Published on July 9, 2013
We often take for granted the complexity and the roles that our feet play on our bodies, so it’s no surprise then that 90% of the population has some sort of foot dysfunction.
Newton’s Third Law of Gravity states, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” As far as our bodies are concerned, this means that the force that we exert on the ground, i.e. our weight (action), is equally exerted back to us (reaction). This is also referred to as ground reaction force.
Our bodies are wonderfully designed to minimize and divert those ground reaction forces, however, over time, we lose some of those abilities and the ground reaction forces are now imposed on our knees, hips, back, etc. It’s then easy to see how feet have an impact on the rest of our body. It is also important to note that we don’t have to have foot pain or deformities like heel spurs, bunions, or flat feet for there to be a problem. Often the symptoms of foot dysfunction may manifest as knee pain, hip pain back pain, or even headaches.
What Are Custom Orthotics And How Can They Help?
Orthotics are biomechanical medical appliances that are custom made to correct your specific foot dysfunctions. They reduce the stress on your body by helping your feet function more properly. It’s important to note that there is a difference between insoles and orthotics. Insoles are simply shock absorbing material fitted to your shoes. Insoles are neither corrective nor specific to the individual.
Custom foot orthotics can be compared to eyeglasses in that eyeglasses are corrective to the dysfunctions that affect our ability to see. Orthotics are specific to the individual – just as eye glasses.
How Are Custom Foot Orthotics Made?
Orthotics are made by performing a biomechanical gait analysis which looks at foot function and any specific deformities, as well as the functional biomechanics of the body in general. After the gait analysis, a form impression of the foot is made and the orthotics are then constructed based on all of this information.
What Can Custom Orthotics Do For You?
The goal of wearing orthotics is to reduce stress on the feet and body by providing biomechanical correction and shock absorption. Often, those needing orthotics don’t have foot pain or deformities like heel spurs, bunions, or flat feet. Symptoms of foot dysfunction may manifest as knee pain, hip pain, back pain, or even headaches.
Often orthotics are covered by insurance plans, and many chiropractors are able to perform the gait analysis and order the orthotics on your behalf.