Foot Care: Gait Analysis and Custom Orthotics
The Key to Better Health could be Right under Your ... Toes
Your feet have a direct impact on the rest of your body. Like the foundation of a house, your feet support the weight of everything above them. When a small problem develops in your feet, a subtle change in the way you walk will cause a chain reaction of adjustments in your posture and walking mechanics. These changes can put stress on joints higher up in your body and lead to more serious problems.
How Do I know If I Have a Problem?
The symptoms of poor foot mechanics can include any one of the following:
Localized foot pain
Bunions, hammer toes
Arch / heel pain
Leg / knee pain
Hip or back pain – even neck pain
What Services Does this Clinic Provide?
The consultation will involve gait analysis as well as biomechanical analysis of the body as a whole.
The solution could involve the following:
- Education on proper footwear
- Exercise prescription to correct imbalances or weakness
- Temporary taping or bracing to allow for healing
- Therapy within the clinic and / or self home therapy to decrease pain, promote healing, and restore function
- Off-the-shelf inserts or foot support
- Orthopaedic shoes
- Custom orthotics
What Are Custom Orthotics?
Custom orthotics help restore the normal balance and alignment of your body by gently correcting foot abnormalities such as excessive pronation or supination. Orthotics look like insoles, but are biomechanical medical appliances that are custom made to correct your specific foot imbalance. Orthotics work on your feet much like glasses work on your eyes – they reduce stress and strain on your body by bringing your feet back into proper alignment. Orthotics fit into your shoes as comfortably as an insole – and they have the advantage of having been made from precise imprints of your feet.
As outlined above, at our clinic, custom orthotics is just one of the many therapies provide for foot mechanic imbalance. Upon consultation, the appropriate therapy will be discussed with the patient. If orthotics are prescribed, Dr. Law continues to follow-up with the patient in the weeks and years following the initial wear to ensure that the orthotic appliances have not broken down and that the patient’s prescription has not altered. The follow-up appointments are free of charge for patients with custom orthotics.
Orthotics may also be prescribed to children. There is a growth program available at the clinic to offset the cost of acquiring new orthotics over the years to accommodate the growing child. Please contact the office for more information.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the muscles of the body at specific points to treat certain health problems. The Chinese have mapped these points over a period of two thousand years. Recently, scientific research has confirmed differences in the body tissue responses at these acupuncture points. The Western medical view is that acupuncture has several mechanisms of action, including the release of endorphins and other natural pain-relieving chemicals, the activation of “gates” in the nervous system that block pain, the relaxation of muscles, and the increase in blood flow to the area needled. The Eastern view of Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that emotional and physical energy, known as “Qi” (pronounced ‘chee’) flows through the body along specific pathways or “meridians”. When Qi is flowing smoothly, the body is in balance. Physical illness may result if energy flow slows or is blocked by factors like injury, poor diet, stress, or environmental factors. Acupuncture acts to release blockages and improve or balance energy flow.
Depending on the condition, acupuncture may be used as an adjunct with chiropractic treatments.
Uses of acupuncture
Many people in Canada are familiar with acupuncture only as a treatment for chronic pain. In addition to the use of acupuncture for musculoskeletal pain, menstrual pain, PMS, and menopause symptoms, acupuncture may be used to combat other conditions, such as fatigue and anxiety. Acupuncture also has a role in smoking cessation and weight control.
The World Health Organization drew up a list of diseases that lend themselves to acupuncture treatment. Here are some conditions on the list:
Gastrointestinal Problems- Digestion problems, hiccups, constipation, diarrhoea
Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders- Sinus problems, pain after dental treatment, nasal inflammation
Respiratory Disorders- Uncomplicated asthma
Neurological Problems- Migraine headaches, tension headaches, chronic nerve pain, partial weakness after a stroke, inner ear problems
Muscular Disorders- Tennis elbow, low back pain, arthritis pain, shoulder stiffness
Does acupuncture hurt?
Little discomfort occurs during treatment. Acupuncture needles are extremely fine and are made from stainless steel. About ten acupuncture needles fit inside the barrel of a regular hollow needle used for injections. Two sensations commonly occur during acupuncture. The first is a tingle at the skin surface. The second is the sensation of obtaining the “Qi” or “DeQi”. This sensation is that of a mild ache beneath, or radiating from, the acupuncture point. During the remainder of the treatment, relaxation and a sense of well being are present in most people. If pain occurs during this part of the treatment, the doctor will adjust the needles to relieve the discomfort.
Are needles sterile?
Only sterile, disposable, single-use needles are used at the clinic.
What if i absolutely hate needles?
The doctor will use one of several other methods that do not require the use of needles.
How many treatments are required?
That depends on the severity and nature of a problem. Some acute problems respond well to one session. A series of 5 to 15 treatments may resolve many chronic problems. Dr. Law will discuss with the patient and draw up a treatment plan.
How do i prepare for acupuncture?
Eat regularly and avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine before and after the treatment session.
What to expect with the first treatment?
The initial visit is one hour long. Dr. Law will inquire about the patient’s health history as well as conduct an examination to determine if acupuncture is an appropriate mode of treatment. The treatment itself is about 20-30 minutes long. The patient may expect one of the following to take place:
1. The symptom will gradually resolve.
2. The treated symptom will quickly improve and then gradually return. With subsequent treatments, the duration of improvement and the length of time between treatments will increase.
3. The treated symptom will temporarily worsen and then return to its previous state. This effect is termed “rebound” and is a good sign that the proper acupuncture points were used. Rebound may occur after the first one or two treatments and then lead to improvement with future treatments.
4. No effect may be noted after the first treatment. If no effect occurs after the second treatment, the doctor will reconsider the treatment plan.For more information about acupuncture, please contact the clinic to speak with Dr. Law.
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