Flat and orthotics

Flat feet occur for many reasons including hereditary, neurological conditions , following injury and surgery to the foot and ankle and weakness of the muscles of the feet with aging.

Orthotics are often prescribed to support the arch and to enable better function of the muscles and joints of the foot and ankle. Here are some facts and tips on the use of orthotics.

1. Studies have shown that off the shelf arch supports are just as effective as costom made ones. There are many good brands these days at a cost of $40-$50 instead of $400-$500 dollars. Buy full length and they should be firm enough to support the feet under body weight and not soft which just collapse under body weight.

2. Build up wearing them gradually . Some people report aches and pain initially from usage as the joints and muscles have to get used to the new position. 2-3 hours a day is recommended and if sore soak your feet in hot water and use a massager on the arch and calf muscles followed by stretching them. By the end of a week you should be able to tolerate wearing them all day. Also retraining balance with the orthotics on can strengthen the arch
3. Wear every day of life in doors and out doors for long term best results.Once flat the arch will always be flat.  Orthotics are not a cure but a good help to allow better long term function of the feet and legs and back.

4. Orthotics help the arches 60-70 percent when used consistently. It is still recommended to massage the feet and related muscles followed by stretching every day. Give them 5-10 minutes

5. Firmer shoes are recommended for orthotic use . If you can twist your shoes easily with your hands then they are deemed too soft.

For more info call Fairmont Physiotherapy at 250-345-0094.