What is an orthotic?
An orthotic is a supportive device which is placed inside footwear, to change the mechanical function of the foot. It works dynamically during weight-bearing activities like walking, running and standing. Ideally, it should provide full, custom and corrected arch contact so that the foot works in a biomechanically correct way. To date, only Sole Supports™manufactures full arch contact orthotics, calibrated to flex for your weight and foot type. The reason is simple: they are more difficult to make because they must actually change the way your foot works and be comfortable at the same time. Other orthotics are either just cushions or give a more generic, insufficient arch support not customized to your foot. They may feel fine but, by failing to actually change foot posture & function, will not prevent the usual painful deformities or syndromes.
What are faulty foot mechanics?
The foot is designed to un-lock, or pronate, when it hits the ground for shock absorption and to conform to variable terrain. Then it must re-stiffen (lock), or supinate, for efficient leverage as we propel ourselves forward onto the next step. When either of these phases are excessive or out-of-sync the foot has faulty mechanical function. Ninety percent or more of us over-pronate, that is, our arches flatten too much (flat feet) and do not re-stiffen enough for efficient propulsion. About four percent of us are over-supinators with high, rigid arch structure. Then the problem is poor shock absorption and weight-bearing pressure concentrated in a few spots.
What kind of problems result from faulty foot mechanics?
Pain and deformities can arise in the feet such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, corns, and hammertoes. Because the foot function affects the entire chain of bones leading to the spine, pain and dysfunction in the knee, hip and lower back often result as well. In all there are over thirty common diagnoses related to poor foot function.
Can problems be prevented or corrected with the use of Sole-Supports?
Yes. If the problem is caught early enough, pain and deformity can often be prevented. Regular use of these unique orthotics can often reverse deformity development or, at least, prevent surgery. How? Because when you restore normal function you give your body what it needs to heal itself. A typical orthotic only masks your symptoms temporarily -until further deformity makes things worse. Any other necessary treatments or therapies are more effective and last longer, too, when you restore healthy foot function.
How long will it take for my symptoms to go away?
That will depend on how advanced the condition is, flexibility of the deformity if one is presnt, age and general health. For most people, significant relief is experienced within weeks of regular use; at most, it may take a few months.
I was referred to Dr. McNally for evaluation and treatment of pain due to patellofemoral syndrome that was refactory to several rounds of physical therapy and three arthroscopies. Her approach has been more comprehensive, holistic & preventive than that of any other clinician I have seen, as she has focused on areas outside of the knee (foot, ankle, hip) that have been contributing to, and in some cases causing my knee pain. In addition to focused treatments, I have worked with her personal trainer in her practice who has not only developed a personalized corrective exercise routine, but has taken the time to ensure that my technique is correct. I am happy to say that due to Dr. McNally's care & expertise, my symptoms have greatly improved and I have been able to return to work without restriction. Dr. McNally's outstanding clinical skills as well as her professional, caring and encouraging demeanor make her a special and unique clinician. Her approach is simple, but effective - educate the patient about his/her ailment and empower the patient to be an active participant to his/her treatment. Her practice is efficient and her staff is always courteous and welcoming.
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Alpert Medical School
Jason Aliotta, MD