An orthotic is a supportive device which is placed inside footwear, to change the mechanical function of the foot. It works dynamically during weight-bearing activities like walking, running and standing. Ideally, it should provide full, custom and corrected arch contact so that the foot works in a biomechanically correct way. To date, only Sole Supports™ manufactures full arch contact orthotics. The reason is simple: they are more difficult to make because they must actually change the way your foot works and be comfortable at the same time. Other orthotics are either just cushions or give a more generic, insufficient arch support not customized to your foot. They may feel fine but, by failing to actually correct faulty foot mechanics, will not prevent the usual painful deformities or syndromes.
The foot is designed to un-lock, or pronate, when it hits the ground for shock absorption and to conform to variable terrain. Then it must re-stiffen (lock), or supinate, for efficient leverage as we propel ourselves forward onto the next step. When either of these phases are excessive or out-of-synch the foot has faulty mechanical function. Ninety percent or more of us over-pronate, that is, our arches flatten too much (flat feet) and do not re-stiffen enough for efficient propulsion. About four percent of us are over-supinators with high, rigid arch structure. Then the problem is poor shock absorption and weigh-bearing pressure concentrated in a few spots.
Pain and deformity can arise in the feet such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, corns, and hammertoes. Because foot function affects the entire chain of bones leading to the spine, pain and dysfunction in the knee, hip and low back often result as well. In all there are over thirty common diagnoses related to poor foot function.
Yes. If the problem is caught early enough, pain and deformity can often be prevented. Regular use of these unique orthotics can often reverse deformity development or, at least, prevent surgery. How? Because when you restore normal function you give your body what it needs to heal itself. Your other necessary treatments or therapies are more effective and last longer, too.
That will depend on how advance the condition is, flexibility of the deformity if one is present, age and general health. For most people, significant relief is experienced within weeks of regular use; at most, it may take a few months.