Custom-Made Insoles and Foot Orthoses
Aside from the commonly known plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and other biomechanical problems of the feet, problems such as continuous low back pain and premature knee joint degeneration may actually be related to poor biomechanics of the lower limbs. Foot problems are more diverse than we may think, and include issues beyond flat-foot or high-arched feet, such as hallucis valgus (bunion), varus fifth toe, metatarsal pain, neuroma, first axis instability, leg length discrepancy, foot muscle compensation after an ankle injury, among others. Without a careful and detailed one-on-one evaluation, it is often impossible to see the underlying causes of the problem, and therapists and patients alike often resort to using store-bought insoles or corrective shoes to relieve their pain.
Problems caused by the foot and ankle are often clinical biomechanical issues. Physicians and physical therapists often face great challenges during the diagnosis and treatment of the feet compared to the upper limbs. Nowadays, ankle studies emphasize the importance of shoes, insoles (and foot assistive devices), and muscle tissues of the feet. Biomechanical analysis and detailed physical examinations will aid the therapist in understanding the dysfunctional categories associated with the foot problem, and subsequent mobilization and manipulation techniques, exercise, shoe and insole prescriptions, etc., will help to achieve the best treatment results.
The goal of the insole prescribed by the physical therapist is not to change the shape of the foot, but to place the lower limbs in a more optimal biomechanical condition, helping to protect the joints, maintain performance of activities of daily living, and enable patients to safely continue playing their favorite sports.