Orthotics are devices used by physiotherapists and orthopedics to help cure a person of various types of foot conditions like Achilles tendonitis, bunions among other type of ailments like back pain, knee pain etc.
These are made of lightweight materials that range from a simple over-the-counter shoe insert to custom made devices which require analysis of body and foot mechanics to create a cast of it.
Who can benefit from Orthotics?
Anyone can benefit from orthotics if they feel the need for additional support while walking or running. It is very helpful for people who want relief from various foot conditions which cause pain, swelling and discomfort.
Below are certain symptoms which suggest you should see a physiotherapist or an orthopedic –
- Flat feet
- Shin splints
- Frequent ankle sprains
- Abnormal wear and tear of shoe from one side
- Pain in knee, heel or lower back
If you are suffering from any of the above, it is advised to see a specialist immediately. The delay would only make the condition worse.
How is Orthotics made?
When a patient visits a physiotherapist, they will create a cast of his feet. The therapist then analyses the cast and sends it to a lab with certain recommendations. The technician in the lab makes the final cast or positive by pouring plaster into it. When the plaster dries, it forms the exact shape of the person’s feet. Then custom-orthotic is developed against the shape of the cast and the given recommendations to provide ample support to the foot. This is then sent back to the physiotherapist who fits this custom-orthotic to the patient’s feet. This whole process generally takes a few weeks.
The orthotic made through this process provides support, stability, cushioning and alignment to the patient’s feet, ankles and lower body. This, in turn, enables the patient to become pain-free.
So, if you are experiencing foot pain or any of the above symptoms, feel free to visit our clinic for an expert opinion. We have a great team of experienced physiotherapists which would analyse your foot mechanics and help you get relief from your pain. You can either call us at 905-232-2202 to make an appointment or fill an online form here.
Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and joins the calf muscles to the heel bone. It is found at the back of a person’s lower leg. It can endure a lot of strain, but it is also susceptible to injury.
Achilles tendonitis is a very common form of injury occurring to sports persons. There could be various causes like:
- Strenuous exercise like running without proper warming-up
- Improper footwear
- Increasing intensity of exercise too quickly
- Running on hard or uneven surfaces
- Sudden introduction of hill running or staircase climbing to the exercise routine
Although it can be cured by rest but if ignored, it can cause the tendon to rupture which may require surgery.
What are signs and symptoms of Achilles tendinitis?
In my capacity as a physiotherapist, I mostly get patients coming to the clinic when they are in advanced stage. Usually, people ignore the symptoms during the onset of the injury leading to worsening of the situation. Therefore, it is very important to know the signs of the injury and act in time. The various symptoms of the injury are:
- Pain- gradual buildup of pain is the first symptom. It deteriorates with time if left untreated
- The area at the back just above the heel bone becomes sore. This is generally the point where the Achilles tendon meets the heel bone. The soreness is found just a little above this point.
- Lower leg feels stiff and pains slightly during or after running
- A bump forms around the area of Achilles tendon.
These are some of the symptoms which are generally found in a patient. However, it necessarily does not mean that if having these symptoms you are suffering from Achilles tendinitis. You should get yourself checked at your doctor’s or physiotherapist’s place.
How can Physiotherapy help?
The good thing is that if diagnosed early, then this condition can be easily treated you can recover completely and can start your daily routine. Otherwise, there is a danger of the tendon rupturing which may require surgery.
Physiotherapy can not only help in relieving pain but also helps a patient in recovering quickly and get back to his or her daily routine. Physiotherapists are trained in the use of physical exercises to strengthen muscles and improve body functions. Usually, a physiotherapist will employ a variety of techniques in the rehabilitation process like:
- Physiotherapy strapping or taping to prevent injuries
- Stretching and flexibility exercises to help the tendon heal properly without shortening or causing long-term pain
- Strengthening exercises to help the tendon regain any strength lost during the process of healing
- Massage therapy- deep massage helps in increasing the blood flow and lower leg flexibility which helps in prevention of a future injury.
The crucial thing in a quick recovery in Achilles tendinitis is the early diagnosis. So if you are suffering from one or more of the above symptoms, you should visit the nearest physiotherapist or a doctor to get it checked. At Squareone Physio, we have a team of experienced and well-trained physiotherapists in the field of sports injuries. You can book an appointment online here or can call us at 905-232-2202.