Orthotics are a great way to help with issues related to walking and alignment. Some of these include but are not limited to knee, foot and lower back pain. The need for orthotics is often related to an issue with the natural functioning of the foot. Orthotics will often help to realign the bones within the foot and ankle and therefore take pressure of other parts of the body such as the back, neck, shoulders and hips. In addition, orthotics will help with distributing your weight properly and take further pressure off of toes, bunions and other parts of the foot.
Orthotics are really for anyone with an issue or discomfort relating to walking or imbalances in the body that are known to cause related pain. The great benefit of orthotics is that they can be worn on a daily basis and be utilized during most activities to take further stress off the body.
Orthotics can often be prescribed by your chiropractor and can last well over a year in most cases. This is a great investment into your overall health and well being via a biomechanical standpoint.
Why do I need orthotics?
Imbalances of the bones of the feet can result in abnormal foot motion (over pronation). This can impair foot function which can result in abnormal rotation of the legs and sometimes affects the knees, hips or back. If we combine these tremendous forces with the need for precise balance, we can see how small structural changes in the foot can make significant differences. Orthotics help to improve those structural changes.
Does it take time to get used to orthotics?
Your feet need time to adjust to the correct biomechanical (walking) position. Orthotics should be broken in gradually. For most adults, they should be worn one hour the first day, two hours the second day etc. You should not run in orthotics until you can wear them comfortably the whole day.
Should I integrate other treatment with orthotic use? Orthotics are not a panacea and the right orthotic will produce significant structural changes in the body. In order for these changes to be optimal it is often helpful for precise chiropractic care to help guide your body through these changes. If you need orthotics you have muscle imbalances and often balance issues as well, which should be addressed through corrective exercises that can be done at home. These exercises often involve the use of inexpensive balance training tools.
Can anyone cast for orthotics?
No, you must be certified by the orthotic manufacturing company that fabricates the orthotics. And, as with most procedures there are varying degrees of training and experience that enter into the success rate of orthotic design and function. Dr. Fowler was on the board of directors for three years for Sole Supports, Inc. an innovative orthotics company. Dr. Glaser is the president of this company and he developed the new Dynamic Orthotic technology used in our clinics. Dr. Fowler taught for two years around the country with Dr. Glaser to bring this technology to the chiropractic profession. He is currently putting together another teaching program with Icon Orthotics located in Clearwater Fla. This lab teaches state of the art gait analysis and dynamic "functional" orthotic design. Dr. Fowler will help bring this technology to chiropractors and integrate spinal stabilization protocol.
During the break-in period it is important to treat the soft tissue on the walking surface of the feet to make the process more comfortable.