Why Orthotics are the Best
Our feet serve us almost everyday; they give us the opportunity to enjoy a nature walk with family, catch up with friends for a coffee and get our exercise. The gastrocnemius is 1 of 2 major muscles that make up the calf muscle which is located in the lower leg. This muscle is known as the body’s “2nd heart” and is responsible for moving blood back up to the thoracic or chest cavity, where the heart can continue to pump nutrient rich and oxygenated blood around the body. Needless to say, our feet and legs are extremely important and deserve as much love and attention as possible!
This is where orthotic insoles or shoes can help out to provide your feet the comfort they need on a daily basis.
What are Orthotics?
Orthotics are basically a special shoe or shoe inserts/insoles (as we’ll discuss in detail near the end) that are designed to aid the foot in functioning at its best – as a result this has a “knock on” effect on the rest of the leg and in some cases, can even support the hip joint and lower back. Now, orthotics used to be something those who didn’t need it turned a blind eye to as they were reserved for those dealing with chronic foot pain from years of wearing unsuitable footwear or from a foot injury. Thankfully those days are over and we are more aware of the long term benefits, not to mention the shoe designs are a lot sleeker also!
Below is a table illustrating the advantages of orthotics insoles versus non-orthotic insoles.
Orthotic VS. Non – orthotic
The hip joint, thigh, knee joint, lower leg, ankle and foot which are made up of
tendons, ligaments, large and small muscles plus bones as well as dense fatty tissue all work
together to provide:
Changing into different positions of the walking cycle
The above functions rely on the foot being in optimal form, meaning we need to make sure all 3 arches of the foot are functioning properly. Yes, you read right, each foot actually has three arches not 1!
The foot has 2 longitudinal (medial & lateral a and c) and 1 anterior transverse arch (b) illustrated below:
Now that we know a little more about the physiology of our feet, let’s dive into the important aspects of an orthotic shoe insert.
Quality orthotic insoles are designed with a material that is both lightweight, provides necessary cushioning and is durable – these materials are usually: genuine leather and top grade microfibre material see Figure 1.0. The Foot & Ankle Experts Podiatry Clinic can help to create custom orthotics that will aid in correcting foot posture and treat any foot pathology you’re experiencing without compromising your comfort. In order to begin the multi-step process of creating a custom orthotic, your podiatrist will need to perform an assessment in which he/she will examine the biomechanics of your legs and most importantly feet, this helps them to collect data and understand where exactly the root of the problem lies.
When looking for a pair of good orthotic shoes or insoles, always opt for something that makes you feel great, you deserve it and your feet will thank you for it! We here at The Foot & Ankle Experts Podiatry Clinic are ready to help you assist with any questions regarding buying the right shoe for you or booking an appointment to talk about how you can get your own custom orthotics made. Simply visit us in the clinic or give us a call on 07 3741 2825 to talk to one of our friendly team!
By Nadia Anand – The Foot & Ankle experts Podiatry Clinic