Why do I need orthotics?
Why do I need orthotics? What are orthotics used for anyway? Why would a chiropractor recommend orthotics?
There are a number of questions, let’s start with what orthotics are and what they’re used for.
Orthotics are custom made insoles for your shoes, designed to correct imbalances in your foot structures, muscles of the lower leg, protect against the forces of hard flooring on your feet.
Symptoms one might experience if orthotics are necessary aren’t limited to the feet, but include; foot, arch or heel pain, leg or knee pain, leg length inequality, hip or back pain even neck pain.
Foot orthotics work similar to braces for the teeth, or glasses for your eyes, they slowly and consistently place your foot structures in the correct position. We use orthotics in all kinds of footwear, even skates and ski boots!
I think I need orthotics what’s next?
During an orthotic examination I perform a static ( not moving) postural assessment, both weight bearing and non-weight bearing, to see how your foot reacts to supporting your body. I assess any mobility issues in the ankle or foot, check to see wear the forces stress the foot as shown in any calluses you may have. Next I have you walk several times in bare feet to assess your dynamic posture, do the toes point in or out, does the ankle roll in with walking?
Next I make a mold of your foot in special foam with you sitting, having your foot kept in the optimal position. The mold is then sent to the orthotic lab and analyzed. The orthotics are then ready in about a week or two.
I have my orthotics now what?
Initially you wear the orthotics an hour or two each day slowly increasing the time you wear them
Wear them as much as you can , the more consistently you wear them, the better the benefit will be. Often we need to make 2 pair of orthotics to accommodate different kinds of foot wear, i.e. dress shoes vs. running shoes.
How does this fit with chiropractic?
Why as a chiropractor would I recommend orthotics? Typically the answer is to either be reactive or proactive. If you are already having pain and there are structural or muscular imbalances that are contributing to your pain, orthotics may be part of the recovery process. If during our assessment process I discover some issues that may not be contributing to a pain process but have the potential to, I may suggest the orthotics as a preventative measure.
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