Custom Made Orthotics and Custom Insoles Ariel Comfort
Protecting your Feet
Our feet are the foundation that supports the entire weight of our bodies. They absorb shock as we walk and run, provide balance and maintain stability. Imbalance in the feet causes misalignment with the ankle and leg, which can cause pain or discomfort while walking or even imbalances in other parts of your body, including your knees and back. The force that the feet bear even while walking is enormous, as they must balance a tall, heavy structure on two small surfaces, and this force is increased tremendously during athletic and sports activities.
Athletes involved in all types of sports are susceptible to two types of injuries: acute injuries caused by sudden, forceful impacts or blows during games or training, and chronic injuries that develop over time, gradually growing more painful and more severe. Acute injuries are difficult to avoid entirely, but chronic injuries that can result in long term damage can be avoided or at least minimized with custom-made orthotic foot insoles.
Another added benefit for athletes is that orthotics have been shown improve performance on the field or court. Athletes subconsciously train their bodies to compensate for slight structural imbalances and misalignments by using their muscles. This increases fatigue and inhibits performance. Orthotics stabilize the joints, which eases the strain on the muscles that may naturally take on that responsibility, and minimize tissue vibrations that are caused by force and impact, which cause the muscles to contract. By reducing excess muscle activity, orthotics spare the muscle energy for use at other critical times during the game or sporting event and improves the athlete’s overall performance.
Generic insoles are of a general shape and size, in order to accommodate the needs of as many people as possible. While they may be sufficient for minor problems or for people who do not spend hours each day on their feet or engaged in physical activities, athletes and people who suffer from chronic foot pain or other biomechanical problems will require custom-made orthotics that are specifically designed for their specific problem and the demands of the activities that they are involved in. Foot orthotics for tennis players will differ significantly from cycling or running orthotics, due to the different demands on the athlete’s feet and legs. The kind of footwear that is typical of each sport is also a consideration while developing custom-made orthotic insoles. The tightly-fitted shoes worn by soccer players require orthotics that significantly differ from orthotics designed for ski boots, for example.
What are Custom-Made Orthotics?
Custom-made orthotics are specially-designed shoe inserts and insoles that support and reposition the heel, as well as the muscles and bones in the foot. This makes all of the components of the complex structure of the foot and the leg work together smoothly and naturally to alleviate pain and discomfort. Unlike over-the-counter, generic inserts, custom-made orthotics are molded to the patient’s feet for optimal results and ultimate support and balance.
Types of Orthotics
There are many different types of orthotic inserts, designed for different problems and purposes. Inserts made of hard, rigid plastic increase stability and improve foot functioning to support the feet, legs and lower back. Soft orthotics are made of soft gel, foam or cloth and primarily provide comfort and cushioning. They are designed to ease foot pain and absorb shock to the feet during frequent physical activity such as walking, running and jumping.
Who can Benefit from Foot Orthotics?
Custom-made foot orthotics are particularly important for people who spend lots of time on their feet, like athletes, store employees or medical professionals. People with various conditions such as flat feet, bad ankles or high-arched feet, bow legs and knock knees can benefit from the added support that custom-made foot orthotics provide for the feet, legs and lower back. They can also help relieve pain caused by sores, warts or bunions on the feet. Orthotics are also helpful for people that suffer from diabetes or other conditions that require increased softness and cushioning in the shoe. Overweight individuals will benefit from orthotic insoles that reduce the extra stress on their feet or other slight problems that are enhanced by the extra weight borne by the legs, knees and feet.