Shoe Inserts Vs Custom Orthoticswhats The Difference
There are foot supports and there are foot supports, so lets start by getting our terms straight. You can buy non-prescription shoe inserts, arch supports, and insolesin other words, generic devices that slip into your shoe and alter the positioning of your foot and ankleat your local drug store. You can also order them online.
One way to recognize this type of insert is by the fact that they come pre-packaged and are mass-produced.
The American Podiatric Medical Association says that you can also get so-called custom made foot supports via specialty retail stores or online. But, the organization warns, unless the insert has been prescribed by a healthcare provider and crafted specifically for your feet, its considered an insert and not an orthotic.
What Are Orthotics And How Can They Help Foot Back And Knee Pain
Even if your feet dont hurt, they may be contributing to your other aches and pains- the way your foot strikes the ground impacts your knees your hips and your back.
Functional foot orthotics are custom-made rigid devices that you slip into your shoes to correct an abnormal walking pattern. They slightly alter the angle at which your foot strikes the ground, so your whole body is in better alignment.
Orthotics solve a number of biomechanically related problems, for ankle and knee pain, pelvis, hip, spinal pain. This is achieved by preventing misalignment of the foot, which significantly alters the way in which the bones move within their joints.
Custom Foot Orthotics Control Foot Movements
Depending on your specific foot mechanics, custom foot orthoses can be used to control motions of the foot that may be transferred up the leg and to the lower back. Excessive movement at the foot can be transferred into rotational movement of the leg. This rotation is transferred up to the knee, potentially leading to knee pain, or can pass through the knee up to the hip, causing the muscles in the lower back to work over-time to stabilize. If this is the case, custom foot orthoses may be used to control the movements of the foot and reduce this cascade effect up the leg to the hip and lower back.
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Is Walking Barefoot Bad For Your Back
Keep Your Feet Covered and Supported
Low back pain can occur suddenly, due to injury. It can develop gradually due to age, poor posture, occupation or fitness level. If you have even the slightest problem with your back, dont go barefoot. Your body must work harder if your support structure is compromised.
What Does Breaking In Your Orthotics Actually Mean
Your feet have been functioning in a specific way for years, and the foot, knee and lower back pain youre experiencing is the result of this misaligned functionality. Essentially, your new custom fitted orthotics are meant to realign your foot to eventually relieve your pain and fatigue, and break-in your body to the orthotics themselves.
For most of you, your new orthotics will feel uncomfortable at first, like youre standing on a small, hard ball and applying a lot of pressure to the arch of your foot. For others they may feel great! Regardless of what they feel like right off the bat, it is so important to ease your body slowly into wearing them. The orthotics are changing the way the muscles in your feet work and the way your foot has been functioning since you began walking. Unfortunately, it will take some time to get used to your new orthotics, but theyll make a world of a difference for relieving your pain and aiding in your future comfort.
Our chiropodists will suggest you begin breaking in your orthotics by wearing them for 1 hour each day to start. After a few days, you should begin increasing the time by 1 hour and so forth, until you no longer feel them in your shoes.
Its important to remember not to be discouraged if you dont get used to them right away. It can take up to 4 weeks before you actually feel completely comfortable wearing your orthotics all day long.
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Can A Podiatrist Help With Lower Back Pain
If it does appear that foot function is playing a role in your back pain, then your podiatrist can offer treatment to correct the biomechanical function of your feet and legs. In many cases of back pain associated with foot function, custom foot orthotics is the most effective treatment to improve foot function.
Types Of Custom Orthotics
A podiatrist will prescribe orthotics based on medical problems or pain a patient may be experiencing. The podiatrist will also watch how a patient moves and consider other issues like their level and type of activity, foot type, and the movement of their ankle, knee and hip. The doctor may also require X-rays.
Orthotics are particularly effective in relieving foot fatigue and discomfort experienced by older adults, who may have developed arthritis in their feet. Orthotics may also be prescribed for children who have a foot deformity.
Types of orthotics vary, but there are three broad categories: those that are meant to change how the foot functions, those that protect the foot to reduce pain or discomfort, and those that combine both aspects.
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Orthotics Reduce Impact On Joints
Custom foot orthoses may also be used to reduce impact forces while walking. When the joints in the foot have reduced ranges of movement, the force of your heel striking the ground may be transferred through your foot and up your leg to the hip and lower back. This pattern is more typical of people with high arches and a rigid foot structure. Through cushioning and evenly distributing the pressure beneath your feet, custom foot orthoses may be used to reduce some of the impact forces associated with walking.
