Did you know chiropractic care can also assist in orthotic treatment? In my practice of family-oriented chiropractic care, I’m able to treat a variety of issues in people of any age, from back and neck pain to headaches and migraines. But what many people may not know is that chiropractic care can additionally use orthotic treatments to fix posture problems, foot and ankle pain, and issues with walking.
What are Orthotics? Orthotics and Chiropractic Care
What are orthotics?
Orthotics are a medical method of correcting the bone and muscular structures of feet, ankles and legs using braces and other external support devices. It’s been around for over 2,000 years, when wool was inserted into sandals for support and cushioning. Through the centuries, orthotics have been developed into a precise science used to treat a variety of afflictions such as:
Functional orthotics, however, are much stronger materials that are used for skeletal and muscular correction through long-term placement. These are things like rigid arch supports, which can often be customized to an individual’s feet.
What is Gait?
Simply put, gait is another word for stride, or the way in which someone walks. Gait is one of the major components of orthotics as a treatment method, and the reason analyzing it is so important is because a number of gait abnormalities are caused by particular medical conditions.
For example, a Parkinsonian gait describes the posture and walk of somebody that suffers from Parkinson’s disease or other condition(s) that cause Parkinson’s-like symptoms, such as chronic drug use.
How to Analyze Gait
One important part of analyzing the gait cycle in my practice is the heel strike to toe off. When I watch someone walk, I pay close attention to how their heel strikes the ground and then how their foot rolls to push off the big toe. Some may find it surprising that there are a lot of moving parts in between these two seemingly insignificant motions.
The next step is that I look at their knees to see how they are moving during the gait cycle, especially if they have a knee valgus (knock-kneed) or knee varus (bow legged). Finally, I check the hips for rotation. Hip rotation will also play a big factor into how much pressure is being put on each leg. All of these play a big role in determining how that gait cycle is doing. Quality analysis means you really have to look at the entire chain (foot, ankle, knee and hip) to put the puzzle together.
By analyzing your gait, we are able to make more precise conclusions about any underlying conditions you may suffer from, which greatly affects your treatment regimen or need for orthotics. We are able to analyze the way you (literally) go about daily life. Having improper gait means that your weight distribution is off and is probably exacerbating issues in the spine that stem from poor posture. By having a comprehensive gait analysis, I am more accurately able to assess any underlying issues that orthotics may be used for to help improve your life on a day-to-day basis.
Experts in Orthotic Care
At Petrak Family Chiropractic Center, our goal is to improve your quality of life. An astonishingly simple way we can assist this and improve your comfort in a natural way is through orthotics. Our offices are fully equipped for the creation of custom orthotics, plus we have the knowledge and experience to perform a full gait analysis.
Patients are consistently blown away by the difference they see when properly fitted with well-made custom orthotics. They could help you too. To schedule a gait analysis and set yourself up with custom orthotics, schedule a consultation today.