The importance of a good foundation has long been established. Whether a skyscraper, novel, wedding cake, or education, it’s that which comes first that provides structure and stability to that which follows.
“The human body is no different, with our feet playing a critical role as our foundation, says Kate Campbell, DPT, Outpatient Practice Manager at RVNAhealth. “The importance of our feet is paramount, yet they are often overlooked — and entirely unappreciated! Each foot is composed of 26 bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. From our very first steps, they bear the brunt of every stride and skip, every leap and bound, every stub and twist. Our entire body lies above them, and any imperfection or deformity in the foot invariably impacts the whole body, often manifesting in pain or issues elsewhere.”
For this reason, RVNAhealth has added custom and semi-custom orthotics to its Rehabilitation & Wellness service offerings. Orthotics are inserts placed inside the shoes with the purpose of restoring natural foot function and enabling optimal biomechanics. “Orthotics are intended to prevent further change and deformity in the foot,” says Campbell, “and in some cases are successful in 're-training' the foot back to a healthier state.”
The RVNAhealth orthotics methodology includes a detailed evaluation, including a complete treadmill gait analysis; digital photos of the feet; a review of worn shoes to assess wear pattern; evaluation of feet in both standing and non-weight bearing positions, followed by the ‘gold standard’ of casting methodology. “We make a plaster of Paris mold of the foot in a perfect gravity-eliminated state,” explains Campbell, “capturing the foot in its natural state, not its deformed state. With this approach, we can then build an orthotic that compliments the natural foot to optimize balance and alignment.” The RVNAhealth team uses exclusively Stride™ orthotics, and evaluation and fittings are conducted by specially trained RVNAhealth physical therapists.
“Those who already wear orthotics likely understand their value and how they work,” says Campbell. “But for those new to orthotics, RVNAhealth can help you identify if an orthotic is right for you and walk you through the process from start to finish to ensure a successful end result. The right orthotic can be life changing.”