Foot orthotics, otherwise known as orthotic insoles and orthoses, are specially designed shoe inserts that aim to restore the natural function of the foot and correct poor biomechanics. As a result, well-fitted orthotics can be used to treat and alleviate complaints of pain occurring in the knee, lower back and heel.
Biomechanics is the science behind the body’s movements when walking, running and playing sports. Unfortunately, a large number of the population are affected by one of the most common forms of poor biomechanics: over-pronation. This condition occurs when the arches of the feet are dropped, causing the feet and ankles to uncomfortably and painfully roll inwards.
Fortunately, orthotics can effectively correct over-pronation, as well as other causes of bad foot biomechanics. They work through realigning the bones of the feet and ankles, moving them to their original positions and helping to restore the full function of the foot. This can have a significantly positive effect on foot problems, as well as helping with pain that’s experienced elsewhere in the body, including the knees, hips, and lower back.
It’s thought that approximately 70% of the world’s population experience some degree of over-pronation. This biomechanical fault can be caused by a number of factors, but in most cases it occurs due to the presence of flat feet or fallen arches.
The condition affects sufferers differently, with some experiencing it much worse than others. It is thought to have become more common in recent times due to the increase in hard, flat surfaces which are walked on daily. Other factors that increase susceptibility include age, weak ankles, and an excess body weight. This is the reason why over-pronation is commonly suffered by those aged fifty and over, as well as those who are overweight.
In the majority of instances, over-pronation isn’t an overly serious problem, particularly for young sufferers. However, if left untreated, the condition can worsen, resulting in abnormal foot function. This in turn can cause serious complications, including heel pain, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, and metatarsalgia. In severe cases, over-pronation has even been known to cause knee and lower back pain.s
If over-pronation is suspected, it’s recommended to seek orthotic treatment as soon as possible to correct the problem. This will reduce aches and pains caused by the condition, and can sometimes eliminate them altogether. Foot orthotics are relatively inexpensive and can prevent a range of foot and lower body problems, making them a worthy investment for your body’s health.