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.













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.












“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


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?



“Eat, move and be healthy” Paul Chek

Neutral spine – Matt Wallden