An orthotic is by definition any of a class of external appliances, braces, or splints devised to control, limit, or assist foot and ankle motion, and provide leg support in order to correct bone, joint, ligament, or muscle disorders. Not a very specific term, is it? Lots of different products—hard and soft, flexible and rigid, part-of-foot and full foot—are classified as orthotics. Here’s a little more about our brand.
Not Just an Arch Support
You can think of the arch as the foot’s bridge. Now imagine that this bridge has its foundation built on unstable ground (for example, its uneven, sinking, or eroding). You intuitively know that because the foundation is unstable, the bridge as a whole will be unstable, too. The problem can be addressed in one of two ways: propping the bridge up with a central support or reinforcing the foundation. While the central support may help, only rectifying the foundation problems will correct the cause of the instability.
A product described as an arch support works much the same way as option one in the bridge scenario. While your symptoms may improve, it does little to correct their cause. When you buy orthotics from Westcoast Orthopedic Laboratories, they are not just an arch support—they are realigning orthotics. We use something called full-foot posting that changes the “ground” that the foot stands on. The foot is rotated up and out, stabilizing the arch, ankle, and knee. This restores natural alignment to the way nature intended. Like a bridge should be freestanding, your arch is designed to support itself: our orthotics help make that happen.
Muscle, ligament, tendon, and skeleton stress can all be directly related to misalignment of the foot. You may experience this stress as shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, or other aches and pains. As with arch issues, if the orthotic you choose does not correct the misalignment, you will only experience symptomatic relief, if anything at all. But if alignment is restored, muscle function will improve. Think about what it could mean for you to gain that extra power…Would your mobility improve? Is there a new personal best in your future?
It should go without saying that an orthotic is comfortable and tailored to your activity of choice, supporting and controlling the foot through all movement phases. If that’s not the case, it’s time to look elsewhere—luckily, you’ve come to the right place.