Spinecare Topics

  • By: ISA Content Team
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Foot Supports/Foot Orthotics

Orthotics can be inserted into a shoe or shoes to help support the foot and to help improve the mechanics of the legs, pelvis and spine.  There are different types of orthotics.  Casted foot orthotics have been scientifically designed for the unique postural problems of the individual.  Proper fitting orthotics help support structural and functional balance during activity such as standing, walking, and running.

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.

Educational Partners

To learn more about your spine. spinehealth, and available spinecare go to the International Spine Assocition (ISA) at www.spineinformation.org. The primary mission of the ISA is to improve spinehealth and spinecare through education. The ISA is committed to disseminating need-to-know information throught the World Wide Web in numerous languages covering many topics related to the spine, including information about spine disorders, spine heath, advances in technology and available spinecare

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