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Feb 2015

Can Foot Orthotics Correct your Gait?

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Those with an abnormal walking pattern, or gait, can improve their walking by using orthotics – A type of polymer plastic insert that fit into shoes to help correct a biomechanical or condition of the foot.

Gait Correction

Once inserted and worn in the shoe – just like insoles are – these custom devices are designed to help align the foot and ankle into the most anatomically correct position, thereby amending the imbalance in your stride.

How do orthotics work?

Custom-made foot orthotics correct the biomechanical foot condition by repositioning your foot and ankle into the proper position. They do this by targeting abnormal motion that occurs during your walking pattern, also called the gait cycle, and redirects or reduces this abnormality.

These orthotics, which are made with plastic, hone in on the two major foot joints that are located just below the ankle joint.

Usually, custom-made orthotics are oftenprescribed for people suffering from of flat feet, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis (calcified bone deposits on the heel) and metatasalgia (foot pain in the metatarsal bones). Custom orthotics can also help successfully treat shin splints, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral syndrome. Generally speaking, those who may need a custom orthotic may feel the following symptoms due to improper gait: hammer toe, heel/arch pain, hip pain, specific localized foot pain, bunions, and even back pain. This is because the position of your feet during movement has a ripple effect that impacts the rest of your body!

To find out how custom orthotics can help you, you will be subject to a thorough evaluation assessing how you walk. This biomechanical analysis, or gait analysis, will take a matter of minutes andwill identify any problem spots. It will also tell you basic facts about your feet, such as if one foot is flatter than the other, or one leg shorter than the other.

Because custom orthotics are made specifically for your feet, they will fit inside your shoes just as comfortably as any insole. They achieve this because they’re made from an imprint of your very own feet. Additionally, just like insoles, they can fit in almost any shoe that has its own removable insole. In fact, you simply swap out the insole that came with your shoes for the custom-made orthotic one!

Orthoticscan even be used with custom-made specialty footwear such as sandals, making sure you can also be getting support no matter your activity.

If you have a slight limp in your step, experience foot pain on a regular basis, or even suffer from hip problems, speak to the experts at Dynamic Physiotherapy today to see how we can help!

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