Your feet can be responsible for a lot of pain and misery – and the pain doesn’t even always occur in the feet. Stresses and strains caused by poor alignment of bones can cause injuries to muscles and ligaments elsewhere as they take up the strain.
Many people find that they benefit from foot orthotics:
- Athletes find that orthotics improve their strength and endurance.
- People who are overweight experience less discomfort from excess weight placed on the ligaments in the feet and legs. Orthotics reduce the damaging effects of high-impact exercise, such as running on hard surfaces.
- Those who suffer from joint pain may find that orthotics bring relief.
- Recovery from repetitive stress injuries or sudden traumas to muscles and joints can be helped with orthotics.
- Apart from these applications, orthotics are often of benefit in a wide range of uncomfortable conditions.
1. Painful feet
This might not sound like a terribly painful condition, but some people suffer foot pain that leaves them unable to stand or walk without pain. Foot orthotics can often set things right, allowing them to function normally once again.
2. Knee pain and lower back pain
One doesn’t usually connect pain in the knees or lower back with foot problems, but if your feet aren’t functioning as they should, your knees, hips and lower back are placed under strain. Although orthotics can’t cure all knee or lower back pain, it can do so if the pain is caused by foot problems.
3. Diabetic foot problems
Nerve damage caused by diabetes can cause people to lose sensation in their feet. Because they can’t feel their feet properly, other stresses on the body can result. Many diabetics choose orthotics to reduce this strain by ensuring that their feet are properly aligned.
4. Arthritis sufferers
Arthritis affects the joints, often causing them to become twisted or gnarled. When arthritis affects certain joints, the sufferer can lose mobility altogether. However, in certain cases, orthoses can help to keep them mobile.
Will orthotics help me?
You will need a consultation to confirm this, but your shoes may be able to tell you a lot. Look at the way your shoes wear. If they tend to be “walked over” towards the inside or outside of the foot, your feet probably aren’t working just as they should. Another indication that orthoses may help you, is pain felt after you’ve spent time on your feet. Even so-called “shin splints” could be a sign that your feet aren’t carrying your body’s weight in the right way.
As we’ve noted, athletes also find that orthoses are of benefit, particularly when they indulge in sports where there is a lot of impact on the feet and legs.
Although there are some who question whether orthotics really do work to relieve discomfort and protect the feet, legs, hips and lower back from injury, the results we have achieved for so many of our patients, and the anecdotal evidence from millions of people speak for themselves. No, orthotics do not benefit everyone, but they do help if your aches and pains are caused by foot problems.
If you’re wondering whether orthoses can help you, get a professional opinion.