Orthotics are more than just a cushion for your feet. They are medical devices prescribed by healthcare professionals, such as podiatrists, to address foot problems, correct foot misalignments, and provide much-needed support.
For individuals who spend long periods on their feet, podiatrists may recommend orthotics in addition to a pair of supportive shoes. This can be especially beneficial for those who work in physically demanding environments such as construction workers, electricians, and industry workers. Orthotic insoles are also used to treat foot and ankle conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, flat feet, and diabetic foot ulcers.
Orthotic insoles are usually a part of a comprehensive treatment plan aimed at addressing various symptoms. For example, they may be prescribed to promote proper foot alignment. It follows then that there are many types. There are premade orthotics (off-the-shelf and custom orthotics that are made of different materials (e.g. carbon fiber, plastic, foam). Their makeup and shape are chosen based on the specific condition a person has.
How do orthotic insoles treat foot pain and promote comfort?
There are several ways foot orthotics work to treat foot pain and enhance comfort. Let's explore some of them.
They keep the arches elevated and supported
One of the biggest benefits of orthotic shoe inserts is their ability to provide arch support. The arch is crucial to the distribution of weight and impact forces when talking or standing. If the arch collapses excessively, the ligaments in the foot can become strained or overused, leading to injury. By keeping the arches elevated, orthotic insoles keep the feet functioning efficiently and prevent ailments including plantar fasciitis and tendonitis.
Orthotics improve foot alignment for efficient movement
A supported arch also promotes better foot alignment which has positive effects on the entire lower extremity. When the foot rolls inwards too much (overpronation), it becomes less efficient at serving as a lever for propulsion. Consequently, your muscles and legs will have to work harder to stabilize the foot and keep it balanced. Orthotics keep the foot in a more neutral position, reducing the workload on the muscles. They can make a big difference in increasing comfort throughout the day and minimizing the risk of fatigue.
Like walking on a cloud
Apart from arch support, orthotics can also provide extra cushioning. This cushioning adds shock absorption which is needed during activities like running and jumping. When your feet hit the ground, there is a large amount of force that radiates through the heel, feet, and knees. Therefore, orthotic insoles can help to dissipate some of these forces.
A step in the right direction
It is extremely important to know that not all orthotic inserts are made alike. Their quality and function varies greatly between different products and brand. Whether you choose to invest in custom orthotics or start with over-the-counter insoles, getting the proper support can be a game-changer.
If you would like to learn more about custom foot orthotics, off-the-shelf shoe inserts, or foot care in general, reach out to our team at ergonx.com.au. You can also comment below with any questions or comments you'd like us to see. We may even address it in a video to follow!