Do we need orthotics?

Do we need orthotics?

Orthotics & the lower limb

Like me you probably have an expensive pair of orthotics thrown at the back of the wardrobe. I have not worn mine now for 19 years but also wore them as a professional dancer in my dance shoes. A foot orthotic is only ONE part of the treatments used by podiatrists and orthopaedic specialists with patients suffering foot and lower leg pain, yet people will always think of that as the main treatment in podiatry. Podiatrists are highly qualified professionals who provide high quality care to their patients. Many people are not fully aware of the work they do or exact function of orthoses which are sometimes prescribed by them.

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I found the orthotics extremely useful after tearing ligaments during a ballet exam whilst on point. I could not weight bare at all and the orthotics actually offloaded and distributed the weight load of movement whilst letting the connective tissues heal. I never wanted to become dependent on them as this would be the same as wearing a weight belt,  support underwear or body armour for athletes.

52957-004-3A06714AThis long term effect of using any support or stabilisation device will change engram firing and switch off and creating poor memory patterns in the body central nervous system. We see this with any injury “If you don’t use it you lose it.” By taking into account whats going on in the upper body particularly the pelvis which is our powerhouse for the pilates practitioners and centre of bandhas that houses the tandem or hara for the yogis. Th pelvis is significant in all human life. Look at the skeletal foot structure of the chimpanzee, austrolopath and modern human.

Every time our foot hits the ground an elastic recoil spirals up through the body creating stress. We need tensegrity in our structure and structures but at the same time need an elastic plasticity that enables fluid movement.

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“An orthopaedic appliance or apparatus used to support, align, prevent, or correct deformities or to improve the function of the movable parts of the body.”25th edition of Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary

“A foot orthoses is a medical device employed to support and align the foot, to prevent or correct foot deformities, or to improve the functions of the foot”.Wu, Kent K.: Foot Orthoses: Principles and Clinical Applications. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, 1990, p. 97

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So does this mean that all headaches are short of an aspirin, if so it means all foot problems are short of an orthotic. I would say learn to train and balance your lower extremity with your upper extremity and balance your gut and say goodbye to foot accessories. On the picture to the side which would you like treat the symptoms or the root cause?

 

Bibligraphy

“Eat, move and be healthy” Paul Chek

Neutral spine – Matt Wallden

 

About the Author:

Nisha is a certified Chek practitioner and holistic lifestyle coach.Her journey started when a visiting Laban teacher introduced her to Pilates at Dance College during her first year. It's effects were forgotten but she then re discovered Pilates through Michael King eleven years later whilst running her dance school. Her background spans over 25 years with formal training in classical ballet, modern dance, tap, national choreography, stage production and theatre. Her formation includes Pilates, Thai bodywork, Yoga, GYROTONIC, GYROKINESIS and anatomical studies. Her particular interest is fascia, and the connective lines and movement patterns that allow a full moving structure rather than the isolation of bones and muscles. Her fascination with questioning the traditions of modern medicine and fascination with searching for meaningful answers has taken her in many different directions and has offered her an abundance of opportunities gaining a wealth of knowledge. “I tried many movement modalities and extended my search after experiencing fascia, because of its simplicity in movement. Quickly, I noticed my own body changing as well as the bodies of my own clients. In the last 25 years of teaching I’ve developed a workout unique to Yoga Anatomy". Throughout her studies Nisha has done numerous dissections with Julian Baker and Cery Davies and has the opportunity to take lectures and courses from Robert Schleip, Joanne Avisons, Tom Myers, Matt Wallden, Emma Lane, Gary Carter, Paul Chek, Dan Hellman, Peter Blackaby, James de Silva plus many many more Nishas teaching method promotes reflective self-discovery and provides the requirements to integrate a shift in consciousness for attaining individual goals. She maintains that an attitude of compassion, consistency and joyous humor are excellent components to growth and expanded potential. She welcomes all level of movers from the beginner to the seasoned athlete who have a desire to increase their skill potential, also teachers and students. Her specialties include assisting post rehabilitative individuals, injury prevention for dancers and athletes and advanced movement programs.