Who needs orthotics?
Orthotics benefits people with foot pain or discomfort due to imbalance. Some imbalances are obvious, such as flat feet, excessive pronation, bow legs, knock knees, pigeon-toes, “duck feet” or high-arched feet. However, many foot deformities are subtle, and are not detected until symptoms occur.
People who must walk or stand excessively at their work will also benefit from the comfort of orthotics. For those who are active in sports, orthotics will often increase endurance, performance and strength.
For overweight individuals, orthotics will help to counteract the extra stress on the feet. Small problems are often magnified due to the increased weight.
Orthotics will benefit people with special needs, such as diabetics or the elderly. These individuals need accommodation or increased softness in the orthotic. Orthotics can work in a preventative manner to avoid the development of future foot problems, such as skin ulcerations.
If you are diagnosed with a spinal disorder, deformity, or potential problem that can by helped through the use of external structural support, we may recommend the use of a back or neck brace. Braces offer a safe, non-invasive way to prevent future problems or to help you heal from a current condition.
Braces are really nothing new. They have actually been around for centuries. Lumbosacral corsets (for the lower back) were used as far back as 2000 B.C.! Bandage and splint braces were used in 500 A.D. in an effort to correct scoliosis (a spine with a sideways curve). Recently, braces have become a popular way to actually help prevent primary and secondary lower back pain from ever occurring.
Knee braces should be used if they are recommended by a team member at Valley Physical Medicine, especially if you are participating in our rehabilitation program after a knee injury and/or knee surgery. The knee brace should be used along with strength training, flexibility, activity modification, and technique refinement. In some cases, a doctor may suggest a knee brace if a patient’s knee is not improving with strengthening and flexibility exercises. However, remember that knee braces are the least important part of preventing knee injuries or recovering from a knee injury or surgery: stretching, strengthening exercises, knee exercises and along with Cold Laser Therapy, Electrical Muscle Stimulation, Joint Therapy and Kinesio Taping are far more critical.