Foot Supports/Foot Orthotics
Orthotics help correct an abnormal or irregular walking patterns. They are not just arch supports, although some people and some physicians use this term to describe them. Foot orthotics provide support and facilitate functions that make standing, walking, and running more comfortable and efficient, by slightly altering the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface. The orthotic also provides shock absorption, thus reducing stress on the knees, hips and low back.
There are five primary reasons to use orthotics which are 1) structurally support the foot; 2) increase short leg length; 3) absorb shock; 4) protect the soft tissues of the foot; and 5) to reduce pronation. There are three primary types of orthotics which are: 1) the rigid orthotic; 2) the semi-rigid orthotic; and 3) the soft orthotic. The rigid orthotics is primary used to influence function, whereas the semi-rigid orthotic provides support and helps absorb shock. The soft orthotics help absorb shock, increase balance and take pressure off of sore regions. Your physician should decide which type of orthotics is most appropriate for you.