Can Orthotics Help Restore A Natural Foot Function?
The field of orthotics emerged from the study of bio-mechanics: the science of body movement during walking, jumping, and running. Bio-mechanical studies demonstrated that natural foot function, where there is proper alignment between the foot, ankle, knee, hip and spine has an enormous impact on our posture and the potential to reduce serious muscle and joint injuries. So while orthotics focus on the correct placement and positioning of the foot, its effects are far reaching, impacting the whole body.
Our feet were designed to walk on surfaces such as sand, grass and soil. The hundreds of ligaments, muscles, tendons and bones in our feet would mold to these soft surfaces with each step, ensuring a property weight distribution across the entire foot.
But in modern times we spend most of our time walking on hard surfaces or in cheap running shoes which don’t give enough support to our feet. Our feet still try to adapt but collapsed arches, pronation (where the foot rolls inwards) and plantar fasciitis (the inflammation of the tendon that runs underneath our foot) are the result, with negative knock on effects to our spine, knees and hips.
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The good news is that wearing orthotic shoes and insoles can help ensure a natural foot function. Orthotic insoles such as the Walkfit brand can be slipped into existing shoes and there are a range of orthotic shoes with built in foot beds. Some models, such as plantar fasciitis shoes, and orthotic arch supports, are designed to address specific conditions.
Some of the improvements that come with wearing orthotics include:
- Better posture and gait
- Lower incidence of corns, calluses and bunions
- Reduced risk of arch collapse
- Reduction in plantar fasciitis heel pain and inflammations
- Reduction in joint pain and back injuries
- Less pain and discomfort when walking
- Shock absorption (most orthotics are manufactured from a higher shock absorbent material)
- Improved weight distribution across each foot
source : Orthotics