Orthotics are shoe inserts intended to correct an abnormal or irregular walking pattern. Orthotics are not truly or solely “arch supports,” although some people use those words to describe them, and they perhaps can best be understood with those words in mind. They perform functions that make standing, walking, and running more comfortable and efficient by slightly altering the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface. Orthotics take various forms and are constructed of various materials. All are concerned with improving foot function and minimizing stress forces that could ultimately cause foot deformity, pain or injury.
Orthotics for Athletes
For athletes, orthotics are not a crutch but an aid for performance. Each sport has its own demand and each sport orthotic needs to be constructed appropriately with the sport and the athlete taken into consideration. A functional, dynamic orthotic helps guide the foot through proper movements allowing the muscles and tendons to perform more efficiently. The classic, semirigid orthotic is constructed of layers of soft material reinforced with more rigid materials.
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