The foot to me is like a “loose bag of bones”. Tied together by the soft tissues, each bone moves on one or more of the planes of motion and moves as much as necessary in order to reduce incoming shock

An orthosis to my way of thinking is designed to “assist” the foot and minimize this motion. It does this by aligning the foot to the ground and tightening up the laxity of the foot motion making it more efficient in its course of action(s).

What the SDO Does So Well

What the SDO does so well, is allow each bone to move through its natural planes of motion in a fluid manner (NO PUN INTENDED). It does not alter these motions and does not restrict them abruptly. It simply guides the structure through its course of action, yet limits the laxity. This is what makes the SDO so easy, accurate and comfortable to wear.

Traditional Orthotics

A traditional support (rigid or semi-rigid) on the other hand (in my opinion) holds the foot to a casted position which is rigid to the planes of motion.  Granted, if the foot structure feels comfortable to this position and way of walking, and it works in its concept of healing, then that is the bottom line.  To me, just because the foot is custom casted to a biomechanical position, does not mean it fits the way that foot works (that’s why I hear so many patients say it is very uncomfortable even if it helps). Especially during an injury where the muscles are under tension and spasm and therefore tight and resticted to the correct biomechanical position.  This is why in my experience working with traditional orthotics for 15 years, I found so many failures. And I could do very little to adjust that device to make it that much more acceptable to the patient.

The SDO can be adjusted to anyone (as long as that individual is willing to work with you and understands that just because the orthotic fits does not mean that resolution is going to be quick), because the intrinsic muscles of the foot determine that the fit in that position is acceptable to them. We also know that if an orthotic does work, we will need to adjust the alignment position in 1-2 years to compensate for that shift in fit vs biomechanical position.