On the surface, it might seem like our feet are not made out of much – just toes, soles, and ankles. Surprisingly, our feet are actually very anatomically complex and contain over 26 bones, 33 joints, and over a hundred muscles, ligaments, and tendons in each foot! Our feet support our body weight and work in conjunction with other parts of our body to protect our joints, prevent injuries, and improve our overall well-being. It’s no wonder that people spend billions of dollars a year on shoes and custom accessories such as orthotics! And that begs the question, and topic of this blog – are orthotics worth it?
What are Orthotics?
Orthotics are custom-made doctor-prescribed medical devices that come in the form of a shoe insert or a heel insert and are worn inside shoes to correct foot alignment issues. Improper alignment of your feet can lead to biomechanical imbalances and pain during common activities such as standing, walking, or running. These issues are typically exacerbated through prolonged participation in strenuous activities such as sports.
Benefits of Orthotics
The most common benefit of an orthotic is providing extra support and stability for the anatomical arches of your feet. Though over-the-counter orthotics are available to purchase, a custom orthotic that conforms to your foot and aligns your foot properly is recommended for optimal support.
An additional benefit of orthotics is the protection from added strain to your joints. Orthotics are known for reducing pain. CW Rehab Founder Dr. Sohil Shafiei states that “a person’s body weight impact is increased depending on their motion. Just standing, our feet and ankles endure 1x our body weight. When walking, that increases to 2.5-3x of the person’s body weight, depending on the style of their gait. When running, the figure increases to 4-8x the person’s body weight; so a 200lb person could have up to 1600lbs of force running through their foot and ankle with every step. The goal of custom orthotics is to reduce this impact and improve their walking and running mechanics.”
Benefits of Orthotics for Athletes
Custom sports orthotics are very popular amongst athletes for several reasons. Two of the reasons they’re popular are their 1) ability to improve athletic performance, and 2) prevent injuries. Orthotics specifically designed for a sport can help produce more efficient and accurate movements and reduce the force load of the demands of a specific sport. This paves the way for improved balance, heightened motion control, and even reduced muscle fatigue. Sports orthotics also provide a stable surface for foot support and reduce the risk of further foot and ankle injuries.
Custom Orthotics in Toronto, ON
At Church Wellesley Health Center Rehabilitation, we are committed to providing health care solutions that fit your unique needs. We are proud to offer our clients in the Toronto area custom-made orthotics and we will work with you to ensure that they meet your individual needs. For more information, or to schedule an appointment with one of our professional practitioners, contact us at 416-463-1500. Let’s leave your foot and joint pain behind – contact us for relief today!