Are Orthotics Right for You?
Custom-made orthotics can be a good treatment option in combination with chiropractic care. There are specific situations when there is a more obvious need for an early orthotics prescription. These include:
- Back problems that are worse with standing, walking or running. Orthotics can help minimize the stress being transferred from the lower extremities to the back.
- Recurrent ankle sprains. After repeated ankle injures there is usually ligament damage and instability. Decreased proprioception (the bodies joint position sense) also occurs and can lead to more ankle sprains. Orthotics can help stabilize the foot and ankle to help prevent re-injury.
- Family history of foot problems or surgery.
- Strenuous athletic participation. Orthotics can help increase shock absorption, stability and performance and decrease the chance of injury. Various specialty orthotics are designed for general athletic use as well as specific sports including running, golf, court sports, soccer, skating and skiing.
- Previous history of stress fractures, shin splints and hamstring strains. Orthotics can help with biomechanical asymmetries, which can cause many of the above conditions.
- History of knee pain or ACL injury. Orthotics have been shown to help decrease rotational forces and improve patellar tracking (knee cap movement).
- Postural imbalances. Such as scoliosis.
- Gait asymmetry. Including over-pronation and flaring of the foot.
- Foot calluses and bunions. These problems typically result from improper force distribution during gait and can be helped with orthotics.
- Flattened arches. Specifically helpful for weight bearing and asymmetries in arch height.
- Heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia and neuromas. These problems result in pain in the heel, especially within the first couple steps out of bed and pain in the ball of the foot.
- Achilles tendonitis and iliotibial band syndrome. Pain in the back of the ankle or side of the leg just above the knee. Often caused by excessive running or sporting activities.