How Will Orthotics Benefit Me In Sport?

Basketball player prepares for game wearing his orthotics and shoes

Podiatrists have been using orthotic prescriptions for decades to treat musculoskeletal injuries in the lower limb. In the past podiatrists used orthotics to restrict movement within the foot and ankle, particularly “pronation” within the foot. While this is sometimes still necessary, we now use orthotics quite differently.

Instead, we may design orthotics to achieve the following:

  • Place the foot in a more “neutral” position.
  • Act as a spring-effect to provide adequate shock absorption.
  • Reduce tissue load while still allowing for optimal muscle activation and foot motion control.
  • Promote healthy movement within the joints of the foot.

Athletes across all sport codes use orthotics. Each sport requires different functional movements within the foot and ankle, thus giving each orthotic a different function.

  •   Runners use orthotics to provide shock absorption, reduce tissue overuse, motion control and allow for adequate propulsion onto the forefoot.
  •   Cyclists may use orthotics to control the amount of internal and external rotation going through the lower leg.
  •   Sprinters often wear orthotics to control/improve movement onto the forefoot.
  •   Basketball players wear orthotics to control the forefoot when jumping as well as provide increased lateral ankle stability. (NBA star Lebron James wears custom foot orthotics in his basketball shoes)
  •   Skiers wear orthotics to keep the foot in a neutral position and prevent movement within the ski boot.
  •   Tennis players use orthotics for lateral support, shock absorption, and to reduce shear forces.
  •   Football and soccer players wear orthotics for shock absorption and to increase comfort while wearing studded boots

We can prescribe custom orthotics to fit into football boots, school shoes, ski boots, work shoes, studded boots, hiking boots, runners, basketball shoes, and much more.

Will I be wearing orthotics for the rest of my life?

Everyone wears orthotics differently. While some may be required to wear them for ongoing injury prevention and improved function, others may only use them temporarily while recovering from injury. However, they are considered a “tool in the shed” that you can come back to if your injury returns. Generally, it takes 3 months for injured tissues to heal. After that, your Podiatrist will decide with you on whether or not it is necessary to continually wear your orthotics into the long term.

If you play sports and feel you may benefit from orthotics feel free to get in touch with us for a professional opinion at our clinics in Yarraville and Point Cook.

Give us a call on 03 8375 2062 (Point Cook) or 03 9191 0117 (Yarraville) or book online here.