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Orthotics are orthopedic devices that are used to alter or modify foot function and are designed to treat, adjust, and support various biomechanical foot disorders. Custom-made foot orthotics are made for the specific needs of a patient. Custom orthotics are created by placing the foot in a foam cast, which makes an impression of the foot and duplicates any misalignments of the foot’s structure. The finished orthotic is placed in the patient’s shoe to support the foot and eliminate abnormal foot biomechanics by keeping the foot properly aligned while walking or running.
Overpronation or an excess falling of the arch is the cause of most biomechanical gait problems and therefore the main culprit that can lead to foot troubles. A custom foot orthotic stops overpronation by preventing the arch from falling as far as it normally would. Good orthotics make contact with the entire arch and starts to slow it as soon as it starts to fall. Orthotics with a poor design try to catch the arch after it has already started to speed up and they do not prevent pronation as well.
True custom foot orthotics must bend with you as you put weight on them but to be truly custom to you they must take into account four things:
1. Your Arch: Some people have a large arch and some have a very small arch.
2. Your Foot Flexibility: If your foot is more flexible, it needs more support.
3. Your Weight: A larger person needs more support for their foot and arch.
4. Your Activity: A person who runs or spends more time on their feet during the day needs more support.
Custom foot orthotics correct a biomechanical problem in the feet in the same way that eyeglasses or contacts correct an optical problem.
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