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The Types of Orthotics, Insoles & Inserts

Orthotics, insoles, and inserts are all types of shoe inserts that are designed to provide additional support and cushioning to the feet. They are often used to alleviate pain, improve alignment, and reduce the risk of injuries. Here is a breakdown of the different types of orthotics, insoles, and inserts available:

1. Custom orthotics:

Custom orthotics are specially made to fit the unique shape and size of an individual's feet. They are typically made by a podiatrist or orthotist, who will take a mold or impression of the feet, and use this to create a pair of inserts that are tailored to the individual's needs. Custom orthotics are often used to treat specific foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, or flat feet.

2. Prefabricated orthotics:

Prefabricated orthotics are mass-produced inserts that are designed to fit a wide range of foot types and sizes. They are typically made from a mold or cast of a "typical" foot and are available in different sizes and arch heights. They are less expensive than custom orthotics and can be easily purchased from a pharmacy or sporting goods store.

3. Over-the-counter insoles:

Over-the-counter insoles are inserts that are widely available and can be easily purchased from a pharmacy or sporting goods store. They come in a variety of designs, such as those with arch support, cushioning, or shock-absorption. They are less expensive than custom orthotics and can be a good option for those who have mild foot pain or discomfort.

4. Gel or foam insoles:

Gel or foam insoles are inserts that are made from a soft gel or foam material. They provide cushioning to the foot, which can help to alleviate pain and reduce the impact of hard surfaces on the feet. Gel or foam insoles are often used to treat conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and stress fractures.

5. Memory foam insoles:

Memory foam insoles are made from a special foam that conforms to the shape of the foot. They provide cushioning and support, and can help to alleviate pain and improve alignment. Memory foam insoles are often used to treat conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and flat feet.

6. Arch support insoles:

Arch support insoles are inserts that provide extra support to the arch of the foot. They can help to alleviate pain and improve alignment, and are often used to treat conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and flat feet.

7. Heel cups:

Heel cups are inserts that are designed to provide extra cushioning and support to the heel. They can help to alleviate pain and reduce the risk of injuries, and are often used to treat conditions such as heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis.

8. Metatarsal pads:

Metatarsal pads are inserts that are designed to provide extra cushioning and support to the ball of the foot. They can help to alleviate pain and reduce the risk of injuries, and are often used to treat conditions such as metatarsalgia and Morton's neuroma.

Conclusions

It's worth noting that not all orthotics, insoles, and inserts are suitable for everyone. It's important to consult a podiatrist or other medical professional to determine the best type of insert for your specific needs. They can help to evaluate your foot structure and gait, and provide recommendations for the best type of inserts for your needs.

In conclusion, shoe inserts can become a smart investment for the good health of your feet. Find a perfect model for you with the help of our recommendations. 

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How Best To Improve Your Gait And Balance?

Gait refers to the way we walk, and it is an important aspect of overall health and well-being. An abnormal gait can lead to pain, injuries, and even chronic conditions. Improving your gait can help reduce the risk of injuries, alleviate pain, and improve overall mobility and function. Here are some ways to improve your gait:

1. Strengthening exercises:

Strengthening the muscles in your legs, hips, and core can help improve your gait. Exercises such as squats, lunges, and leg press can help to strengthen the muscles in your legs, while exercises such as planks and bridges can help to strengthen your core. Stronger muscles can help to improve your posture and alignment, which can lead to a more efficient and natural gait.

2. Flexibility exercises:

Tight muscles can contribute to an abnormal gait. Stretching exercises can help to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension, which can help to improve your gait. Stretches such as the hamstring stretch, calf stretch, and quad stretch can help to improve flexibility in the legs, while stretches such as the spinal twist and seated forward bend can help to improve flexibility in the back and hips.

3. Balance training:

Good balance is essential for a normal gait. Balance training exercises such as single-leg stands, heel-to-toe walk, and tai chi can help to improve your balance and stability, which can help to improve your gait.

4. Footwear:

Wearing shoes that fit well and provide good support can help to improve your gait. Shoes with a wide toe box and good arch support can help to distribute weight evenly across the foot and reduce strain on the heel and ball of the foot. Consider using shoe inserts or orthotics to provide additional support.

5. Gait analysis:

A gait analysis is a process of evaluating the way you walk. A physical therapist or other medical professional can use video or other technology to evaluate your gait and identify any abnormalities or areas that need improvement. They can then provide specific recommendations and exercises to help you improve your gait.

6. Posture:

Good posture can help to improve your gait. When you stand or walk, keep your shoulders back and down, your head level, and your core engaged. This can help to improve your alignment and reduce the risk of injuries.

7. Proprioception:

Proprioception refers to the body's ability to sense its position and movement in space. Exercises that improve proprioception, such as balance boards, wobble boards, and even walking on uneven surfaces, can help to improve your gait.

