What are the top 5 foot problems that orthotics can alleviate?

By: Jeff Lewis (C.Ped.C), Jul 27, 2017
  Article
Foot work Orthotics, Foot Pain Relief

What are the benefits of orthotics?

Can orthotics help with flat feet? How?

Yes they can help with “Flat Feet” by adding an artificial arch through an orthotic device. A clinician will cast their client in subtalar neutral creating an arch that is not usually there when the client is weight-bearing. When the orthotic device is created it holds the clients foot in the corrected position properly aligning the clients feet, ankles, knees, hip and lower back.

What are the top 5 foot problems that orthotics can alleviate?

1)      Plantar fasciitis: Is the repetitive tearing of the planar fascia tissue during activity. When the subject rests, those tears try to heal causing microscopic scar tissue that is re-torn when the subject again begins to stand or walking adding body weight. Cushioning is not always the answer since most times the cause is a biomechanical insufficiency that needs to be corrected with an orthotic device.

2)      Metatarsalgia: Is a blanket term referring to forefoot pain. This could include capsulitis, bursitis, or even bone spurs; basically, pain at the ball of the feet. There are several causes that result in this pain and usually are resolved with a precisely positioned metatarsal pad or metatarsal bar. Other times a well out maybe need to also help off load forefoot pressure.

3)      Big toe (1st) joint pain: Pain at the 1st MTP that people feel as they toe off during walking, usually after many steps as the repeated motion irritates the joint. By adding a 1st Ray Extension the orthotic device catapults the subject as if they toe is working correctly and simultaneously taking direct pressure off the joint.  

4)      Leg Length Discrepancies (LLD): Many believe LLD’s have to be noticeable and significant to cause issues. People that suffer pain in their heel, knee, hip or back (usually unilaterally) may have an LLD. The difference can be as small as 5cm’s (1/4 inch) to cause discomfort or pain; usually appearing on one side or more intense on one side of the body than the other.

5)      Point Pain: A term not used in text books. I refer to this pain that results from heel spurs, plantar warts, MTP pain, calluses or anything that causes pain in one specific spot that is often not caused, but can be, by a biomechanical insufficiency. By adding a modification to the orthotic or footwear like a well out we can create a pocket for the heel spur, wart ect.. to sit in taking pressure off that specific spot relieving the client of their pain.

Jeff received his undergraduate education in Kinesiology and post graduate education in Pedorthics at The University of Western Ontario. Becoming a Certified Pedorthists of Canada was an easy decision for Jeff due to the major reconstructive knee and ankle surgery he required for injuries received while playing junior hockey. These injuries gave him a great deal of discomfort and pain both during sport and daily activities.Jeff found relief through the use of Orthotic devices, including a custom made knee brace. Realizing the relief and support these products provided and the desire to help others Jeff looked into furthering his education, then a recent grad of kinesiology, to become a medical professional.

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