Why FootWork's Custom Orthotics…
Pronation and supination are normal components of walking “gait”. Pronation occurs in the first half of the gait cycle as a built in mechanism to absorb and distribute the forces of the foot hitting the ground. Supination occurs in the second half of the gait cycle enabling the foot to become an efficient lever to push off the ground and propel the body. Pain and dysfunction occur when a deviation exists in this normal transition.
The two most common dysfunctions of the foot and ankle that affect foot health and force attenuation up “the chain” are rapid and/or prolonged pronation and inadequate pronation. Collagen structure, knee alignment, limb length differences can affect the relationship. However, the most prominent influence affecting normal mechanics of gait that requires a custom foot orthotic is addressing forefoot (and rearfoot) deviations from normal alignment.
An overpronated foot is best described as collapsed and evidenced by a loss of arch height. The overpronated foot contributes to excessive inward rotation of the leg disrupting the appropriate transfer of forces, which adversely affect knees, hips and low back. Although there are several contributing factors to an over-pronated foot, it is often a result of mal-alignment of the rearfoot to the forefoot called a forefoot varus, or inward rotation of the forefoot. This foot structure is typically the "bunion" foot. Foot orthotic application for the overpronated foot type is to address the forefoot varus alignment and provide motion control to the foot, which facilitates proper transfer of forces.
The underpronated foot, or cavus, foot structure is typically a high arch foot with excessive lateral (outward) weight bearing. This foot structure has a poor ability to absorb shock. The results are increased forces laterally in the foot and up “the chain” which can contribute to excessive joint loading, especially in lateral foot, knee, hip, and SI joint. This foot type also frequently has restricted ankle mobility, which can contribute to forefoot dysfunction; metatarsalgia, and neuroma, The forefoot alignment deviation is typically valgus, outward rotation of the forefoot. Foot orthotic application for the cavus/forefoot valgus foot structure is use of a softer total contact device that also addresses the forefoot valgus alignment, and facilitates force attenuation. The population with this foot type has been underserved by traditional custom foot orthotics.
A thorough evaluation performed by a skilled clinician to determine your foot type, forefoot and rearfoot deviations is imperative to the success of custom foot orthotic therapy.
SueB Earl PT, owner of FootWork has utilized her training as a Physical Therapist with over 15 years experience in foot orthotic application to design a custom foot orthotic to match your foot type and other lower body issues. SueB's assesment includes gait analysis. Unlike most foot orthotic services, SueB does conduct a comprehensive static and dynamic evaluation from the waist down to the foot. She does not prescribe based upon gimmick assessments such as “step in the box molding” or computer images.
What you will get from your evaluation with SueB:
- Learn your foot type
- Learn how your foot mechanics influence “up the chain”
- Education in appropriate shoe-wear based on your foot type
- Custom foot orthotics that really “work”