As lockdown continues, and we face another few months of life without access to our traditional gym settings, I have been inundated with questions regarding training strategies that can be implemented at home.
A lot of people suffering with knee pain, foot pain, tight calves and the like don’t realise that custom orthotics can reduce these symptoms. How amazing it would be if we had perfect feet and perfect posture. In our work at Walnut Grove we never see that rare beast!
Orthotics are inserts in your footwear designed to support your foot’s natural structure. Because they affect the way we stand and move, orthotics can change the pattern of forces and stresses throughout the musculoskeletal system. If you have plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, hallux valgus, achilles problems or ankle instability, you can benefit from orthotics.
However it doesn’t stop there – your feet are the things that hit the ground but reaction forces travel throughout the body so how the feet function can have an effect much further afield even up to the shoulder or the neck. Its always important to try to get to the root of a patients pain or lack of function, sometimes rubbing the sore bit helps but more often than not the pain will return and a more longer lasting solution is required.
At Walnut Grove Lisa Williams a specialist physio in orthotics and bracing can assess your feet and your gait using a specialist scanner, which looks at the forces when you walk. Interpretation of the results will give Lisa an indication as to whether the foot is working well and then looking at the way your whole body moves a decision can be made as to whether a custom orthotic to help foot position might reduce symptoms.
Our feet were designed to be bare and used on a variety of mixed surfaces – most of us wear shoes from very little children and walk on hard surfaces like tarmac or the office floor – so our feet don’t develop the musculature to help support them. Exercises can help not just foot musculature but also up through the body but sometimes it can be beneficial to help the function by putting the body in the correct position and from there, develop strength. Quite often we can exercise people out of orthotics and build the strength so the orthotics are no longer needed.
If you have a problem, which is worse on activity or weight bearing exercise – think about a consultation to look options and treatments which may be of benefit.
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