feel less worn and will therefore be less prone to further injury.