Safety And Security Tips
It is very important that you stretch your lower back with safety and treatment. Be especially mild and also cautious if you have any sort of injury or wellness problem. Its finest to talk with your medical professional first prior to starting any brand-new types of exercise.
When or two times a day, you can do these stretches. However if the discomfort seems to become worse, or youre really feeling very sore, take a day off from extending.
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The Link Between Your Feet And Low Back Pain
If you live with lower back pain, you have a lot of company. Millions of Americans deal with acute lower back pain, and, unfortunately, this pain becomes chronic for 20% of sufferers. And when it comes to back pain, theres one cause thats often overlooked: your feet.
The connection between your feet and your lower back pain may not seem immediately obvious. However, there is more than one way that your feet and back pain can be linked. In this blog, the doctors at Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine explain the connection between back pain and your feet.
What Is Your Natural Gait
Your natural gait is how your natural posture and your foots interface on the ground coincide. If either of these are out of alignment, your feet will naturally make compensations, which in the long run can lead to extras stress, and strain on parts of your body including the lower back, hips and pelvis.
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Your Nerves Your Lower Back And Your Feet
Lower back pain can have many causes that are connected to the feet. One of the most common is a problem with the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is actually a bundle of five nerves that runs from the lower part of your spine down your legs. When this nerve is pinched or compressed, you may feel pain in your lower back and feet.
What Are Custom Orthotics
Custom orthotics are specially designed shoe or heel inserts that are prescribed by chiropodist/podiatrists as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Most commonly, they are prescribed to address pain in the feet and legs, but they may also be prescribed to address biomechanical issues that are causing problems like low back pain and hip discomfort.
How Orthotics Help?
These custom-designed shoe and insoles can address a variety of problems, and they are designed based on the shape of your feet the way in which your foot strikes as you walk or run and the nature of the problems that you are experiencing. These highly customized devices are commonly used for the following:
- to improve the functionality of the feet and ankles
- to correct deformities of the foot like hammertoes and high arches
- to reduce the risk of additional injuries something that is especially important for athletes
- to provide better support to the ankles
How Are Orthotics Prescribed?
When you visit a foot specialist for concerns regarding your feet, ankles or other joints that may be affected by them, they will usually start with a thorough physical examination of your feet and ankles.
How Are They Designed?
There are also ankle-foot orthotics that are made up of a shoe insert and an upright part that extends up from the heel and around the calf. These may be used along with kinesiology taping, braces or other types of inserts to address various problems.
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Foot Orthotics And The Domino Effect
This process can be illustrated in the following manner. In a person with normal foot arches, if one draws an imaginary line down the tibia to the foot, that imaginary line should pass between the persons big toe and second toe. However, if one draws the same imaginary line on a person with either flat or excessively high foot arches that cause the foot and ankle to pronate, or roll inward, that line would pass through the inside of the big toe instead.
In people with pronated feet and ankles, the bearing of body weight shifts to the outside of the foot, which can lead to painful bunions, among other problems.
Pronated feet and ankles can also cause the knees to turn inward, a condition commonly known as knock-knees. This abnormal placement of the knees then shifts the angle where the thigh bone meets the pelvis, resulting in an unsteady hip posture that also destabilizes the spine. The result is a domino effect that starts at the feet, works its way up the leg and into the pelvis and spine. Walking and standing with the feet, legs, hips, and spine constantly out of alignment can contribute to back pain.
The use of foot orthotics that realign the rear of the foot to prevent foot pronation may help stop this domino effect from occurring.
Who Should Wear Custom Foot Orthotics
Orthotics are very helpful after knee, hip and lower back surgery, especially when the patient has a problematic foot type, such as a flat foot or a foot with a high arch, says Rock G. Positano. These devices are quite helpful in helping to protect the lower extremity.
In addition to providing relief for painful foot problems or injuries, orthotics may also help people who must walk or stand for a long time as part of their job. People who are overweight may also benefit from orthotics, which can help to counteract the extra stress on the feet. Minor problems are often magnified due to the increased weight, he adds.
For athletes, their sports result in a great deal of movement and pressure on the foot. Slight imbalances in the foot which may not be harmful or even detectable under usual circumstances may make a person more vulnerable to injury with the extra stress of sports activity. By eliminating the need for the muscles to compensate for imbalances you dont know are there, orthotics can reduce fatigue and promote efficient muscle function to enhance performance.