8. Mindfulness:

Being aware of your posture, body alignment and muscle tension during walking can help to improve your gait. When walking, focus on your posture, keep your head up, and engage your core muscles. This can help to improve your alignment and reduce muscle tension.

Final recommendations

It's important to note that in some cases, an abnormal gait may be caused by underlying medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or neurological conditions, and a medical professional should be consulted if you suspect this might be the case.

In conclusion, Improving your gait can help reduce the risk of injuries, alleviate pain, and improve overall mobility and function. There are many ways to improve your gait, including strengthening and stretching exercises, balance training, and proper footwear. Gait analysis, posture, proprioception, and mindfulness can also play a role in improving gait. 

It is always good to seek professional advice from a physical therapist or other medical professional to evaluate and diagnose or rule out any underlying problems that could lead to a major condition. 

Now, if your doctor's recommendation is to purchase an insole for your shoes, don't hesitate to purchase ours. SelectFlex Arch-Control Insoles are ideal for treating and preventing major ailments that may be affecting the performance of activities of daily living.

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Treatment for knee pain caused by bad pronation

knee pain

A bad pronation of the foot causes the tibia to turn inward at the knee joint, causing excessive wear and tear of the cartilage and ligaments. This causes pain, bursitis and joint sprain in the area. Fortunately, you can seek treatment for knee pain and avoid the symptoms associated with this condition.

However, in order to properly treat this common condition among people, it is necessary to know more about its main cause: overpronation. Below, in this article we explain in more detail about the subject and be able to alleviate any foot and knee pain

How could overpronation cause knee pain?

knee pain

Overpronation is a problem that affects everyone regardless of age or gender. It occurs when you run or walk, as the foot continues to twist, causing tibial rotation.  

Every time you walk, the foot that is being affected by the bad pronation will cause your knee to undergo a rotation that causes your kneecap to pull in the opposite direction. Therefore, if you don't seek treatment for knee pain early, it can lead to more serious injury and pain. 

In addition to that, poor pronation can cause other conditions such as patellofemoral, which occurs when the kneecap does not have room to rotate properly. On the other hand, it is also possible to develop iliotibial band pain syndrome or other conditions that affect different areas associated with the foot and knee. 

How do you know if you have bad pronation?

jogging woman

If you have suspicions about having a bad pronation every time you walk or run, it's time to dispel those doubts. There are a few ways to find out if your knee pain is caused by overpronation. The first option is to check the soles of your shoes, look for fading around the big toe, midfoot and medial/lateral heel. If these areas are weakened, it means you are overpronating.

The other option is to investigate if any family members have suffered from overpronation, as it can be caused by genetics. Finally, a sure way to find out if you have overpronation is to consult a medical professional, they are trained to perform a diagnosis and a series of physical exams. 

Is there a treatment for knee pain?

Fortunately, there are ways to relieve knee pain, as long as early intervention is done. Some of the treatments that can bring positive results are:

Custom orthoses

Proper orthotics are one of the best knee pain relief products.  Flimsy orthotics provide very little support and Custom orthotics can be very expensive.  The solution to this is “Customizeable” insoles, which are special insoles for your shoes that help correct the alignment of your feet and absorb shock to your joints at a very high level but are not as expensive as Custom insoles.  These are ideal for people looking for a versatile and effective knee pain treatment. 

There are many options to choose from on the market, but we recommend our SelectFlex adjustable orthotics. Unlike other orthotics, our product is the ONLY ONE that has a customizeable “Arch-Adjustable” power beam that is made with innovative technology to ensure that your feet feel comfortable and secure. 

One of the advantages of our adjustable orthotics is that it has three levels of customizeable comfort and support in the arch. You can choose the level that suits your bad pronation and allow it to correct your posture when you walk or run. You'll see that with SelectFlex's wonderful technology, you'll say goodbye to knee pain.

Exercises to alleviate knee pain

If you are looking for a treatment to relieve knee pain at home, then you can support yourself with exercises. The bad pronation is a whole process that you must improve, not only will it be enough to use custom orthotics. Therefore, opt for muscle strengthening and stretching exercises, especially in the ankle and knee areas. 

Modification of the activity

Some activities can be harmful to the knee. For example, certain sports may be high impact and allow you to further aggravate the pain in the area. It is best to modify these activities in order to better manage knee pain. 

Suitable footwear

Just as it is important to have custom orthotics, it is also part of good knee pain treatment to wear proper footwear. Especially if you suffer from flat feet along with poor pronation, you need shoes that have a firm heel, a supportive base and a firm midsole. 

Knee brace or athletic tape

Another way you can relieve knee pain from overpronation is by wearing a knee brace or athletic tape. These products can help provide extra support to the painful area. It is also a great way to prevent injury or joint damage from activity.