Insoles are probably one of the most underrated medical devices which are used on a regular basis. It is estimated that up to 70% of people will experience some type of foot condition which will negatively impact normal activities or overall health.
Insoles can be separated into three main categories:
These are generic insoles which can be purchased direct in a shop without and assessment or prescription. They can be used for simple foot complaints such as flat feet, achilles tendinitis or overuse injuries.
Modular insoles provide more correction and alignment than stock insoles as they allow the addition of wedges and lifts to further correct foot posture. They do not always require a full orthotic assessment and are more commonly used for, small leg length differences, mid-foot and ankle pain and plantar fasciitis (heel pain).
Custom insoles are known as orthotics and are prescribed medical devices that are used to correct biomechanical foot issues. They are customised to each individual foot and can offer foot support as well as influence alignment up the whole body. They can be used in the management of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, knee pain, hip pain and back pain.
If you experience regular pain or discomfort in your feet, ankles, shins, knees, hips or lower back then insoles can help. There are a few common reasons why insoles may be needed.
Insoles can provide much needed pain relief for foot, ankle, and lower limb injuries. Pain can occur when ligaments and joints of the foot are forced to adapt to abnormal biomechanical foot movements caused from constant stressful and repetitive movements such as walking or running. Orthotic insoles realign and support the foot and posture to restore function and reduce pain.
SHOCK ABSORBING AND CUSHIONING
Shock absorbing insoles work well for bony anomalies under the feet, such as the ball of the foot where fatty pads may have become thinned due to injury or age. They can also offload sensitive points such as under and around the heels. Shock absorbing insoles can redistribute pressure and weight more evenly over the base of the foot to further reduce sensitive areas. They can be useful for diabetics to offload at risk pressure areas and also for high activity users requiring shock absorption in the reduction of overuse injuries.
During exercise, your foot is subjected to high impact forces which can result in pain and injury. A well contoured and supportive insole can protect the foot from excessive and undesirable movement, reducing stress on the ligaments, muscles and joints and therefore reduce the risk of injury.
REDUCE THE DEVELOPMENT OF FOOT CONDITIONS
As orthotic insoles support the foot in a more desirable biomechanical position, this can reduce the development of comment foot complaints. This can include, plantar fasciitis (heel pain), metatarsalgia (fore foot pain), achillies tendinopathy, knee pain and shin splints, which are all commonly associated with poor foot alignment. An aligned body experiences less foot complaints and is less prone to injury.
WHOLE BODY ALIGNMENT ISSUES
When your feet have biomechanical alignment issues your whole body must compensate for this. For example, flat feet can cause your shins, knees, and hips to rotate inwards creating painful rotations which each step. Orthotic insoles can also provide a low-profile solution for medial (inside) Osteoarthritis knee pain by wedging under the outside heel to reduce forces at the inside knee joint and therefore reducing pain. A suitably supportive insole can aid the whole-body positioning, resulting in improved pain management for the whole body.
Orthotic insoles will not be the perfect solution for everything, but you might be surprised with how many issues they can help with. They cannot perform miracles and make your feet perfect or restore lost movement. However, when worn they can improve function and reduce pain.
At Total Body Orthotics we provide biomechanical assessments for a wide range of insoles and conditions. Your visit will include an in-depth biomechanical evaluation, from which we can determine the most suitable orthotic insole prescription for your individual needs. Where needed your orthotist will take a mould or a 3D scan to ensure a well contoured and comfortable insole is manufactured. A further fitting appointment will be required to facilitate any final adjustments to the insoles. A gradual wear in program will be discussed to ensure optimum results.
Or pop in to see us at our clinic Total Body Orthotics, The Arcade, Eccleshall High Street, Eccleshall Staffordshire.