Foot orthotics do not actually correct foot or ankle problems, such as fallen arches. But orthotics can reposition the structures in the foot to help them move properly and reduce the chance of injury, says Rock CJay Positano. Custom orthotics can provide relief for many different types of foot pain including:
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You Are Using Improper Footwear With Your Orthotics
One of the top reasons for foot pain is improper footwear. Footwear that is too cramped or does not have enough support for your feet can result in a range of problems. Your footwear may have been adequate at one point in time, but it may have become too worn or degraded to provide the necessary level of support.
When getting a pair of new orthotics, it is very important that you pay careful attention to the footwear that youll be using with them. Ideally, your orthotics should be fitted to work in a specific pair of shoes, boots, or sandals.
Improper footwear can cause your orthotics to work incorrectly and this can lead to discomfort and can even make the original problem worse. Make sure that you consult with your pedorthist about your footwear when youre getting new orthotics.
Orthotics For Lower Back Pain: Yay Or Nay
A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of several clinical trials on shoe insoles and its relationship with low back pain state that there is not enough evidence to support the use of insoles to treat or prevent low back pain .
Even though some studies claim that theres a significant improvement after using orthotics , the truth is that after analyzing the methodology of their studies, theres a statistical but not a clinical significance. In other words, even though their statistics might seem to indicate that theres an improvement, it is not translated into real value in the clinical practice 30181-3/abstract” rel=”nofollow”> 14).
So to sum it up, orthotics appear to be most helpful when they are used for specific types of pain, mainly located in the foot and associated with overloading and pressure problems.
Since orthotics, especially when custom-made, can get pretty pricy, they clearly aren’t the go-to when it comes to other types of chronic aches and pains.
They certainly dont have more direct value than hands-on massage techniques, exercises, stretches, and self-mobility drills.
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Shock Transmission And Asymmetry
Whether a foot tends toward hyperpronation or excessive supination, the result can be excessive shock transmitted into the spinal joints. A high-arched foot with limited range of motion attenuates shock poorly, as does a collapsed-arch foot.6 In either case, the forces are felt in the joints of the pelvis and spine.
Individually designed stabilizing orthotics with shock-absorbing materials can eliminate much of this damaging shock transmission.
When there is a leg-length discrepancy , the pelvis will tilt to one side. This asymmetry causes vertebral rotation and recurrent subluxation, and possibly even a functional scoliosis.
The correct use of orthotics can provide substantial correction for structural short legs.
Will Orthotics Help My Pain
Theres a good chance that they may, provided that you dont have a condition that requires immediate medical intervention. If youre curious about orthotics, talk to your doctor. You may be able to incorporate the relief they give into a long-term treatment plan that will help you recover and live a pain-free life.
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Lower Back Pain Treatment With Orthotic Insoles
Lower back pain is a widespread condition affecting millions of Australians. Most people simply put up with back pain. Others may see a physiotherapists or chiropractor to help relieve their back ache. The most common form of back pain is lower back pain.
What causes lower back pain?
The primary cause of lower back problems is poor body posture. When sitting at a computer desk at work or at home or watching TV most of us tend to slouch, putting excess strain on the muscles in the shoulders, upper and lower back.
Poor posture can also occur when we are on our feet for long hours. As we get older our body posture gradually worsens and most of us are not even aware of their bad posture!
What very few people realise is that poor posture commonly starts at your feet! Over half the Australian population suffers from a condition called over-pronation. The feet and ankles roll inward excessively which in turn throws the entire body out of balance!
Excess pronation makes the legs rotate inwardly, while the pelvis tilts forward. This results in amplified spinal curvature and unrelenting tension in the muscles of the lower back. People suffering from low back pain, particularly after long periods of standing or walking, need to consider the cause as emanating from their feet.
Orthotic treatment for low back pain
NOTE: If pain persist we recommend you consult a health professional for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
Breaking In Your Orthotics
If youve ever suffered from foot, knee, or lower back pain, youre not alone. Every day, a great number of Canadians visit their doctors and ask what can be done to relieve their chronic discomfort and promote a pain-free future. Their doctors often recommend they visit a chiropodist to assess their pain and receive expert advice on what can truly help their situation: orthotics, and specifically breaking in your orthotics to relieve the pain.
When you visit your local Kinetic Konnection, one of our chiropodists will learn more about your pain and possibly suggest orthotics among other things to correct your biomechanics. Once your custom orthotics arrive and our chiropodist fits them for you, you begin your break-in period and the first step to relieving your chronic pain.
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