An orthotic is a foot-supporting device that fits inside shoes. This support allows the feet and lower legs to function at their highest potential. Orthotics can decrease pain, alleviate pressure, and increase stability in an unstable joint. In addiction, orthotics are used to treat specific pathologies (ailments) such as diabetes, plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, heel spurs, and arthritis. A proper orthotic should fit perfectly with the contour of the foot. Orthotics are built from a prescription written by a Podiatrist. Custom insoles are built from an assessment by a trained individual such as a Pedorthist.
People with sensitive feet will enjoy the cushioning properties of this type of orthotics. Flexible (EVA) orthotics come in multiple densities that accommodate many different types of foot pathologies such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis, heel pain and diabetes. They are an excellent choice as a preventative measure against injuries, and great for all types of athletic activities. Due to their flexibility, EVA orthotics are more conducive to proper shoe fit and better accepted in a variety of shoe types.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AMFIT® CUSTOM ORTHOTICS AND THE OTHERS?
Choice of Imaging Positions
AMFIT®’s new computerized system allows for both weight bearing digitizing as well as semi-weightbearing so that the foot can be captured in its best functional position prior to the construction of the orthotic or insole.
Modifications and Adjustments are now Integral
Numerous modifications can now be performed with the new software that will incorporate metatarsal elevations, rear foot or forefoot postings, full or partial foot wedges, and spot accommodations for lesion sites, just to name a few.
Choice of Materials from Firm to Soft
Not everyone does well in a rigid orthotic nor does everyone do well in very soft insoles. A proper orthotic, truly custom made, needs to be designed with the individual in mind. Now a range of material densities from very firm to semi-firm to soft are available as options to meet the expectations of custom work.
Turn-around Time is Usually Less Than 1 Week
Your patients receive their orthotics or insoles sooner. The process is very efficient and in most cases the time from patient evaluation and digitizing to the time we are calling to say their devices are finished is often only days.
We and AMFIT® Stand Behind Our Work
These custom orthotics and insoles have the lowest return/rework rate in the industry. But if something’s not right with the product, we will make it right at no extra charge to your patient. Only our Board Certified Pedorthists are permitted to evaluate your pres-cription and the patient’4s foot functionality. This way you can be assured that you have engaged a competent and certified technician who knows what to look for, how to correct and adjust for biomechanical faults as well as operate the computerized equipment. Any tool is only as good as its operator.
Below is a basic guideline for breaking in new orthotics. Your process may be different.
Pain and swelling is generally mild at first and may simply feel like a “fullness” at the back of the lower leg. Tenderness and “knot-like” swelling develops about 3″- 4″ up on the back of the leg from the heel bone. Pain is eased with rest and gets worse with activity.
Excessive twisting or turning of the ankle and foot due to a biomechanical (body movement) factor such as over-pronation (flattening of the arches), or tight calf muscles often associated with high-arched feet can also lead to this injury.
The most effective initial treatment for Achilles tendonitis has been shown to be the R.I.C.E. routine and consists of (R) rest, (I) ice, (C) compression and (E) elevation. People having this injury should not do any activity that hurts the injured area. You will only make matters worse if you continue to engage in activity to the point where you’re feeling pain again.
Having appropriate, well-fitted shoes with good support and insoles will generally help provide you with more comfort. Achilles tendonitis is further helped initially by adding a slight heel raise to your shoes. If using heel raises be sure to use them in both shoes, not just one, so you don’t make one leg higher than the other. If you do have an underlying biomechanical problem, have arch supports added to your shoes to deal with factors like over-pronation or high-arched feet.
Arch supports can be a very effective way to help reduce the pressure on the Achilles tendon and to help prevent future overstretching and recurrence. Good arch supports can be as simple as properly fit over-the-counter insoles. More specific treatment may include full custom inserts precisely fit to your feet for support and comfort.
Additional treatments which may be recommended by your physician include physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory medications and massage therapy.
