Hi, Dr. Kent Ferguson here from Oliver Chiropractic Wellness Clinic (Click to watch video). We see many different types of foot and ankle concerns in our office. As a result, I’m often asked about the benefits of orthotics for shoes. My patients typically want to know if they are helpful or are if they are just hype. The answer ....drum roll please. Yes, orthotics can be helpful as part of the overall solution to your problems.
WHAT ARE CUSTOM ORTHOTICS FOR YOUR SHOES ?
They are inserts for your shoes that support dysfunctional movement patterns of the foot and ankle; as well as supporting less than ideal foot and ankle posture. Custom orthotics fit into your shoes as comfortably as an insole. They have the advantage of having been made from precise imprints of your feet.Custom orthotics work because they reduce stress and strain on your feet by bringing your feet back into proper alignment.
What is your Doctor looking for ?
Your doctor will be assessing the posture of your feet as well as the biomechanics of your feet. In regards to posture, your doctor will be checking whether or not your foot and ankle are in the neutral and least stressful position.
The neutral position of the foot and ankle looks like this:
In the neutral position there is no angulation of the ankle joint inwards or outwards. This is the easiest position for your foot and ankle to be in because there isn't any additional stress on muscles and joints. The additional stress on the muscles and joints over time can lead to painful foot, ankle, knee, hip and back conditions. When an ankle is observed to be out of the neutral position, it is describes to be be in either a pronated or supinated posture.
Most patients that are fitted for custom orthotics are supporting ankle that is in the pronated posture or position. If you were wondering, a pronated posture looks like this:
You'll notice that the ankles appear to be rolling or angled inwards. The opposite of pronation is supination. Ankle supination looks like this:
You'll notice that the ankles appear to be rolling or angled outwards. Your doctor will also be checking the arches of your feet too. In the next picture you'll see the outer (lateral) and inner (medial) arches of the feet. Both the outer and inner arches extend from the back of the foot to the front knuckles of the toes.
There is also a 3rd arch for your doctor to consider. Its referred to as the transverse arch. This arch goes from the knuckle of the big toe to the knuckle of the small toe.
It's important to know that there are 26 bones on your foot. We need those bones to work well in relation to each other in order for your foot to do its intended job. Poor foot and ankle posture leads can often times lead to poor foot and ankle biomechanics.
The symptoms of poor foot posture and poor foot mechanics can include any one of the following:
- Localized foot pain
- Bunions, hammer toes
- Arch/heel pain
- Leg/knee pain
- Hip or back pain - even neck pain
If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you then maybe its time to have an evaluation for custom foot orthotics for your shoes. (Watch Video on OCWC Custom Orthotic Ordering and Fitting)
For more information on our clinic and services checkout our website @ www.ocwc.ca. If you’re looking for a quality pair of custom orthotics. Give our clinic a call @ 780-455-2112 and our staff will get you started. Take care.