Orthotics: Are They Necessary?By Work. Train. Compete!|Sara & Natalie|2012-03-21 | Comments: 0Did you know that only 25% of the population has a normal running pattern? This means everyone else’s feet either over or under-pronate. I have over-pronated feet, which means my arches flatten and my ankles roll inward with every step. Because the feet represent the body’s foundation, any misalignment here can lead to problems elsewhere, such as the shins, knees and low back. This explains why I suffered from chronic shin splints for years.
It turns out that most running shoes do not support or correct pronation problems. In fact, most shoes do not even help with stabilization or shock absorption. To realign the foot and restore normal foot function, a custom-made orthotic can be inserted in your shoes. Thanks to my orthotics, I no longer have shin splints.
I have consulted with chiropractor Dr. Joy Simon to answer more questions about orthotics.
Here are her answers:
1. What are orthotics?
Orthotics are custom made insoles for your footwear. Although they may not look like much more than cushioning for your shoes, custom orthotics can help you to prevent, improve and correct pain, injury and discomfort from the feet all the way to the back. Your feet are the foundations of your body, and orthotics augment their well-being. They are more than simply arch support. Orthotics support the entire biomechanics of the foot (which is quite intricate- 25% of your bones are in your feet!), your legs and your spine. Orthotics can be worn in dress shoes as well as casual and active footwear.
2. What do they do?
Orthotics are the ultimate multi-taskers. They constantly absorb shock and excessive stress from the instabilities in your feet. They stabilize the structure of the foot to help eliminate constant repetitive stress and decrease high pressure areas. They realign your body by gently correcting the abnormalities which cause common injuries such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and lower back pain.
3. How do I know if I need them?
You don’t have to be an elite level athlete to enjoy the benefits of orthotics. Those who do a lot of standing or walking will benefit from orthotics. Overweight individuals can wear them to help reduce stress on weight bearing joints like knees and ankles. Arthritis sufferers get much needed relief under the ball of the foot and support for the ankle joint. The elderly or diabetics can wear orthotics to help with circulation to keep the feet and lower limbs healthy and infection-free.
Active people will notice almost immediate benefits from orthotics, since exercise puts demands on their feet that exceed everyday activity. Orthotics reduce muscle fatigue by allowing the wearer to maintain good form and posture, and will help improve agility, balance, endurance, and muscle efficiency. Orthotics help prevent bunions, corns, hammertoe, and repetitive stress injuries, and can be worn as both a preventative measure as well as a corrective remedy for existing problems.
4. Where can I get orthotics?
Certain health care practitioners, including chiropractors, are authorized to dispense custom orthotics. Always ensure that your practitioner has been trained in orthotic prescription and assessment of foot biomechanics., and make sure that the orthotics are custom made to your feet and not “off the rack.” In order to ensure a proper, comfortable, custom fit, make sure that adjustments of uncomfortable orthotics are included in the price.
Click here to watch chiropractor, Dr. Joy Simon, define orthotics, discuss indications for orthotics and demonstrate a gait scan on WBFF PRO Fitness Model, Dr. Sara Solomon.
For your better health,
Dr. Sara Solomon & Dr. Joy Simon
Follow dentists, Dr. Sara Solomon, WBFF Pro and Dr. Natalie Pennington, IFBB Pro, as they work, train and compete! Find out how these fit gals balance professional careers with fitness competition prep – plus get their tips on eating clean, training hard and staying motivated!