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Foot Orthotics

Your feet are the foundation for the normal balance and alignment of your body. Structural problems in the feet, even the slightest misalignment of bone and muscle, can alter the way that you walk and cause many different problems.

Your feet are a complex system made up of

  • 52 bones
  • 66 joints
  • 214 ligaments
  • 38 tendons and muscles

Most Common Types of Foot Pain

  • Plantar Fasciitis (Arch Pain)
  • Heel Spurs (Heel Pain)
  • Achilles Tendonitis (Rear Foot Pain)
  • Metatarsalgia (Forefoot Pain)
  • Bunion Pain (Big Toe Pain)
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes

Less obvious symptoms may involve leg pain, knee pain, problems with the hip, back pain and even neck pain. Your feet support your entire weight. Faulty foot mechanics can alter the even distribution of your body weight, whilst standing, walking or running, and create an increased load on joints and muscles elsewhere in the body. Early assessment and intervention can prevent injuries and save you from a lot of time out of action. A small problem in your feet can lead to a bigger problem in your knees, hip, and lower back. Foot orthotics help to correct any imbalance by exerting gentle, consistent pressure to stabilize the bones of your feet and bring muscles and bones back into proper alignment.

Chiropractors can assess the biomechanical movement of your lower limbs to make sure they are aligned and have a good balance between strength and flexibility. This can help avoid putting any adverse rotation on the knees, thus in turn avoiding any adverse strain put on the hip and lower back. So when the body moves in a way it was not designed, the wrong muscles work too hard and the right muscles do not work hard enough. This leads to repetitive strain injuries in the lower limb.

Once we have identified a foot dysfunction/problem, we can then work to correct your biomechanics to optimize your performance. This is also very effective for prevention of injury and lower back pain.

At Optimal Spine, we have a computerized gait scan analysis for biomechanical and dynamic assessments using the TOG Gaitscan® system software.

TOG Gaitscan is the most technologically advanced gait analysis system available today (4096 sensors and scan speed of 300 Hz/Sec). It comprises a plate covered with thousands of tiny sensors that accurately measure the distribution of pressure through the sole of the foot in both standing (static) and walking (dynamic).

The information from these sensors is then processed through specialized computer software to provide a 2D or 3D visual representation of the pressures under the feet and a detailed analysis report. This aids your chiropractor in evaluating your foot function and determining your need for orthotic therapy.

Should orthotics be indicated for you, the wealth of information from the gait scan and the chiropractor’s evaluation of your foot mechanics are combined to produce an individual prescription which is used by the Orthotic Group laboratories to manufacture your custom foot orthotics.

The Gaitscan analysis consists of:

  1. A full Musculoskeletal screening including muscle and joint functional tests and feet measurements.
  2. A Standing stationary exam looking at weight distribution.
  3. A Walking/Dynamic foot exam looking at the gait cycle.
  4. The results are then discussed with you.
  5. If orthotics are required, your scan results are sent to an orthotic laboratory in Canada
  6. Custom made Orthotics are created to your requirements and returned within 10 days.

What are Foot Orthotics?

Prescription foot orthotics are medical insoles that are custom made to correct your specific foot imbalance. They work in a similar way that braces work on your teeth by gently exerting pressure on your feet to bring them back into proper alignment. They simply slip into your favorite shoes and are made of a flexible molded plastic (typically 2-3mm at their thinnest point). Orthotics stop the foot from rolling in or out (pronating or supinating).

There is a wide range available, from those for everyday use (fashion flex) to specialist orthotics (diabetes) or for sports enthusiasts (running, skiing) and professional athletes.

Once your feet are working in the way they were designed it will help reduce muscle strain, prevent torsion and added stresses being put on the muscles, ligaments, knees, hips and lower back. Your body will not have to try and control the poor mechanics, and shock absorption will be improved.

Foot Facts

~ 25% off all the bones in your body are in your feet!

~ Approximately 85% of the population has problems with their feet with only 15% having optimal function

~ The average person walks 4 miles/day, or approximately 115,000 miles in a lifetime. That’s more than 4 trips around the world!

~ Every day your feet endure a cumulative force over 100 tons!

Common Overuse Symptoms

Arch or HeelLower Back Pain and HipKnee PainMetatarsalgia or Forefoot PainBunions or Pain in the Big Toe



Reference: Chief Complaints, 2001: The Orthotic Group Clinician Survey – Toronto

If You Answer “YES” to any the following, you may be a candidate for custom orthotics

  • My feet are sore on a regular basis.
  • I spend a good portion of my day on my feet.
  • Standing walking, running gives me joint pain.
  • I have visible foot problems (i.e. bunions corns, fallen arches).
  • My parents have problems with their feet

Ring Optimal Spine today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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