Morton’s neuroma is a term that is used to describe an irritated and swollen nerve in the front of the foot. It is usually caused by metatarsal bones in the foot squeezing or pinching the nerve from the sides. This problem typically develops between the third and fourth toes but can also occur between the second and third toes.
Pain from a neuroma is often a very sharp, burning type of pain in the ball of the foot (metatarsal area). The toes that are affected may also burn or feel numb. It is more painful when wearing shoes rather than when going barefoot. In fact people with this condition will often have to stop walking or running and remove their shoe to rub their foot when the pain comes on.
Any footwear that is too tight in the toe box will cause the toes to be squeezed together, and over a long enough time can lead to the swelling of a nerve in the foot. Bio-mechanical (body movement) factors such as over-pronation, high-arched feet and toes that do not lay flat on the ground (a problem with the metatarsal arch) can also lead to this painful foot condition.
Having appropriate, well-fitted shoes with good support and insoles will generally help provide you with more comfort. Ensuring that your shoes have ample width across the ball and toe areas is essential. These neuromas are further helped by using arch supports that have “metatarsal support.”
Arch supports can be a very effective way to help eliminate your pain from a Morton’s neuroma and to help prevent the pain from recurring. Good arch supports can be as simple as properly fit over-the-counter insoles. More specific treatment may include full custom inserts precisely fit to your feet for support and comfort.
Additional treatments which may be recommended by your physician include anti-inflammatory medications, icing the area, a cortisone injection or surgery.
PLANTAR FASCIITIS is an inflammation of the ligament on the bottom (plantar side) of the foot that runs from your heel to the ball of your foot. This condition does not show up on x-ray. Plantar fasciitis occurs as a result of a “pulling” or overstretching of this ligament under the foot from such things as a jumping injury, over-pronation (flattening of the arches), over exercising, weight-lifting, and even during pregnancy due to the added weight gain and therefore increased pressure on the ligament. Discomfort can commonly occur in several places depending on the location of the injury. The bottom-inside of your heel is where the pain most frequently occurs. But pain can also occur in the very middle of the arch or near your toes. Plantar fasciitis can be hard to describe, but many people complain that most discomfort is in the morning when getting out of bed.
A HEEL SPUR…
A HEEL SPUR is a calcium deposit at the base of the heel bone (calcaneus) where the Plantar fascia (a ligament on the bottom of the foot) is attached. A spur shows up on an x-ray. Spurs can occur naturally in people or can grow as a result of repeated stress (a pulling and over-stretching) of the plantar fascia ligament due to problems such as over-pronation (flattening of the arches) or excessive weight gain. Heel spurs cause some people a great deal of pain while in others they go unnoticed and require no treatment at all. Pain from a spur causes discomfort centered under the bottom of the heel when you stand, worsening as the day goes on, and improving when you stay off your feet.
Having appropriate, well-fitted shoes with good heel shock absorption and insoles will generally help provide you with more comfort. Heel spurs are further helped by adding heel cushions to your shoes, provided you do not have any underlying biomechanical problems with your feet. If using heel cushions be sure to use them in both shoes, not just one, so you don’t make one leg higher than the other. If you do have a biomechanical problem, as is often the case with Plantar fasciitis and possibly with heel spurs, have arch supports added to your shoes to deal with factors like over-pronation.
Arch supports can be a very effective way to help eliminate your heel pain and to help prevent recurrence. Good arch supports can be as simple as properly fit over-the-counter insoles. More specific treatment may include full custom inserts precisely fit to your feet for support and comfort.
Additional treatments which may be recommended by your physician include footbaths, stretching exercises, physiotherapy, or cortisone injection.
PRONATION is the flattening out and elongation of the arches. It allows the foot to roll inward when it hits the ground. A slight amount of pronation is normal and is necessary for our feet to absorb shock and adapt to the ground when we are walking or running.
