How Biomechanical Orthotics Help You
The biomechanical orthotic is a device which is custom-made from a cast of your foot. The device is an insert, which is placed in your shoes and alters the position and motion of your feet when you stand and walk. Special angles or “posts” are often placed in the front and back of the device to help control abnormal motion and encourage normal motion.
The key to the function of the device is how well we design the shape and angle of the “posts”. In some cases, we can use the device to normalize the function of your knees, hips, or low back.
Since all the joints of the lower limbs work together during walking, squatting, and running, we call this relationship a CHAIN REACTION. Our goal is to use the orthotic to improve the function of the “chain reaction”.
The orthotic is only as effective as the shoe in which you place it. For example, if you build a solid house on a landfill, it can falter due to the unsupportive nature of the “foundation”. The same is true for the orthotic. Poorly fitting shoes or shoes that are unsupportive can play a huge role in creating abnormal motion of your lower limbs. The proper shoe is essential for the proper function of your orthotics. We will provide you with a shoe list if necessary to help you choose the right type of shoe. For those of you who run, it is important that the shoe be replaced an average of every 6 months or 600 miles. Times may vary depending on how much you run, your body weight, and how hard you are on shoes.
The orthotic must fit securely in your shoe. The top cover (if applicable) should not be buckled or rumpled and the orthotic must fit flat from front to back and side to side.
It is essential that you allow an adequate adjustment period for your orthotics. It will typically take one week before you can wear the device full time. The orthotic will affect the position and motion of your feet and it will take time for your body to adjust to those changes. We will review the break-in procedure with you. The keys to success are to follow our recommendation, take responsibility for your exercises, communicate your concerns and be consistent. Gradually increase wear time beginning with 2 hours/day and increasing 1-2 hours/day until wearing full time. Generally, no sports/running for 1st 7-10 days.
What to expect with break-in:
- muscle fatigue/soreness
- joint aching
- arch pressure or fatigue
- feeling like you are walking on the outside of your foot
- changes in balance
- feeling like you need more or less support
- occasional tingling in the feet – if the shoe is too tight
- improved walking mechanics and foot function
- reduction of pain complaints
- reduction in foot and leg fatigue