Custom Made Orthotics
Are Made For Walking!
What's in a Foot?
The foot has two important functions: weight bearing and propulsion. These functions require a high degree of stability. In addition, the foot must be flexible, so it can adapt to uneven surfaces. The multiple bones and joints of the foot give it flexibility, but these multiple bones must form an arch to support any weight. One thing that people may not know about is the fact that the foot actually has three arches, not just one.
The medial arch is the largest and most important of the foot's arches. It runs from the heel to the ball of the foot. It's responsible for flexibility and give. This arch absorbs the majority of the shock of impact while walking, jumping or running, and can become aggravated if the muscles in the foot are compromised.
The lateral longitudinal arch runs along the outside of the foot, from the baby toe to the heel. The lateral arch makes contact with the floor while standing and moving. This arch is most visible with people that have high arches.
This is the primary transverse arch, which carry a large amount of weight while standing and especially during the push-off part of walking or running. It provides support and flexibility to the foot although it is not as obvious as the medial arch, but without support it too can cause painful injuries such as metatarsalgia.
In order to have healthy feet that provide a good foundation to stand on and move from, all three of the foot arches need to be strong and flexible.
Custom made orthotics are specially-designed shoe inserts and insoles that can not only provide pain relief and comfort, but also can correct imbalances in feet and properly align the spine and pelvis.
There are two basic types of custom made orthotics: hard, rigid models for stability and soft models for comfort and shock absorption. Rigid orthotics are commonly made out of polyurethane or another hard plastic, and are designed to add support to the feet, legs, and lower back.
Difference Between Custom & Commercial Orthotics
An individual with very minor foot soreness or an athlete looking to improve performance does not usually need to be fitted for custom made orthotics. Rather, many pharmacies, sports stores, supermarkets, and shoe retailers sell commercial orthotics that come in standard shapes and sizes. Commercial orthotics are not specially tailored to a person's feet, though they are usually effective at providing extra cushioning and support.
Unfortunately, an estimated 70% of the population have over-pronation. Over-pronation is referred by many terms such as 'fallen arches', 'dropped arches', or 'collapsed arches'. When over-pronation occurs, the foot continues to roll inwards when it really should be pushing off and outwards, because of which the lower leg also follows the internal rotation instead of the external rotation, thereby placing a lot of strain on the leg muscles (especially the calf muscles) causing leg ache and shin splits.
The most common condition of over-pronation is planter fasciitis. When planter fasciitis occurs, the feet flatten and cause the fibrous band of ligaments under the feet to over stretch, resulting in a Heel Spur is a bony growth on the heel. This growth triggers chronic heel pain in the surrounding tissues that get inflamed.
Foot Levelers Custom Orthotics at NOVA Chiropractic
Dr. Sullivan offers patients the ability to have custom made orthotics built and shipped directly to the office. Back in the day, foot casts were used to help create the mold of the feet so that individual custom orthotics could be made. Now, Dr. Sullivan has a Foot Levelers feet scanner at the office. The scanner takes a scan of each foot and displays the results of the image immediately on the computer. The scan will compare the patient's feet to an image of what normal feet should look like, and provide a score that reveals the severity of pronation/stability in your feet, ranging from Optimal to Severe. Based on this scanned image, Foot Levelers can create a custom designed orthotics tailored to each individual foot.
Many patients have had custom orthotics made at NOVA Chiropractic and have felt pain relief from the back to the feet. Orthotics typically last at least two years, and can be used in all different types of shoes.
For more information on custom made orthotics, give the office a call at 703-912-7822 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.