Are Custom Orthotics Right For You?

Are Custom Orthotics Right For You?

Custom orthotics are often necessary to achieve proper foot function and movement as part an optimal sports physical therapy plan of care. Poor foot mechanics result in increased stress to the foot, ankle, knee, hips and lower back. For some, optimal footwear can do the trick, however many others require further assistance.

Many people have extremely flat feet, often categorized as pronated or pes planus. In these cases, there is minimal presence of or an absence of the medial longitudinal arch of the foot. The medial aspect of the foot has collapsed to the floor resulting in an unstable foot/ankle complex. This will often result in excessive internal rotation of the tibia above the ankle which places increased stress onto the knee. The body will then be forced to compensate above the tibia in response to what is happening below. This will place further stress onto the knee, hips or lower back (just to name a few).

Other people are the opposite extreme and are have incredibly high arches. I recently had a patient that was very proud of her “dancer’s feet.” However, these can present their own set of problems.

A very high arch (a supinate foot or pes cavus) is extremely stable and stiff, therefore there is very little pronation and shock absorption that occurs. This results in increased stress placed onto the feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back when impacting the ground during walking, running or jumping. Furthermore, a high arch displaces the body weight laterally to the outside of the feet as the medial aspect of the foot is largely lifted off of the ground. This places further strain on soft tissue structures and increases the risk for a number of injuries including lateral ankle sprains.

These are just two commonly occurring issues however there are a number of foot dysfunctions that necessitate the use of an orthotic.

If you are unsure as to whether or not you need custom orthotics contact to find out.

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