Orthotics – have you heard of this word? If you haven’t, I will first have you know that it’s related to medicine – and if you’ve guessed that much, then, that it’s related to your bones. Orthotics, which derives from the Greek word ‘ortho’ (i.e. “to align” or “to straighten”), is the practice of applying an external device (called an orthosis) to a part of the human body in order to modify the shape of the skeletal system, or even to change the functions of the neuromuscular system to a slight degree. Basically, this means that you’ll have something similar to a cast (but not exactly a cast) strapped to a part of your body – this part can be one of your upper limbs, such as your arms, shoulders, or hands, or one of your lower limbs, such as your foot or ankle.
A foot clinic will specialize in the practice of orthotics for the lower extremities or lower limbs of the human body. Foot orthotics specifically refer to the application of the orthoses to the feet. Foot orthoses include what are known as ‘shoe inserts’ – these are basically a type of sole that fit inside your shoes and are meant to provide extra support for your feet, especially your heels – and may also go one step far to include ankle-foot orthoses (AFO), which are orthoses that will support your feet and ankles. There are many benefits of using foot orthotics, but in general, these benefits can be summed up as follows:
• To correct the gait or walking pattern – irregular or abnormal walking patterns that can cause pain or provide poor support to the back of a person can be corrected by the use of foot orthodontics. The podiatrist will prescribe foot orthoses which will slightly alter the angle at which the foot hits the ground or any other surface when running or walking, thereby adjusting the walking pattern. Visit this link http://yourpodiatrycentre.com.au/about for more details on podiatrist in Bentleigh.
• To reduce pain – what is referred to as pain here is not limited to simply ‘foot pain’ – back pain and knee pain can also be cured by using foot orthodontics.
• To correct deformities – foot, back, spine, hip and knee deformities can be cured by the use of foot orthoses. A basic example is the ability to cure ‘bunions’ – deformations in the foot right next to the big toe due to the incorrect placement of the bones of the big toe.
• To absorb shock from high impact activities – high impact activities generally refer to sports such as running, soccer, basketball, etc. where the focus is on running and jumping. These activities see the feet receiving lots of shocks from the continuous jumps and running, which can cause pains and injuries. Shoe inserts can help absorb some of the shock and thereby reduce both pain and injuries.