barefootOrthotics can be used to help alleviate pain for a number of different injuries from the back, to the hip, knee, ankle and foot. But when and why are they best used? Can there be a negative affect of orthotics and is there another way that may be better to help resolve these injuries?

The arch that runs from the big toe to the heel, down the inside of the foot can flatten causing the foot to roll in (pronation), or the arch can be too high causing the foot to roll out (supination). Put simply, it is this rolling that is thought to put twisting forces up the leg resulting in injury. An orthotic is a firm support in your shoe that lifts your arch and stops your foot rolling. This is great in the case of acute pain and in the short term of the injury (first couple of weeks). But now your foot is supported by an aid, the muscles need to work less.  If you start to rely on the orthotic and use it too long the foot arch can get weaker – now you can roll even more. Suddenly summer comes along and we wear flat thongs, or kick off our shoes and go barefoot. Disaster strikes: we have even less foot support than before and we can roll a lot more and our injury gets far worse and possibly even new things flare up like plantar fasciitis, back or knee pain. 

So if not an orthotic, what? 

kids in sport

Children and adolescents are a specialist age group for a physiotherapist to work with. On a physical level, their injuries are very different to adults since they have different pressures relating to their growth, hormones and the development of their still growing musculoskeletal system. They are also different on an emotional level. This means that it’s important to consider how these differences can impact on the support for your injured child. Here are some things we have learned in our practice.

The first trip to a specialist can cause fear, especially if the child is also in pain and concerned that the session may hurt them. The treating rooms themselves are a foreign space where a child won’t know what to expect.

Parents and carers can mitigate this by preparing the child prior to the visit. Let your child know what to expect and who they will be meeting. You can even show him or her the photos of our practitioners on our website so they know they’ll be seeing a friendly face.

This is especially important if:
•    This is the child’s first visit to a physio
•    The child has special needs (eg. Aspergers)
•    The child has any anxiety, fear or pain
•    If the child struggles with physical contact

bosu Balance could save your life.

Can you stand on one leg without holding on?
Can you stand on one leg while turning your head to look from left to right?
Can you stand on one leg with your eyes closed?

Here's why being able to say yes to all the above is so important. Good balance means fast reactions. When muscles jump on quickly in response to a loss of balance, they catch you and pull you back upright, helping prevent knee and ankle sprains.

Balance when you are younger could save you a fortune in MRI, physio and specialist bills.

Balance is also the first thing to deteriorate with age. As you get older, falling and badly hurting yourself is everyone's fear. And justifiably so. Bad falls can mean broken bones and broken bones can mean going for surgery, which can be a tough thing to go through at any age.

To prevent this slowing down of reaction we should all be putting 5 minutes of balance into our general daily exercise routine. Balance helps you strengthen your core. It helps prevent injury. If you get injured it helps you to recover: once a joint is damaged, maybe from a back or leg injury, balance is affected. Injury can teach a body to be so responsive to pain that it forgets to respond to a change in balance. Suddenly you re-injure the same thing you just recovered from. This is extremely frustrating, often painful, and usually expensive.

So in conclusion, a bit of balance a day helps keep the physios away!

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Physiologix Therapy SolutionsWHERE TO FIND US
(at Gap Health & Racquet Club)
200 Settlement Rd, The Gap