Orthotics Treat A Wide Range of Mechanical Problems
Posted on September 23 2016
“The foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone.”
It may be surprising to some that orthotics can help treat a wide range of mechanical problems in the body.
Have you heard the idea that “everything we need to know we learned in kindergarten”? There’s even a book in publication by a similar name (Author: Robert Fulghum). Some of the basic concepts from Fulghum’s book include: play fair, don’t hit, and of course always flush.
Another lesson that many of us learned in early childhood came from the song titled “Dem Bones.” The lyrics went something like: “The foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone. The ankle bone’s connected to the leg bone. The leg bone’s connected to the knee bone…” and so on. While the lyrics are pretty simple, the lesson is very important – Everything in our body is interconnected.
For example, foot imbalances can lead to many problems across the entire structure of the body. From the time our feet hit the floor in the morning, until we go to bed, our feet absorb all the stress required to move from point A to point B and all the way to point Z. If the foot is out of alignment, other areas of the body like the ankle, knee, hip and back, try to compensate for the problem.
Patients are sometimes surprised to learn that orthotics, or shoe inserts, can assist in reducing pain in the knee, hip and back. Orthotics are designed to reduce mechanical influences from the foot that may be contributing to many conditions. They are available in various categories including: off-the-shelf (Dr. Scholl’s, Superfeet), semi-custom, and custom-molded. Custom-molded orthotics are usually designed by a medical specialist who specifically designs an orthotic to the needs of an individual patient.
Orthotics are extremely effective in treating common conditions such as:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tendonitis of the foot or lower leg
- Neuromas in the foot
- Hammer toes
- Over pronation
- Hip bursitis
- Back pain
- General joint pain
- Ankle sprains
- Foot imbalances
- Knee pain
- High arches (pes cavus)
In addition to helping reduce symptoms from the above list, orthotics also help improve posture and athletic performance. Correcting the mechanical structure of the foot will enhance the skeletal architecture of the entire body. This can be especially important to athletes who regularly push their bodies to the extreme. Where normal activity may not result in injury, an athlete with a foot imbalance is at a higher risk for injury. Orthotics provide a valuable safety net by minimizing fatigue and improving overall performance.
It does take an examination by a practitioner who understands the complexities of the legs and feet to design an appropriate custom-molded orthotic that will properly address the needs of the patient. However, sometimes, off-the-shelf orthotics can also be effective. Fit Physical Therapy provides options based on the patient’s condition and the appropriate necessity on which type of orthotic would be most suitable and effective for them.
If you are experiencing pain, please consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. Keith Demmon at Fit Physical Therapy located in the Westminster Fitness Center. Dr. Demmon specializes in custom-molded orthotic fittings and has received advanced training in the mechanics of the foot. Scheduling is easy, simply call: 303-469-1190 or click here.
Yours for healing and recovery,
Dr. Patti Hutt, Arvada and Lakewood Clinics
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