When walking, over twice your body weight goes through your foot (even more when running or jumping), and this happens about 10000 times per day! So it's not really surprising that small imbalances in your foot can lead to large amounts of pain!
This may appear purely as foot pain but can also cause pain into the low back and sometimes even the neck!
As your foot hits the ground its primary function is to absorb the impact with the ground, and then to mould to the ground to give you a stable foothold. As this happens, the arch of your foot flattens and your leg rotates inwards (This is known as pronation). If you have flat feet, too much rotation can occur resulting in you adopting a 'knock kneed' posture, your legs to rotate inwards, your pelvis tipping forward and your back over arching. This can cause foot, calf, knee, hip and back pain, and maybe pain in your upper back or neck.
Orthotic devices are shoe inserts that provide support to the arch and rebalance the foot so that it works more efficiently and takes the strain off the rest of the body. 'Off the peg' and orthotics specifically intended for High heels and sports use and also available.
The angle between your lower leg and your heel bone (calcaneus) is measured both whilst you are walking on a treadmill and while you are standing still.
This tells your osteopath how ‘pronated’ your feet are at rest and how much compensation your feet are doing when you’re walking.
You will then be asked to stand on orthotic shells of the correct size.
Then using heel lifts of different thicknesses any leg length difference
will be addressed.
Then, using plastic wedges the angle of your heel bone will be reduced so that it more closely lines up with your lower leg- this reduces the amount of pronation.
The angle of your heal bone will then be measured to make sure the alignment is correct.
The details are all noted down and then sent to the orthotics lab where they create your bespoke orthotics. This normally takes 10 working days.
5 day and 2 day services are available for a small extra charge.
If you'd like to know more about orthotics feel free to contact Osteopath
Paul Costin at the Alexander clinic on 07973 852874 or by email.
Alternatively pop in for a free 15 minute assessment to see what orthotic therapy can do for you!