Leo M. Kenney, D.C,. F.A.C.O.

Chiropractic Orthopedist

Serving the Mount Washington Valley since 1984

Orthotic Therapy

In orthotic therapy we utilize custom made corrective shoe inserts (orthotics) to correct improper biomechanical motion in the foot and ankle. This form of therapy has been around for many years and is helpful for a great many conditions. The following is a partial list of conditions that may be helped with orthotic therapy.

Low Back Pain Neck Pain Foot Pain Heel Pain Ankle Pain
Ankle Sprains Bunion Pronation Syndrome Knee Pain
Supination Syndrome Hip Pain Heel Spur Morton's Neuroma

The effectiveness of orthotic therapy has been demonstrated in a number of scientific studies. Perhaps the most common form of foot or ankle pain is due to plantar fasciitis. In this condition, the strong band of connective tissue (plantar fascia) that spans the bottom of the foot from the heel bone (calcaneus) to the forefoot (metatarsal heads) becomes irritated by repetitive stress or excessive pronation of the foot. This condition commonly results in foot pain on standing and walking after rest that improves after walking a short distance. In extreme cases, it will not improve on walking. Sufferers often find the pain worst first thing in the morning after the foot has rested for the night.

Custom fit corrective orthotics correct the over-pronation of the foot and reduce the tension on the plantar fascia. Once the foot motion is corrected, the strain on the tissue causing the pain will be eliminated and so will the pain. So, the question is, do customized mechanical orthotics correct and more effectively treat the condition than off the shelf shoe inserts you can buy at a sports or drug store? To answer that question let's look at a couple of scientific studies.

Scientific Studies

In a 1998 study published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association by Lynch, et. al., evaluating the various methods of conservatively treating plantar fasciitis, it was demonstrated that patients reported much better results with mechanical (corrective) orthotics than with either accommodative orthotics or anti-inflammatory medications. In addition, none of the patients reported any intolerance to the orthotics, there was a very significantly lower rate of treatment failure with mechanical (corrective) orthotics, and very few patients using mechanical (corrective) orthotics terminated treatment compared with the other treatment methods.

Another study, published in the Journal of Orthopedic Sports Physical Therapy in 2002 by Gross, et. al., evaluated the level of pain and disability in patients using corrective orthotics 12 to 17 days after their dispersal to patients. This study demonstrated an approximately 67% decrease in pain and disability with the use of corrective orthotics.

So what is the best way to evaluate measure a patient for orthotics? View the orthotic measurement technologies most widely used today.

Conservative Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis

Conservative Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
Conservative Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis 1

Impact of Orthotic on Plantar Fasciitis

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