“The Truth about Orthotics”, What your Orthotist should know, but might not be telling you!
CFN – Orthotic devices, footbeds, have a multitude of applications. To properly prescribe them the health care provider must have a clear understanding of the biomechanics of the lower limb. Analyzing Gait, and the perturbations away from normal gait, is crucial to obtaining a proper diagnosis and proper orthotic prescription. Having fallen arches or flat feet is not as much a problem as most people might think, the real problem arrises when there is a major asymmetries from left to right, where one foot/ankle, during stance and gait is very different for the other.
During the walking cycle there are four basic components, swing phase, heel strike, stance phase, and toe off. During swing phase the lower leg internally rotates, toward heel strike. At heel strike is the heel inverted or everted? During mid stance phase does the arch collapse and how much? At toe off is the forefoot valgus or varus. (see Diagrams)
These are the three major components that must be address during a fitting for orthotics. Rear foot correction, mid-foot support and forefoot correction. Going to Walmart or to a local Doc to have your foot scanned, will give you a arch support. While that is better than nothing, it will not provide proper correction and support for your foot to take care of most gait related problems.
The next question is: “What type of Orthotic should be ordered?” Rigid, Semi-flexible, or soft? How much Shock absorption is desired, what is the usage, and what is the lifetime of the orthotic product. Just like a new pair of running shoes feel great for the first few weeks, orthotic devices have a lifetime of useful compaction. Any foam, gel, air cell, that provides compaction is going to have a lifetime. Getting a product that can be refurbished at a reasonable price should be a consideration, when you by a pair of orthotics.
Recently I have seen local orthotic products, that do not have any posting material in the arch, The plastic often collapses overtime and the support once there is gone. If the Plastic, carbon fiber is too rigid, then discomfort and pressure points can arise. Remember the orthotic product is designed to support the foot durning the pronation and supination of gait, not prevent it from happening.
Here is a common foot problem, hyper-pronation, varus forefoot with heel eversion. All three need to be corrected. (See Photos)
The next major question, is how should the molds of the foot be Obtained? What most specialists agree on is that however the molds are obtained, the foot and the subtalar joint should be in the Neutral position.
Molding the foot in the neutral position or in a functional neutral position is crucial to a proper support and posting for the orthotic products.
What should you pay for a good pair of properly prescribed orthotics? It seems that the going rate in the Cornwall Region is $350- $425.
Our office can make you a superior functional orthotic for $250, and includes the treadmill Gait Analysis!!
Here is the kicker, you can have the orthotic re-furbished, re-built in a year or two for $65 plus shipping!
Really like the orthotic and want a second or third pair, $150 for additional pairs.
If you are not happy with your exiting orthotics, or you think they are worn out or you need a new pair or are getting your first pair, Please give us a call at 613-662-2106. Or stop by the office for a free Evaluation.
805 Sydney St. “Across from FarmBoy”. Comprehensive Chiropractic & Rehabilitation.
Dr. Glen G. Rasmussen B.Sc. DC
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Remember … You Don’t have to Live with the Pain