OVER-PRONATION is one of the most common causes of foot and leg pain. Over-pronation occurs because of a biomechanical (body movement) problem that in most cases we inherit from our parents. When the arch flattens and elongates excessively it causes the muscles and ligaments which hold the bones in our feet together to stretch. This stretching causes the tendons to become looser than normal and the joints to become more flexible at times when they should be held tightly in place. With excessive pronation your weight does not come down equally across the entire foot, instead you come down mostly on the inner border of the foot. Without treatment further looseness in the foot occurs and the over-pronation becomes gradually worse.
Over-pronation can be the underlying cause of many different conditions such as arch pain, shin splints, ankle pain, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, bunions, flat foot and corns and calluses.
Having appropriate well-fitted shoes with good support. Insoles will help provide you with more comfort. Your shoes should have enough support to help control your individual amount of over-pronation.
Because excessive pronation is a result of a biomechanical (body movement) problem, it can be effectively controlled with the use of arch supports. Good arch supports can be as simple as properly fit over-the-counter insoles. More specific treatment may include full custom inserts precisely fit to your feet for support and comfort.
Additional treatments which may be recom-mended by your physician if your problem is severe include an ankle/foot brace or custom-made shoes.
Pain that occurs along the front or inside edge of the shinbone (tibia) is commonly called shin splints. You may also hear it referred to as Tibial Stress Syndrome. The problem is very common amongst those people who exercise on a regular basis since so much stress is placed on our legs. The reason for the tenderness is small tears in the leg muscles at their point of attachment to the shin which occur due to overuse. Shin splints in the front of the tibia are called Anterior shin splints. Posterior shin splints cause pain along the upper, inside two-thirds of the tibia.
Anterior Shin Splints is often caused by insufficient shock absorption while running on hard surfaces or by muscular imbalances that are a result of tight calf muscles or “toe running.” Any continuous tightness in the posterior (back) leg muscles places added strain on the opposing anterior (front) muscles. This happens when people who aren’t regular runners decide to go on a long jog.
Posterior Shin Splints is caused by excessive pronation (flattening of the arches) which then in turn causes an increased amount of rotation of the tibia bone in the leg. Both these foot and leg motions then put repeated stress on the muscles and cause the small tears that constitute this injury.
Shin splints may start with a mild ache in the shins even aching while you lay in bed. The pain generally gets worse with activity and eases with rest. Pain may be at its worst when you first get up after sleeping. Just know that if you keep running or exercising because the pain eases a little after you are warmed up and have been running for awhile you are making matters worse. Your pain may progress to become quite sharp and may focus down to a very small area of the tibia bone. If this happens, you may have a stress fracture developing due to the overuse a more serious problem.
Rest plays a key role in decreasing the pain and tenderness. People with this problem are encouraged to stop doing the activity that caused the problem at least until the symptoms are under control.
Having appropriate, well-fitted shoes with good shock absorption and good support for pronation. Insoles will generally help provide you with more comfort as well. Arch supports are a very effective way to help eliminate the pain from shin splints and help prevent recurrence. Good arch supports can be as simple as properly fit over-the-counter insoles. More specific treatment may include full custom inserts precisely fit to your feet for support and comfort.
Additional treatments which may be recommended by your physician include cold packs, anti-inflammatory medications, taping, physiotherapy, and stretching exercises for the calf muscles.
Adam Kemist C.Ped is a board-certified Pedorthist and certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner. A Certified Pedorthist is a health care professional who provides biomechanics expertise, knowledge of footwear, and design and fabrication of custom insoles and orthotics. As a Pedorthist, Adam is qualified to create prescribed foot orthoses, as well as create custom insoles for his clients.
Read more about Pedorthics here.
Adam is an avid runner and his experience has helped him to not only have firsthand experience with many of his client’s discomforts, but also to help with real world solutions. This experience helps Adam relate to what walkers and runners go through. Adding his 20+ years of training and studying the field of biomechanics makes him very effective in relieving and preventing injuries.
Adam owned The Runners High and On Your Mark specialty running and walking stores in Los Altos and Menlo Park, CA for over 20 years.