Bespoke Orthotics Aid Rehabilitation
Sports injuries can occur due to a traumatic incident or overuse of a specific body part. A sports injury requires rehabilitation to allow a person to get back to full health, and return to their choice of sport. Orthotics will provide an important part of this rehab process, particularly in lower limb injury.
Traumatic Injuries Treated:
- Ankle inversion injury - this is where the ankle twists inwards, and the foot rolls over the ankle. It is a common injury that can happen as a result of a tackle in a contact sport, or, perhaps, a trip or fall during running. There may be an underlying weakness of the peroneal muscle group, causing this injury. Once the soft tissue damage has settled, a foot orthotic can be used to reduce the tendency for the foot to roll over the ankle.
- Achilles tendon rupture - a sudden or severe pain at the back of the heel can indicate an Achilles tendonitis or worse, a rupture. This is a very common sports injury and often occurs when there is sudden movement. For example, running, basketball, football and dancing. If the Achilles tendon is under stress, due to poor foot mechanics, then a foot orthotic to correct these will reduce the everyday stresses on the tendon.
- Knee ligament rupture or strains - can be caused by a direct blow to your knee, knocking into something with your knee, or your knee may be moved outside of its usual range of movement during a fall, for instance, if you land awkwardly during sport, or after a sudden movement. Knee bracing can help support the knee while it heals, and can be used for high impact sport post-injury or repair.
Overuse Injuries Treated:
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome, more commonly known as runner’s knee - pain around the knee cap (patella), which is common in runners. This is an irritation under the knee cap and is often due to a biomechanical abnormality, such as weakness of the hamstrings. This is common in running and is more prevalent in people with gait abnormalities, such as over-pronation. Foot Orthotics are used to reduce excessive pronatory forces and normalise running gait.
- Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome - this is the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh and can become tight or inflamed. This is a very common overuse injury that results in pain at the outside of the knee. This is common in women, because of the natural alignment of their hips. It occurs when the knee turns inwards repeatedly and is, therefore, more likely to occur in people whose feet over-pronate or roll in. Foot Orthotics can be used to reduce the amount of pronation that occurs, and improve the position of the ground reaction forces working through knee and hip, reducing stress on ITB.
- Medial tibial stress syndrome or shin splints - this is a pain or tenderness along the inside of the lower limb, but can also be felt centrally along the shin, or even outside. This is an overuse in jury of the lower limb affecting the connective muscle tissue below the knee. Over-pronation and/or tightness of the calf muscles can cause muscle fatigue and affect the shock-absorbing capabilities of the foot and ankle during running. Foot orthotics are used in cases of shin splints to reduce muscle strain caused by poor foot mechanics.
- Plantar fasciitis - this is a very painful condition, affecting the heel or the soft tissues along the sole of the foot. This can be due to overuse and is often seen in our clinic when a person increases their exercise intensity, for example, someone in marathon training. High arched feet and excessive pronation are causative factors and Foot Orthotics can both treat the underlying cause and improve the discomfort caused by the plantar fasciitis itself. Learn more about our Bespoke Orthotics.
- Muscular strains - such as piriformis, hamstrings, calf. These overuse injuries can be as a result of a biomechanical abnormality. Foot orthotics will help to normalize any abnormalities in posture and gait and reduce the predisposition to such injuries.
Biomechanical dysfunction and gait abnormality
In general, if there is a biomechanical dysfunction or gait abnormality present, such as excessive pronation (rolling in) of the feet, or weakness in a specific muscle group causing the foot to contact the ground in an abnormal way, this can cause excessive stresses or strains to the lower limb, making them more susceptible to injury. Foot Orthotics are prescribed to allow more normal movement and restore normal biomechanical function. They can also be used directly to offload pain and promote healing in certain lower limb injuries.
Our clinicians have vast experience with all levels of sports injuries, from joggers in the park to elite athletes. If you feel this treatment may be appropriate for you, a biomechanical assessment can determine whether you would benefit from sports orthotics. If appropriate, our clinicians will design a prescription for you and manufacture the orthotics to suit your individual requirements.