Public health guidelines recommend that every adult should aim to walk at least 10,000 steps per day. That equates to 90 minutes, or 5 miles, of walking for the average person.
Unless you have an very active job, however - such as a garda, a nurse, a waitress or a postman - it's very difficult to achieve this level of walking on a daily basis. To stay fit, most people tend to rack up the miles by doing one or more sustained walks or runs.
The problem is, only about 25% of people have a normal running pattern. The rest of the running population overpronates or underpronates, meaning their foot turns too much or not enough. Women have four times as many foot problems as men â€“ mainly due to wearing heels and pointy-toed shoes!
And that's where orthotics come in. Orthotics are custom-made orthopaedic insoles which properly align your feet to avoid and treat injuries, correcting these imbalances by adjusting the angles at which the foot strikes the ground.
Orthotics, however, are expensive, and athletes of all levels should take professional advice before ordering. PhysioNow staff will never prescribe them unless absolutely necessary, and will advise if temporary, cheaper, orthotics will serve your needs.
In the event that orthotics are necessary, our physiotherapists will make a plaster cast of your foot, and then send off the cast to a lab to create a custom-made insole. This should last at least two years.
You may need orthotics ifâ€¦
- Your shoes wear out quickly or unevenly
- You regularly suffer from sore feet
- You have pain in your knees, joints or Achilles tendon
- You spend a good part of your day on your feet
- You play sports regularly
- You run regularly
- You have bunions, fallen arches or corns
- One of your legs is shorter than the other
- You have knock-knees or bow legs or your feet "toe out" when you walk