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  • Writer's pictureMy Family Podiatry

Enhancing Athletic Performance with Custom Orthotics

What are Custom Orthotics

Custom orthotics are specially designed shoe inserts made to fit your feet. They provide support, reduce pain, and improve foot function. For athletes and sports enthusiasts, custom orthotics can be especially helpful.

How Custom Orthotics are Made

The process begins with a review of the patient's medical history and symptoms. A sport podiatrist will examine the feet, legs, hips and lower body to identify any areas of pain, weakness, restriction or other issues.

We will then video record and analyse the patient's walking or running style, looking for any issues that may be leading to their pain. Finally, we will take detailed 3D scans of the patient’s feet that will be used to design the orthotics.

After these custom orthotics are made, they are fitted to the patient's shoes to ensure they are comfortable. Adjustments can then be made as needed for optimal comfort and effectiveness, including adding padding, reducing thickness or changing the arch support.

Why Different Sports Need Different Custom Made Orthotics

Different sports place varying demands on the body, requiring sport-specific custom orthotics. These orthotics address unique movement patterns, surface interactions, stress points, equipment compatibility, and injury prevention needs.

Runners need orthotics with cushioning, shock absorption, arch support, and alignment correction to prevent plantar fasciitis and shin splints.

Basketball players need orthotics that provide shock absorption, lateral support, and stability to handle jumping, quick direction changes, and lateral movements, preventing ankle injuries and enhancing agility.

Soccer players need lightweight orthotics with good arch support that fit snugly in cleats for running, quick lateral movements, and sudden stops, preventing slipping during play.

By providing tailored support and enhancing biomechanical efficiency, custom orthotics help athletes perform better and reduce the risk of injury in their specific sport.

Why You Might Need Orthotics

Repeated Stress Can Lead to Injuries

Shock absorption is crucial for athletes in high-impact sports or repetitive activities to prevent injuries like stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and joint pain.

Custom orthotics, made from materials like EVA, provide great cushioning and absorb impact forces. They distribute pressure evenly across the foot, reducing strain on the heels, arches, and forefoot.

Orthotics can also have extra heel cushioning to absorb shock during running and jumping, protecting the foot from the hard surfaces and reducing heel pain.

Poor Stability

Stability is essential for athletes, especially in sports requiring rapid direction changes, balance, and coordination.

Poor stability can lead to ankle sprains, knee injuries, and falls. Orthotics provide proper arch support, maintaining the natural alignment of the foot and ankle to prevent overpronation and supination. They stabilise the heel and improve function around the ankle, reducing the risk of sprains and improving balance and coordination.

For sports like basketball and tennis, orthotics enhance lateral stability, supporting the foot during side-to-side movements and quick pivots.

Injury Prevention

Preventing injuries is vital for athletes to keep training and performing well. Many sports injuries are caused by biomechanical imbalances and poor foot function. Custom orthotics can be used to treat issues associated with flat feet, high arches, excessive tightness or weakness in muscle groups of the foot and lower leg, which often lead to injuries.

They also offer support and absorb shock, reducing stress on muscles, tendons, and ligaments to prevent overuse injuries like shin splints, tendonitis, and stress fractures.

Orthotics can also prevent or ease conditions like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and metatarsalgia by providing targeted support and cushioning.

Get Fitted for Custom Orthotics

If you have been struggling with foot or leg pain, it may be time to consider custom orthotics to improve your performance and prevent injuries.

Consult a sports podiatrist today to get fitted for custom orthotics tailored to your specific needs.

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