Monday, 5 March 2012

The Science of Orthotics

The Science of Orthotics

Foot Deformities I Foot Orthotics
If you ever had a broken arm or knee, chances or you have heard of the word Orthotics because you had to use them. However, even if you've never had a broken limb before, you can still benefit from it. Orthotics is a medical specialty that focuses on designing and creating a device that provides support for the bones and muscles to either aid or limit movement.
Who benefits from orthotics? There are many, actually; not only people who have had broken limbs can make use of it. Those who utilize orthotics are:

- Those that have intense back problems that cause their spine to bend, such as scoliosis and osteoporosis;

- Those that cannot maintain proper posture due to cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries and stroke;

- Those that sustained arm, elbow and hand fractures;

- Those that have peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, polio, arthritis and other sickness that causes weakness in their lower limbs;

- People who have foot deformities; and

- Athletes that want to improve their gait and balance.

Foot orthotics is the most popular branch of this field because people with or without muscular and skeletal problems can use them. This branch itself can be divided into two types: the functional orthotics and accommodative orthotics.
Activities such as walking and running are important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle because these are cardio exercises that improve blood flow and strengthen muscles. However, these simple activities can be detrimental for those with foot deformities. Also, those who experience too much strain on their legs and feet would have problem with these activities as well. Not only are the heels, ankles and legs the parts of the body that receive the strain, but also lower back. Improper movement of the feet is like a wave that affects the entire body. Some people with foot deformities complain that even their lower back, their hips and their shoulders ache from simply walking!
To reduce the strain and soreness on feet, foot inserts are often recommended. As mentioned previously, foot orthotics helps maintain balance and help reduce the stress on feet. When shoe inserts are used, the person will feel less strain and more comfort. That person will also notice that his balance is improved so there is less tendency of having ankle problems.
Many athletes use shoe inserts because they experience 300% to 400% more strain than anyone doing normal foot activities and are therefore more prone to foot injuries. The improved balance that these inserts provide also helps them maximize their skills and potential when playing their sport, may it be basketball, baseball, lawn tennis and more. These inserts also have shock absorbing properties, minimizing the pressure and shock that the heel has to take when playing.
Foot orthotics is also highly recommended for children with foot deformities. These should be utilized while they are young so that they will adjust to it as time goes by. The child will have lesser chances of twisting his ankle or falling to the ground.
Read more about foot orthotics by visiting WalkFit Platinum


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