Orthotics Improve Performance
Can Orthotics increase performance and reduce risk of injuries?
A sturdy and balanced foundation is a must for a top performing athlete. If the feet are not providing an ideal balance, it can impede one from excelling at any sports activity.
Let us look at the 2 different foot profiles that can affect your performance:
Low arches (Flat feet)- Lowering of the arches comes with pronation. While we all need some degree of pronation, people with flat feet tend to over-pronate which increases the time to toe-off and take the next step. This in return reduces their stride length in addition to creating instability at the ankles and knees. Therefore it is no surprise to Podiatrists when people with flat feet complain of pain in arches, shins, knees, hips, or lower back.
High arches – People with high arches often stress the metatarsals heads (ball of the foot) and heels while weight-bearing. When there is limited to no pronation in a high arch foot type, the arch works as a rigid lever providing lesser shock absorption. Hence, these people are more prone to getting plantar fasciitis, arch sprain, ball of the foot pain, and ankle sprains.
Now that we have looked at the 2 different foot types, let’s see how CUSTOM MADE ORTHOTICS can help increase balance, support, stability, and ultimately performance. Custom made orthotics are specifically designed for your foot type, using biomechanical assessment, gait analysis and non-weight bearing casting technique. When designing an orthotic for an athlete, our foot specialists specifically take into consideration the thickness of the shell material, type of arch-fill material, weight of the person, and specific modifications to address the main complaint. To enhance the athlete’s performance, our foot specialists generally prescribe a semi-flexible orthotic, using materials that provide less resistance to the skin, more shock absorption properties in the arch, and metatarsal pads that deflect pressure evenly across the ball of the foot. The resulting orthotic allows for better heel control, more support in the medial, lateral and transverse arch, and ultimately realigning the ankle in relation to the leg and knees, helping decrease excessive inward or outward rolling.