If you have foot, ankle, knee, hip or lower back pain you may be a candidate for orthotics. The foot is actually a complex machine that depends on all of its 26 bones and even more joints to work in harmony. There are two basic states of the foot that should be very familiar: arch up and arch down. The arch up state comes next, because that is what makes the foot a rigid lever for push off.
A long time ago, people tried helping others with very flat feet, by devising platforms that would fit in their shoes under their feet and hold up their arches.
So to this day, the most common approach to helping the flat foot avoids direct arch contact and control.
From a very common-sense, mechanical point of view, the only way you can effectively control the foot is to apply a force directly up under the arch.
But before we can make a truly custom device, we have to cast your feet in a very specific way in order to capture the corrected position we want the orthotic to impose on your foot.


There are many routine treatments for foot problems, from anti-inflammatory pills to cortisone injections, to a zillion different pads, cushions, ointments and, of course, surgery.
When it works as designed, the foot is capable of remarkable things which all help insure not only pain-free health of the foot, but the parts up the chain, including ankles, knees, hips and spine. The arch down state happens when, after the heel strikes the ground, the foot unwinds inside and the arch does a free fall due to gravity. Combinations of cushions, wedges under the heel or forefoot are used to try to control the flattening foot -all with undersized or minimal arches. If you just stepped in a box of foam, we would capture all that is wrong about your feet: the fallen arch, the splayed forefoot, etc.
The foot unwinds to absorb shock as the heel strikes the ground, changes shape to accommodate to varied terrain, then winds back up to be a firm, propulsive lever to advance forward.
This is why most major studies have shown that typical custom foot orthotics work no better than what you might buy off the shelf at the drug store or supermarket.
The goal is to create a custom, supportive platform for each foot that is rigid enough to achieve the arch up state, yet flexible enough to allow some small degree of flattening for shock absorption, terrain adaptation and comfort.


But the good news is, once we have bothered to do all that, we have created an orthotic that really works the way it is supposed to. That is not only tiring because your muscles have to work harder, it leads to the common foot pains and deformities that afflict millions every day: bunion, plantar fasciitis, and metatarsalgia to name a few. To do that we have to know how much a person weighs, because bigger people need more support. Assisted by gravity, body weight, muscle weakness and hard floors, the foot learns to unwind and flatten the arch ever closer to the ground, getting flatter with age. We also need to know how flexible their foot structure is, because floppier feet need more support.
The fact is, many people suffer from foot disorders and are constantly looking, sometimes desperately, for relief.



Sandals arch support flat feet
Dr scholls custom orthotics locations
Cushions for running shoes
Dr scholl's custom fit


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