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Orthotics, do I need them for flat feet?

According to numerous independent studies approximately only 10% of the world’s population has perfect feet. By perfect we do not mean beautiful feet that would make the cover of a fashion magazine, but feet that are perfect in structure, biomechanics and functionality. This study means that that 90% of the world’s population have feet that may require some sort of care or orthotics to maintain its shape while supporting the body’s weight.

Our feet are one of the most used parts of our body and even the slightest discomfort can cause frustration. Many people do not even realize that the structure of their feet is the root cause of different kinds of chronic pains they might be suffering from, including muscle pains and lower back pains.

Not every person requires correction of the biomechanical issues. In majority of people, body adjusts itself and compensates for minor misalignments and improper biomechanics. But when one is suffering from pains and aches, putting off the clinical care needed is not the best idea. Here is a list of common conditions in people with poor foot biomechanics:

1.     Pronated feet

This is one of the most common problems with foot structure and is found in feet that have a falling arch. Many people often categorize this type of feet as flat feet due to their resemblance to the type. However, pronated feet and falt feet are two entirely different foot structures. Due to the falling arch the foot appears to be flat but in reality this is not the case. Pronated feet have to be treated with special care as this deformity causes pain in many different areas including knees, hips, lower back and pelvis.

2.     Flat feet

This type of foot structure is the most easy to spot as the feet simply lack an arch.  Flat feet can prove to be quite disabling because it hampers the individual’s ability of running, sprinting and performing other similar activities that require a high degree of flexibility. Moreover, flat feet have a tendency of causing a variety of injuries as the individual lacks the ability to move steadily.

3.     Supinated feet

This type of foot structure is difficult to diagnose without a professional consultation. Basically this foot structure puts all of the body weight on the outside border of the feet.

4.     High arch

This is when the foot’s arch is so high that the middle part of the individual’s foot does not touch the ground while walking.

5.     Normal foot

The structure of the foot is perfect with normal arch and feet are capable of performing all the functions.

Is orthotics the only option for flat feet?

Each of the foot structures mentioned above is unique and all of them require different type of medical assistance. However, the most problematic is Flat Feet as it leads to many different disabling injuries. The only non-invasive method of treatment includes orthotics. Once you have been diagnosed with flat feet, your doctor will prescribe the following orthotics to help improve your foot structure.

  • Flexible foot wear
  • An anatomically correct bending point
  • Stiffness support in the torsion
  • Sturdy heel cup

All of these methods will not only help support your foot structure but will also compliment your walking style. If you have been diagnosed with fat feet or Plantar fasciatis, consider visiting your chiropodist or podiatrist as soon as possible. A chiropodist or podiatrist is the most qualified medical practitioner to evaluate your need for orthotics or corrective footwear as they have years of training in identifying biomechanical issues of the lower extremity and how to correct them not only by orthotics but with proper exercises and manual techniques. They work collaboratively with physiotherapists and chiropractors in multidisciplinary clinic. When you start wearing orthotic and corrective footwear products, you may not immediately feel the difference and a reduction in pain. Your body may need some time to adjust to the biomechanical changes forced by the orthotics. Your physiotherapist or chiropodist will instruct you as how to break in the orthotics and gradually increase your activities.

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