Archive for June, 2006

Orthotics Help Improve Sports Performance

Custom made orthotics help improve activities such as running, playing golf, tennis, walking, and more.

In athletic individuals, sports activities result in a great deal of movement and pressure on the foot. Slight imbalances in the foot that are not harmful or even detectable under usual circumstances may make one more vulnerable to injury with the extra stress of sports activity. By eliminating the need for one’s muscles to compensate for imperceptible imbalances, orthotics can reduce fatigue and promote efficient muscle function to enhance performance.

Think of your feet as the foundation of a building. If the building is on a solid foundation, then the integrity of the structure is preserved. If the building is constructed on sand, it will likely not stand very long. Custom orthotics and footbeds provide the foundation for the rest of the body because the forces that occur on the feet will be transmitted up through the ankle, knee, hip and lower back.

The following are examples of the uses of orthotics in various sports:

  • Runners and joggers wear orthotics to absorb shock at heel contact, provide control and set up the forefoot for pushoff. Running can be extremely harsh on your feet, semi-rigid orthotics with extra cushioning helps absorb the shocks while providing control. 
  • Sprinters wear orthotics to control the movement of the forefoot.
  • Cyclists have a limited need for orthotics and wear them primarily to control the internal and external rotation of the lower leg.
  • Skiers wear orthotics to stabilize their foot in neutral and inhibit motion within the ski boot.
  • Tennis players wear orthotics to provide lateral support, to decrease shear factors, to absorb shock (especially in the forefoot) and to allow subtalar motion.
  • Basketball players wear orthotics to control the forefoot during jumping, to control the rearfoot during running and to control excessive inversion.

Read more about where you can get orthotics custom made for you:

Orthotics for In-Line Skates (Rollerblades)

As spring finally approached so did Rollerblade season. After my first 8-mile skate, I noticed blisters on both of my feet near the heel. Not wanting to endure the same agony on my next inline-skating trips, I thought about what I could do to improve the situation.  I decided to try the orthotics I wear in my gym shoes.  These are my extra set of orthotics that I just happen to have in my car.   Well to make a long story short – the blisters don’t appear anymore.  I’ve rollerbladed ~50 miles since that first day out and have to say that my custom made orthotics made a huge difference in my skating ability.