Because the feet support the entire body, it is important that they do so in a correctly-aligned manner. Many people have feet that are malaligned, and this malalignment affects the entire body. This can result in a variety of symptoms and compensation mechanisms.
One way to make feet “straighter” is to wear a device in the shoe called an “orthotic” or an “orthosis”. The terms “orthotic” and “orthosis” come from the Greek “orthos”, meaning “straight”. An orthotic device it is specifically designed to realign abnormal foot function. Unlike an arch support, which is a cushion that provides shock absorption, an orthotic device actually treats a biomechanical problem.
Pre-fabricated orthotic devices of different shapes are often dispensed for various conditions. These suffice in many patients, but others will have a greater benefit from a custom orthotic. A custom orthotic is made from a plaster impression of the foot and is specifically created from the impressions. It is the most effective type of orthotic device.
Many conditions can be improved with orthotic therapy. These include arch pain, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, foot arthritis, ankle instability, knee pain, back pain, hip pain, adult and children’s gait abnormalities, flatfoot, high arch foot, and foot strain, to name a few. Additionally, custom orthotic devices are used to treat a variety of sports conditions and there are even sports- specific orthotics available for many sports (including cycling, football, tennis, soccer, skating, etc.). Orthotics for high-heeled shoes are also available.
Melbourne Podiatry Associates offers both pre-fabricated and custom orthotic devices. This type of treatment may be just which you need !