What is not well understood is that the arch stretches as far as it has to, to absorb incoming shock; this active motion is called pronation. When the arch spreads like this unless it has been limited beyond its neutral (I prefer to call this optimal) position, is called overpronation. This occurs in flat and high arched feet as well. Flat feet are called “pronators” and have a lot of pronation motion. High arched feet are “supinators” and have little pronation motion.
That moment in time between the optimal position and beyond is the injurious force that accumulates over a lifetime until the injury comes to the surface and you feel it as pain.
Over-the-counter orthotics are usually helpful, because they minimize the repetitive motion of the arch, and are good if you choose not to go with a proper custom fit.
While custom orthotics are made to fit your foot they must also fit the way your foot walks by meeting all four criteria of the fit.
There are four criteria that you must look for when being fit for or wearing orthotics.
- the orthotic must be supportive, you should feel the support such that it is full or snug fitting
- it “must” be comfortable
- it cannot overcorrect your alignment position on the ground, you “must” be stable (by overcorrect I mean that your foot should not be tilted too much on the outside edge-this would be overcorrection/supinated)
- It “must” fit the way your muscles and feet are working and not necessarily the shape of just the foot.
If all the criteria are not met, then the fit is not what it should be given that this is custom.
Silicone Dynamic Orthotic (SDO)
With traditional rigid and semi-rigid orthotics, once the orthotic is cast, it is fixed, very little if anything can be done to make it fit all the criteria. The Silicone Dynamic Orthotic, because it is based on fluid mechanics automatically shifts under the foot to fit precisely.
For maximum results and comfort, there can be no compromise in these criteria. Anything less may help, but will not achieve maximum results and more than likely be uncomfortable.
If you find that your orthotics do meet all the criteria, then they are working. The healing process can take a long time.
Learning about Orthotics is important.