The principle of orthotics is simple: create a device which corrects the way the foot moves and rests in a shoe to correct pain and functionality issues.
Despite the seeming simplicity of this idea, the results of orthotics are far from simple. For some, the right orthotic is the difference between a productive day and being unable to handle standing.
Orthotics can be generalized to improve comfort and reduce stress on the foot, or they can be highly customized and created for the needs of a specific individual.
They can also be designed to address specific symptoms or conditions, such as plantar fasciitis.
Finding the right orthotic requires collaborating with your health care professionals and an orthotics expert. They will be able to diagnose any conditions in your feet and suggest the best orthotic treatment options.
Let’s learn a bit about what orthotics can do.
Braces and supports help in a variety of situations, such as recovering from an injury or just leading an active lifestyle and needing to protect your joints. Here are just a few examples of when braces and straps can help:
Joint conditions like Arthritis
Conditions related to Athletic Injuries
Jobs involving heavy lifting or repetitive motions
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)
Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee) and conditions related to Runner’s Knee
Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis with Orthotics
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a fibrous connective tissue which runs along the bottom of the foot.
This tissue is responsible for connecting your heel bone to your toes. People suffering from plantar fasciitis can suffer intense heel pain, and plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain.
There are many ways to address plantar fasciitis, including treatments such as physiotherapy, acupuncture, and other methods. But one of the most effective methods of managing plantar fasciitis is with the help of the right orthotics.
Part of healing and preventing plantar fasciitis includes gentle stretching through normal exercise in order to increase flexibility. This means that gentle walking is great -- but with the help of the right insole, you can walk safely and with the support toys feet need to prevent further damage and keep plantar fasciitis at bay.
Many studies have shown that orthotics can provide relief for patients suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Orthotics can also be combined with other treatment options, such as:
- Physiotherapy: Helps to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility, making your feet less prone to the inflammation which causes plantar fasciitis.
- Night Splints: Night splints are worn on the feet and calves during sleep. They help to stretch the arch of your foot.
Acupuncture: Helps to alleviate pain and combat inflammation.
What Can You Do To Prevent Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue on the bottom of your foot. Anything which causes stress to the bottom of your foot can contribute to plantar fasciitis.
This could be everything from too much (or too little!) exercise, to wearing bad shoes, to suffering an injury from a fall or a jump.
While mild plantar fasciitis might be just an annoyance, ignoring it can lead to severe chronic heel pain, which can make daily activities difficult.
Fortunately, there are quite a few steps you can take to help prevent plantar fasciitis from rearing its ugly head.
Here’s some steps you can integrate into your daily routine to help give heel pain the boot:
- Be Careful: Avoid or minimize high impact activities as much as possible, such as running, jumping, heavy lifting, certain sports, etc.
- Strengthen Your Feet: Perform regular exercise and stretching to improve the strength and flexibility of your feet, helping to combat the inflammation which is the source of plantar fasciitis. Focus on stretches which target the plantar fascia and calf muscles.
- Protect Your Feet: Wear quality shoes which fit properly and provide the support and protection necessary for whatever activity you plan to do in them. Avoid going barefoot, especially on hard or uneven surfaces. Don’t wear worn-out shoes.
- Shed Pounds: Losing excess weight takes a load off your feet, reducing the stress of everyday activities.
Get the Right Orthotic: Orthotics help to support your feet, reducing stress and inflammation.
Choosing the Right Brace
With the wide variety of braces available, it can be hard to find the right one for you, as there are knee sleeves, knee straps, knee braces and back braces for lower back pain to choose from, but our experienced medical professionals can help.
What is the Difference Between Orthotics and Arch Supports?
You may have seen arch supports — shoe inserts which look nearly identical to orthotics — being sold in shoe stores and supermarkets.
Are these the same as orthotics? Well, yes and no.
Arch supports like the ones sold in shoe stores are extremely general purpose devices. They are meant to work for as many people as possible and provide a pattern of arch support which will hopefully work for the majority of users.
An orthotic, in contrast, is a customized device engineered specifically for the foot of the patient it was designed for.
This means that orthotics are far more effective, comfortable, and can serve many functions arch supports cannot, such as addressing specific biomechanical issues with a person’s gait.
Your feet are your foundation. Without proper care, they can cause severe pain which affects everything you do.
Book Your Appointment For Orthotics Services With Us
Imagine if every time you put your shoes on, you knew you were stepping into a future with a little less foot pain.
That’s what our orthotics have done for hundreds of happy patients and what we hope they can do for you, too!
Ready to schedule your appointment? Get in touch with us today. We’re waiting to hear from you.
Toronto Orthotics FAQ
What is the main cause of plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, the large connective tissue which runs along the bottom of the foot. This inflammation can be due to any type of stress or injury the foot is subjected to. Poor shoes, strain from running or exercise, lack of arch support, and many other issues can affect the foot to result in plantar fasciitis.
How do you know if you need orthotics?
If you find yourself constantly suffering pain, stiffness, or soreness in your feet from normal everyday activities, it may be a good idea to look into the possibility of orthotics.
How often should orthotics be replaced?
Orthotics are not made with a fixed expiration date and are typically replaced based on wear and appearance. A typical lifetime for a new orthotic is somewhere between 1 and 5 years.