Many of our patients spend a large portion of their days on their feet. Enabling us to stand, run, skip, and jump, our feet bear the weight of our bodies and act as a foundation upon which we facilitate our movements.
Over time, feet can become overworked, or they may have postural defects that affect their shape and impact their ability to function properly. These, among other reasons, can serve as underlying drivers of foot pain and other bodily aches. For some, orthotic insoles can be extremely beneficial.
Do I need orthotics?
To gauge whether or not you require orthotics, it is best to consult in a trusted podiatrist who can conduct a full examination. This may include evaluating the way you walk, as well as examining leg and hip mobility. Orthotic inserts may be used to:
- Treat foot deformities
- Promote healing of injuries
- Provide support to the ankle
- Ease pain in the legs, knees, hips, and back
- Reduce the risk of future injuries
Understanding how orthotics work
Following the assessment, your podiatrist determines that your condition would benefit from orthotics, so how do they work? For the most part, orthotic insoles help to support the feet and limit excessive movement. They realign the feet and encourage them to assume neutral positions that minimize stress on joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Using overpronation as an example
A foot that overpronates is one that rolls inwards and flattens the arch when an individual’s weight is placed on it. Overpronation also causes the joints located within the arch to widen and stretch the ligaments of the middle foot. With repetitive tasks, such as walking, one can imagine the significant amount of strain-induced on a foot over time.
Introducing an orthotic insole aims to prevent the arch from collapsing. It also safeguards the surrounding muscles that are actively working to bring the foot back into a more neutral position. These muscles play a key role in stabilizing the foot, making it a steady lever upon which we can propel ourselves forward.
If you have any questions regarding orthotic insoles and how they work, please comment below! You can also book an appointment with our podiatrists to see if orthotics are right for you.