Orthotics for Athletes on the Rise
LeBron James has been known to throw his shoes into the crowd after a game as souvenirs. At one game this gesture was followed by an announcement asking the person who caught them to come to the scorers’ table. Why? Because LeBron had forgotten to take his inserts out, and he wanted them back! Years ago few athletes wore orthotic inserts, but in recent years more and more players are finding that these supports help manage their foot pain and may even increase their performance.
Two types of orthotics for athletes are generally used: those that provide general cushioning and support and those that try to compensate for faulty mechanics in the foot. Over-the-counter inserts are often used for painful calluses or because the foot has lost some of its natural padding. They can be of foam, gel, or plastic, and they protect the feet from hard surfaces that can irritate the skin or bone structure.
The second type provides support for the heel and the arch, to help spread the weight more evenly over the whole foot. They help correct the pressure resulting from over-pronation, fallen arches, or tendon problems like plantar fasciitis. They can also help reduce the pain resulting from a faulty gait. This type is usually made of more rigid plastic or graphite. Some people try an over-the-counter orthotic, but it is best to use those that are custom designed for your particular foot and your specific problem.
Dr. Howard Schaengold specializes in sports medicine and can fit you with a custom orthotic that is best for your feet. If you participate in athletics and have noticed pain after activity, contact The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic for an evaluation. Our office in Sammamish, WA, serves the surrounding Bellevue, Issaquah, and Redmond communities as well. Call us at (425) 868-3338 today, and get yourself back in the game without pain!