March 2008 Wellness Ezine

Who Needs Orthotics Anyway?

    Every foot is unique and different. Many of us wear shoes straight out of the box, but that’s not always the best plan of action if you have a “special needs foot.” For instance, if you pronate, supinate or have any inflammation in your soft tissue, store-bought shoes may not be the best fit for you. All mass-produced shoes are generally a neutral platform, designed to fit a wide variety of feet. If you are not blessed with a neutral stance you may be courting foot, ankle and knee problems, as well as low-back pain.
    If you’re looking to kick your pain for good, custom orthotics are a great solution. Commercially made footbeds such as those made by Superfeet and Dr. Scholl’s may make your shoe fit better, but they won’t address your specific biomechanical needs, which are at the root of all foot problems. Only custom orthotics, which are designed to make a shoe fit your foot, can address your biomechanical needs.
    Perhaps those who would benefit most from orthotics are individuals already suffering from foot conditions. If you’ve been diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis, Metatarsalgia, Bunions, Achilles Tendonitis or Morton’s Neuroma, you may want to consider orthotics. This is because they help to reposition the heel, arch, muscles and other components of the foot, enabling it to function in a biomechanically correct position. has the only dynamic gait analysis system for creating custom orthotics in Boulder. By capturing and recording the foot’s range of motion on different planes (transverse, frontal and sagittal) can study individual gait mechanics. This means you can see what your foot is doing while it is moving. The practitioner will also perform joint range of motion testing and record information about calluses. A wide variety of materials can be used for the actual orthotic, ranging from rigid carbon fiber to softer materials that accommodate the sores on a diabetic foot.
    Individuals looking to fully recover from foot and ankle conditions may also want to consider massage therapy, which works to expedite the healing process.
    “Many people don’t realize that even with the best biomechanical support, they still need to address the impact on tissue prior to getting the orthotic,” says Dirk McCuistion, founder and owner of “MassageSpecialists has the capability of doing the orthotics and treating the soft-tissue problem. We tend to look deeper into what might be causing a particular condition.”
    While massage therapy can get you back on your feet quickly, orthotics are one of the few things that will ensure you stay there—injury free.

    How do Orthotics Help Common Foot and Ankle Conditions?

... What is it? How do orthotics help?
Metatarsalgia Pain and inflammation in the metatarsals, or the ball of your foot. Orthotics correct abnormal pronation and work to redistribute the foot’s weight more evenly away from the metatarsals.
Bunions Visually, they look like a bump on the side of your big toe. Bunions cause structural issues in the foot because they force the big toe to lean toward the second one rather than pointing straight ahead. Bunions cause over pronation of the foot. Orthotics can correct the foot’s over pronation and stop pain, but they will not cause the bunion to regress. Consider structural integration work such as rolfing.
Achilles Tendonitis Achilles tendon becomes inflamed and painful. A heel lift can help alleviate the load on the tendon. Seek massage therapy to address tendonitis.
Morton’s Neuroma Swelling and pain associated with a nerve at the bottom of your foot, located between the third and forth toes. An orthotic diminishes excessive rotation between the medial and lateral columns of the foot and reduces pain and inflammation.
Plantar Fasciitis Overuse injury that inflames the longitudinal ligament (plantar) on the surface bottom of your foot. Recommended orthotics vary depending on symptoms—ranging from very rigid to correct the torquing of the fascia to orthotics that correct the over-pronation of the foot. is the only company in Boulder and Denver that offers a money back guarantee on its orthotics! Call either of our centers, Denver at 303.777.7874 or Boulder at 303.938.0388 and ask to schedule a consultation with Dirk McCuistion.

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