Does Every Runner Need Foot Orthotics?

Check to see how the sole feels on the bottom of your foot It should have a soft and supportive cushion. People with high arches generally need more support. Stand up and take a quick walk to get a feel for the shoe. Your feet shouldn't slide around inside and there should be little bit of room beyond the largest toe. But no more than 1/2 inch. Rest and Ice Application. Rest whenever possible. Avoid engaging in activities or sports that makes your symptoms worse. Wrap an ice pack with towel and apply to your affected foot for about twenty minutes at a time, three to four times a day. The foot normally strikes the ground on the outside (lateral) part of the heel. As soon as this occurs, the heel should roll in. This motion, called pronation, which absorbs shock, gives the appearance that the arch is flattening out. This mechanism of pronation reduces forces to the ankle, knee, hip and back and helps prevent impact related injuries such as stress fractures. A weak lateral longitudinal arch contributes to sickling and supination, while a weak or flattened medial longitudinal arch leads to pronation. Conversely, a dancer with a pronounced medial longitudinal arch (commonly referred to as a high arch) may also roll to the outside of the foot (supination). When a runner gets a series of nagging injuries one after the other, they are probably caused by a biomechanical flaw and can be corrected by orthotics. Runners who suffer from chronic knee pain, arch pain, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, hip and lower back pain and certain types of muscular fatigue very often benefit from orthotics. When we walk or run, our feet absorb most of the impact and shock. With high arches you have less surface area for absorbing impact and you place excessive pressure on your rearfoot and forefoot areas. This can make you susceptible to foot conditions such as heel pain, ball-of-foot pain or plantar fasciitis. A set of x-rays, a complete physical exam which may include nerve testing, muscle strength testing and a gait exam (watching you walk). Sometimes a referral to a neurologist or more in depth nerve testing is needed. Sometimes a brace will be given or constructed if muscle weakness or instability is present. A complete family history is also important in reaching the correct diagnosis as high arch feet often run in families. Fit - Choose a shoe that fits in snugly. Your heels should fit well into the shoe. However, make sure that there is at least some free space, around one-fourth of an inch, between your toe and shoe. A high-arched foot is usually best served by a Cushioned (or Neutral-Cushioned) shoe. These shoes are designed to have a softer midsole and more flexibility. These shoes do not have any added devices for stability or support. Their main focus is to provide a high level of balanced cushioning to encourage more a natural foot motion. Sometimes, when the degree of supination is severe, a Motion Control shoe may be used to control excessive outward motion. Heels - For walking, you should select a shoe with flat heels that are not flared. Low heels with less flare give momentum to foot while walking, which reduces the impact on your foot Custom support devices called foot orthotics can be prescribed by a healthcare professional. These are often very helpful because they are precisely molded to the individual's arch and provide extra support to relieve stress on the foot. Side Effects What are the side effects of the treatments? If high arches are untreated, the person's ability to perform activities of daily living can be affected. Because it can be difficult for an individual to get enough exercise for cardiovascular health, chronic health problems may develop. After Treatment What happens after treatment for the condition?