Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Logo

Serving Melbourne

for over 20 years

35 Churchill Ave , Maidstone

VIC 3012, Australia

icon-sticky

Serving Melbourne
for over 30 years

Group 11

35 Churchill Ave , Maidstone, VIC 3012, Australia

Are orthotics really the solution to your foot pain?

Are you generally confused about foot support? Are the messages about arch support conflicting? How do you know if you need arch support?

“Orthotics are more of a crutch than a tool used to improve foot biomechanics! Its shown that they can be beneficial for pain relief rather than better foot function.”1

Are you suffering terrified of putting your feet down in the morning because of foot pain? Are you sick of putting things on hold because your feet will get sore?

It’s not a good feeling when you are asked to join an activity and you can’t because you’re worried about aggravating your foot issues, always reminiscing of the times before you didn’t have to worry about all those things.

One of the big frustrations with feet I have these days is if anyone has any problems with their feet, a pair of orthotics are thrown at it. I’ve been noticing that this is something that is happening more and more often.

Whilst some need and benefit from orthotics, I’m here to say, that orthotics is not the answer to making your feet work properly. Simply pushing your foot in the desired direction or creating a crutch for a “lower arch” isn’t might support the foot, but does it really improve the way it works…? 🤔.

Wouldn’t it be better to not have to use the crutch? Wouldn’t you much rather teach your foot to do what it is meant to do without the permanent use of an orthotic!

The big confusion about arch support is that many think it’s the answer to improved foot biomechanics. To talk about arch support, you need to understand why our feet might change in the first place.

There’s a theory going around that we live in a world with too much hard flooring and that’s causing our arches to flatten out. Back in the day (many many many years ago) our surfaces were much softer and not as harsh on our arches and a flat surface was rare, not common. As a result, early humans had constant stimulation to their feet.

You see, arches are supported by muscles. They are held up like hooks that hold hats. If the hook doesn’t work, then the hat will fall.

So how do orthotics fir into this…?

By placing an orthotic in your shoe, what you are essentially creating is a rigid semi-flat surface for your foot to walk on. A surface that lifts and holds your foot up in a perfect position.

Whilst in some people this can be a lot of benefit, it can potentially also train your foot to rely on the orthotic more and more. Not actually improving the foot to work better.

To make more sense of this let me explain how the foot works. The biomechanics of the foot is a very specific and elegant mechanism. When we walk there a couple of important steps.

First one is your toe off. Your big toe is more important than you think. A good toe off is everything when it comes to walking around. It’s the first thing that happens when you walk.

The moment you lift your heel off the ground your big toe initiates the process of taking a step. When your big toe contracts, it causes a flow on contraction of the muscles in your arch, the arch then engages the muscles that control the stability of your heel. This then leads to contraction of muscles that support your knee and hip.

If there’s a chink in the chain, then the biomechanical function of your foot will be flawed. For example, if you don’t get contraction of the big toe), you won’t get the arch muscles contracting properly which will cause a drop in the arch. So, from here you can either fix the problem or get arch support. Witch one do you think would be better…?

So how do you know if you have a biomechanical change that might be affecting the way your arch is working?

Here’s a little check you can do to see:

  1. Stand up
  2. Put all your weight on one foot
  3. Have someone try to lift your big toe
  4. Check to see if your big toe moves freely or feels restricted while weight baring

If your finding that the toe doesn’t move freely whilst your standing then there’s most likely a biomechanical dysfunction with your foot, it’s something we call Functional Hallux Limitis.

If this is you and you want some help to get it right and really investigate whether we can help get your feet right without the use of orthotics then give us a call on 9318 7758 or send us a message. Our team is happy to chat to see if we might be able to help


Leave a Reply



icon
Serving Melbourne
for over 20 years