If you have ever suffered from foot pain, you know it is not the easiest pain to manage. Just imagine searing pain through the arch of your foot or heel with each step you take. This can be the case if you have a condition(s) known as plantar fasciitis and or a heel spur. But problems with the feet don’t have have to just contribute to pain in the foot. Did you know that faulty foot mechanics can also lead to problems elsewhere in the body?. For example, if left untreated, an ankle or foot problem can cause knee, hip and even back pain and dysfunction. Poor or uneven weight distribution caused by faulty foot and ankle mechanics can cause compensation (or favoring) when standing, walking or running. That’s where customized foot orthotics can help.
When I evaluate a patient for orthotics, we never just fit you and have you start walking in them right away. A comprehensive evaluation starts the process to learn more about your particular structure, form and function. Sometimes patient’s may require minimal but carefully specific manual therapy techniques to release tight fascia located at the bottom and middle of the foot. Gentle heel mobilization and or stretching of the ankle and lower leg may also be necessary in preparation for wearing the customized orthotic. A brief but comprehensive home program for the patient to work on at home can also help maintain the benefits received from treatment at the office. Not long after, you can be ready to be fitted for the customized orthotic. Think of it this way, most people have an idea of their waist size before they buy clothes. You have an idea of how you want the material to fit based on your body type and personal comfort level. Being fitted for orthotics is a simple but should always be a very patient-specific analysis. Every foot, body type and gait (walking pattern) is different from one person to the next. No two feet, no matter how similar they look, work the same. This is why using an over the counter orthotic or sole insert can be precarious for your foot. It may actually be taking your foot further out of neutral (or straight) alignment, causing even further problems.
So what is an orthotic? Simply put, an orthotic is a supportive device which is placed inside footwear, to change the mechanical function of the foot. It works dynamically during weight bearing activities like running, walking or standing and should provide full, custom and corrected arch contact. This is so that the foot works in a biomechanically correct way.
If you are tired of pain in your feet, ankles, knees, hips and back and frustrated that the pain keeps coming back especially if you had tried various forms of treatment for these areas, it may be that the origin of the problem that hasn’t been corrected. It may be time for Custom Foot Othotics. Call, email or request an appointment online to be evaluated by Dr. Rubino, manual physical therapist today!