May is National Foot Health Month

Danforth Foot Clinic Newsletter
May is National Foot Health Month

416-461-3273      “Put Your Feet in the Right Hands”          MAY 2011


Orthotics: Sorting Out the Confusion

During some point in our lives, over 80% of the population will suffer from foot related ailments.

For some it will remain a minor annoyance but for others it will mean pain, discomfort and even disability. In many cases, these problems are related to the inefficient functioning of the foot.

The most common dysfunction is when the leg turns inward and the foot flattens excessively, this is known as over pronation. A certain amount of pronation is normal and necessary. When this motion is excessive, it is the primary cause for the gradual development of bunions, hammer/ claw toes, heel pain and foot fatigue. Due to the foot’s critical role in how the body functions, problems of the feet can also lead to many common ankle, knee, hip, and low back ailments.

An orthotic is a custom-made, corrective, removable device that is placed within the shoe to hold the foot in a specific position and/or to control excessive motion, thus allowing the joints to function closer to their normal limits.

As a result of the foot control, muscles are able to gain mechanical advantage and move the foot and leg more efficiently. Futhermore, when the muscles work better they will not tire out as easily and many symptoms can be alleviated.

Dry, Callused or Cracked Skin?

In the summer, our heels can become very dry and problematic.  The use of cream can help.   Selecting creams that contain urea help the skin maintain moisture content and keep the skin supple. 

It is important to maintain the skin’s optimal condition, as it is the body’s natural defence to bacteria and other types of infections.  Regular application of cream and the use of a pumice stone or file during or immediately after showering will help the skin remain in good health. 

The things you should know before getting a pair of orthotics…

  • Orthotics should only be prescribed by a regulated foot care specialist.  Chiropodists and Podiatrists are the only health care professionals, in Ontario, trained specifically in analysing foot function and prescribing orthotic devices.
  • Orthotics are notthe only solution to a foot problem.  They must always be part of a full treatment plan.
  • Not everyone requires an orthotic. If a person’s feet are functioning correctly and they are not experiencing any symptoms, there is no need for orthotics.
  • An orthotic will not change the way that an adult foot is structured.  For example, a person with “flat feet” will not miraculously develop an arch.
  • Prescription orthotics are much like prescription glasses in that they only correct the problem when they are worn.
  • An orthotic device must be made from a modified plaster cast of the foot, or from the use of a 3-D computer image.  These are currently the only methods that will capture the foot accurately.


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