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Orthotics For Runners!

What are orthotics?

Are you suffering from heel pain, pain in the ball of your feet, arch pain, aching feet, pain in your toes or your achilles tendonitis or bunions? If you are, inlays which are also known as orthotics or insoles can definitely help to reduce your pain. These lower limb biomechanics devices have been around for decades and have been used as a major treatment options for various types of foot problems. Orthotics are similar to arch supports in that they are used as a type of support for the feet. The main difference between orthotics and arch support is the fact that true foot orthotics are mainly prescription devices which are used to apply specific forces to certain areas of the foot, decreasing any pathological or postural imbalances. Foot orthotics are prescribed based on the foot condition that you have been diagnosed with, your foot type and your body type.

As mentioned earlier, orthotics have been used as a treatment of various foot complaints. This include complaints such as:

Plantar fasciitis

Bunions

Heel Spurs

Knee Pain

Types of Orthotics

There are different types of orthotics, each having its advantages and disadvantages. The prefabricated orthotics are cheap, convenient and effective; however, they are produced in mass production and are therefore not customized, they have a nonspecific arch contour and they fail to address positional/structural deformities. Then you have the custom orthotics which are made from precise imprints of your feet. These orthotics are specifically designed to align the foot and the ankle in the most anatomically efficient position, correcting and improving any imbalance.

Orthotics also differ based on the type of material that they are made of. Some are made of softer materials while others are made of firmer and more durable materials. The type of material that you choose will definitely depend on your issue, your foot type, your level of activity and the forces that are needed to achieve the desired outcome. 

Can anyone wear orthotics?

You may be wondering if orthotics are for everyone, especially if you have a child who is suffering from a foot condition. The fact is that orthotics are also also suitable for children. Children starting from three years old can start using orthotics; however, it is not very common to find children that young making use of orthotics. In children, orthotics are normally used to correct “flat feet” to help them develop a normal arch. Orthotics are perfect for both adults and children and will help most of their foot conditions. In the case of children, as they develop, they may no longer need the orthotics but where adults are concerned, if orthotics have been prescribed, they are generally needed indefinitely as they only working when they are worn.

Buying Orthotics Online

Below are a few things to take into consideration before buying orthotics online.

Never buy orthotics without a reason. Know why you are purchasing orthotics and for what reason.

Be careful from whom you are buying. When buying orthotics, you are putting your health at risk so you want to make sure that you are buying from a good supplier.

It is recommended to choose orthotics that come with a lifetime guarantee.

Avoid buying “off the shelf” orthotics. Instead, purchase custom made ones that have been prescribed.

Make sure that your orthotics are checked at least once per year so that if you have any problems with the fit, function or comfort, it can be diagnosed and corrected. Checking it for accuracy and excessive ‘wear and tear’ is definitely a good ideaWho should wear orthotics?

Frequently Asked Orthotics Questions

Should orthotics be worn all the time?

The fact is that the longer they are worn, the more benefit you will extract from them. 

Why does orthotics feel uncomfortable?

It is possible that your new orthotic will feel a bit uncomfortable. This is because as it works to realign the structure of your foot, it applies pressure to certain areas. It is therefore advisable to wear your orthotics in two hour intervals in the beginning and then extend the wear time.

Can I wear my orthotics with any kind of shoe?

As long as your shoe has a removable insole, you can wear your orthotics with them as the orthotics will replace the insole once removed.

Does wearing orthotics weaken my muscles?

Certainly not! They will not reduce muscles tones. Instead, they will position your foot in such a manner that the right muscles will be used at the right time.  This will minimize fatigue and will allow your muscles to be used more efficiently.  


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Orthotics For Runners!

Orthotics For Runners!

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