Orthotics, which comes from the Greek word orthos, meaning "to straighten" or "align", is a specialty within the medical field concerned with the design, manufacture and application of orthoses. An orthosis is a device used outside of the body to make minor changes to the structure and function of the muscular and skeletal system. An orthosis may be used to:
*Control, guide, limit and/or immobilize an extremity, joint or body segment for a particular reason
*To restrict movement in a given direction
*To assist movement generally
*To reduce weight bearing forces for a particular purpose
*To aid rehabilitation from fractures after the removal of a cast
*To otherwise correct the shape and/or function of the body, to provide easier movement capability or reduce pain
Orthotics combines knowledge of anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, biomechanics and engineering. Patients benefiting from an orthosis may have a condition such as spina bifida or cerebral palsy, or have experienced a spinal cord injury or stroke. Equally, orthoses are sometimes used preventatively or to optimize performance in sports.
The feet are the foundation of the spine and the body. This is true whether a person is standing, walking, or running. Thus, balanced foot structure is vital to ankle, knee, hip and spinal health. If the foot structure is misaligned then the rest of the body will be thrown off balance, causing pain and/or problems with general movement.
Orthotics is the common name for shoe inserts that are intended to correct abnormal walking patterns, mostly caused by foot pronation (the inward roll of the foot), or a collapsed medial arch (in laymen's terms: flat feet). It is estimated that over 80% of people have some type of foot pronation. They are either under-pronators (not enough roll), or over-pronators (too much roll). Over time this can cause severe problems such as plantar fasciitis, heel pain, knee meniscal degeneration, hip pain and back pain.
Dr. Le at ACN Wellness can evaluate and make recommendations to help balance your foundation with comfortable, custom-casted orthotics, heel lifts and arch supports manufactured by Foot Levelers. Call for an appointment today!