Orthotics: Heel Pain & Painful Arches & Insteps
“The foot bone’s connected to the leg bone, the leg bone’s connected to the hip bone, the hip bone’s connected to the back…”
An ‘orthotic’ (orthotic insole/shoe insert or orthosis) is a device placed inside the shoes with the purpose of restoring our natural foot function.
In recent years, medical studies have established a clear link between poor foot function and common biomechanical conditions.
An estimated 70% of the population suffers from overpronation (i.e. the rolling inwards of the feet and collapsing of the arches).
Over-pronation causes a variety of foot problems, but it also has a profound effect on the rest of the body. For example, over-pronation may cause knock knees and a forward tilt of the pelvis. This results in poor body posture and problems in the knees, hips and lower back.
In other individuals, the feet can roll outwards, with much of the pressure of the body being borne on the outer edges of the feet (supination).
Many people also have a leg length difference where one leg is slightly longer than the other. In studies, a length difference of as little as 5mm can be a source of pain in the feet or higher up the body.
Orthotics correct over-pronation/supination and a number of other mechanical problems restoring good joint alignment and foot function. In turn, this will help alleviate problems not only in the feet, but also in other parts of the body.
Plantar fasciitis/bony spurs, Achilles tendonitis, foot neuralgia, shin splints and multiple ankle sprains are just a few of the conditions that may be improved with orthotics.
It is important that your orthotics are appropriate to your feet and you should be assessed by a professional.
Sometimes, simply adjusting your footwear will be sufficient. In other cases a more advanced device may be needed. Once you are used to them, orthotics are very comfortable and they can be very durable.