Being handicapped is no longer an inadequacy thanks to the availability of advanced orthotics and foot support. Orthotics is type of orthopedic devices that are made from the lightweight material. These can be very simple as well as complex depending upon their utility. The range of orthotics is quite vast and includes simple shoe inserts that are available in your over the counter shop to specially customized ones. The customized devices require lot of expertise and their efficiency is much more than the regularly available devices. Although the mass-produced orthotics costs less, they may not be always correct and fit the user perfectly. This can be more harmful to the user. The main intention of orthotics is to give support to the foot or correct the foot conditions such as bunions, Achilles tendonitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis and others. *
Does Orthotics Really Help?
It is not necessary that you should suffer from any type of handicap or physical inadequacy to take help of orthotics. They can also be used for protecting your limbs and increasing their efficiency. Orthotics help in carrying out functions easily. They help in restoring your ability to jump, run, walk and reduce the pain as well as swelling thereby increasing the stability if the joints are unstable. They help to ease the problems located in other body parts such as hips and back. Many people get confused with orthotics and prosthetics. Orthotics are majorly used to support and contribute in protection of limbs and other organs whereas the latter is used to complete the inadequacy caused due to loss or absence of limb or any other part of the body. *
Benefits of orthotics
Apart from serving as major arch supports, orthotics also provides other benefits. They contribute in improving the overall condition of the ankle and the foot. They also perform the task of supporting and aligning the body including ankles and feet. Regular use of orthotics also lessens the risk of getting foot deformities. For example, in case you are to start a new valet attendant job which requires you to run and be on your feet for long duration. Using a shoe insert before starting the work can help keep your foot at ease as the insert will provide extra cushioning to both the feet and the ankle and reduce the chances of inflammation and soreness. Runners usually make use of heel cushion to protect their feet. *
Accommodative and functional orthotics
According to foot specialists, the orthotics can be grouped into two distinct categories: accommodative and functional orthotics. The functional types of orthotics are especially designed to give support to abnormal foot biomechanics. These are made from plastic polymer and known to prevent foot pronation. This type of orthotics is also good shock absorbent and keeps the feet at ease when you are in motion or walking. Functional orthotics are devices that are used for correcting the deformities and also supporting the mid-foot and rear foot regions. Some orthotics is combination of both functional and accommodative orthotics such as the corrective footbeds. *
Range in orthotics
Orthotics comes in vast range. In the accommodative section are included casts, night bars, splints, braces, gait plates and more. These are very helpful to relieve the pain in mild foot and also for correcting the minor foot problems. These also differ according to the material used for their manufacturing. You can view the range online or at the orthotic shop and select according to the recommendation of your doctor. Customized foot devices are the best as they fit you perfectly and can cure if there is any deformity. However these are costly and if you do not have a good budget for them but still would like to support your feet, you can start by using over the counter simple foot devices. *
Soft and rigid devices
Devices made from carbon or plastic fiber are rigid orthotic devices whereas devices that are made from foam or silicon are soft orthotic devices. These devices are usually recommended if you are suffering from foot deformity or arthritis. Other materials that are used for making the devices include metal, rubber, plastic and leather. Mostly athletes make use of these foot devices to get support during running or jumping. *
With availability of such vast range of orthotics, there are many ways now to protect your foot from getting hurt. You can reduce the pain and control the deformity to your feet and continue to enjoy painless life. However, it is advisable that you should consult your caregiver before you start using a particular type of foot device-simple or complex.*
The ankle and the foot sole takes a good beating whenever we walk, run or jog long distances. If you suffer from sore feet for any such reason, feel free to contact us!
Foot Council Health Clinic, 4 Broad Street, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR1 3LH.
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