What is an Orthotic?

An ORTHOTIC is a foot-supporting device also known as a custom insole. Foot Orthotics support, correct and accommodate the 26 bones, 2 sesamoid bones, tendons, ligaments, and plantar fascia band in each foot. 

Foot Orthotics allow the muscles, tendons and bones of the feet  through open and closed chain joint migration, up through the legs, hip and lower back, to function at their optimal potential for our body weight, structure, walking pattern and life styles. 

When appropriately prescribed and more importantly, appropriately manufactured, Foot Orthotics can decrease pain and discomfort in the foot, ankles, knees, hips and back. Foot Orthotics increase our stability, prevent further progression of bony deformities, soft tissue pain, burning and numbness and help to improve our overall quality of life in our activities of daily living (ADLs).

Remember, foot pain is not normal and should not be ignored. The pain in our feet often is associated with other pains in our lower limbs all due to the poor inherent biomechanics of our foot.

With a foot orthotic supporting the three main arches of the foot the muscles and tendons are able to work within their intended range of motions (ROMs) and we do not run the risk of causing injury or furthering one.
 

Benefits of Orthotics

Custom Foot Orthotics help in providing relief for painful foot problems or an injury, especially for those who must walk, or stand excessively on the job or in every day activities.

The mechanical properties  of the Custom Foot Orthotic help to maintain the normal positioning of the bones in the foot, the joints in the ankle and knees leading up to the hips and lower back. The muscles and ligaments holding these bones in their intended anatomical positions are prevented from over stretching and becoming lax over time.

With enough functional correction from a Custom Foot Orthotic, the foot structure can be aligned to give more propulsion, making walking, running and even cycling more efficient biomechanically.

Along with aligning the foot structure, the Custom Foot Orthotic reduces muscular fatigue and helps to promote more efficient muscle performance thus enhancing performance during the gait cycle.

Below is an example of a foot without the corrective support of an orthotic and then another example of the same foot with a Custom Made Foot Orthotic from POL correcting and supporting the foot. Notice the difference a well made Custom Foot Orthotic makes!

 

The Structure and Function of an Orthotic

Foot Orthotics are constructed from various materials consisting of plastics, foam, rubbers, and cork composites that are utilized for their mechanical properties.

The main similarity of all Foot Orthotics is the principle of their structure. The core is comprised of a plastic material more commonly referred to as the shell. External support structures on the underside of the shell material are utilized for balance and support inside the footwear; these are commonly referred to as extrinsic posts. Soft padding is placed on the underside and the topside to absorb compression forces when walking and running, this includes the top covers, underlay materials and arch fills.
All of these materials have the goal of improving foot function and minimizing the stress forces that cause foot deformity and pain.

Dependent on the reason for the prescription of Foot Orthotics, all of the above mentioned materials can be utilized in many combinations to achieve three broad categories of Foot Orthotics:

  1. Those that primarily attempt to change foot function, known as functional Foot Orthotics
  2. Those that are mainly protective or accommodative in nature, and
  3. Those that combine functional control with accommodation for comfort.
 
 

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Lake Shore Foot & Ankle Blog

 

Lake Shore Foot & Ankle

Our team of specialists and staff believe that informed patients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their health and well being. For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you. Or, for a more comprehensive search of our entire Web site, enter your term(s) in the search bar provided.

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We provide specialized treatment and diagnosis for: Achilles Tendon Ankle Instability Ankle Sprains Arthritic Foot & Ankle Care Athletes Foot Bunions Calluses Corns Crush Injuries Diabetic Foot Infections Flat Feet Fungus Toenails Geriatric Foot Care Hammertoes Heel Spurs Infections Ingrown Toenails Injuries Metatarsalgia Neuromas Orthotic Therapy Pediatric Foot Care Plantar Fasciitis Poor Circulation Warts Wounds Ankle Sprains Ankle sprains are caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the ankle bones of the foot, often resulting in one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle to be stretched or torn...

Custom Orthotics
... Pain from Plantar Fasciitis is often at its worst upon awakening in the morning (or after sitting down for an extended period and then resuming activity)...

Understanding Your Foot Pain
...If you play energetic sports or participate in a lot of high-level activity using your feet, the repetitive actions could create problems like heel spurs, shin splints and Plantar Fasciitis...

Common Causes of Foot Pain
... Plantar Fasciitis This is the most common cause of heel pain...

Protect Your Feet While Running
... Suddenly increasing the intensity or duration of your workout can increase your chances of developing Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and other painful injuries...

Heel Spurs Don't Have to Slow You Down
...Sometimes those with plantar fasciitis also have to deal with the pain of heel spurs...

Find an End to Your Foot Pain
... Some of the most common causes of foot pain include: Plantar fasciitis Achilles tendonitis Strains and sprains Arthritis Ingrown toenails Fracture Bunions Gout Hammertoe Bursitis While you may be able to determine which condition is actually affecting you based on some research, it’s always important to turn to your foot doctor in Lincoln Park and Highland Park, to make sure that you are treating the right foot problem...

Foot Pain: What Treatments are Out There?
...This is particularly successful for those with plantar fasciitis, a form of heel pain caused by inflammation in the foot...

Don't Ignore Your Heel Pain
...Many cases of heel pain are due to a foot condition called plantar fasciitis, which is a problem with the ligaments that run under the foot...

Overview of Foot and Ankle Problems
...A variety of foot injuries or improper foot mechanics can lead to plantar fasciitis...

Heel Problems
Haglund's Deformity Heel Callus Heel Fissures Plantar Fasciitis (heel spur)

Plantar Fasciitis (heel spur)
...More specifically, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue, called plantar fascia, that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone...

General Information and Tips
...Foot pain is caused by a wide variety of injuries, health problems or disorders, including (but not limited to): Arthritis Bone spurs Bunions Calluses Corns Flat Feet Gout Ingrown toenails Plantar fasciitis Sprains Stress fractures Warts Wearing improper shoes or extensive use of the feet...

Heel Surgery
...Two common conditions can cause pain to the bottom of the heel and lead to surgical intervention: plantar fasciitis (an inflammation of a fibrous band of tissue in the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel bone to the toes) and heel spurs (often the result of stress on the muscles and fascia of the foot)...

Extracorporeal Shock Wave
...Clinical studies show a 70 percent success rate for treatment of plantar fasciitis using Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy...

Physical Therapy
...Heel spurs, bursitis, plantar fasciitis, bunions, corns and calluses, as well as many post-operative surgical conditions, respond well to physical therapy...

Baseball
...Inadequate stretching, improper shoes, and repeated motions lead to the most common foot problems that occur among baseball players, such as Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, stress fractures, ankle sprains, and bone fractures...

Basketball
...But the repeated shock and pressures on the foot can also lead to inflammations, including Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and sesamoiditis...

Walking and Your Feet
...The most common foot problems are blisters, corns, calluses, and plantar fasciitis...

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