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Orthotics – Science Hikers Can Use?

Updated: Jun 21

We can all use a little help now and again.

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Introduction

We all know our feet form the foundation for the entire weight of the body and when we walk over uneven surfaces we put even more stress on the load-bearing needed to keep us stay upright and balanced. This all happens naturally and for the most part without us consciously thinking about it.

The macro adjustments needed to send the correct information to our muscles and joints to perform on uneven surfaces and terrain is called proprioception.


Proprioception

Some therapists refer to it as the ‘safe sense’ - a way for the body to adjust appropriately while body receptors continually send information to the brain for processing the necessary information needed to make the minute adjustments on a bio-mechanical level.

That’s great… Isn’t it?

Yes, that is the beautiful truth of it… it is all done naturally for us and all we have to do is watch where we place our feet and enjoy the experience of the great outdoors, proprioception is a beautiful gift.

But if like most people you suffer from repetitive strain injury – even going for a simple walk can be uncomfortable, bothersome or even painful.

There is help at hand though, Orthotic inserts offer a relief from the grinding of a repetitive strain injury by supporting or cushioning a particular part of the foot.



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Orthotics

Orthoses are obtained by medical prescription and help with bio-mechanical issues; which could be in the form of a brace, support or splint and they help to re-align and support parts of the body, including the foot.

Orthotics can correct the function of the moving parts of our body while walking. With the correct orthotic insert we can start to correct our walking gait by altering the angle of our foot-strike while walking or running.

This corrective alignment can also relieve the pressure put on other parts of the body.


If you have a serious foot injury, you should consult a professional Pedorthist or Orthotist for correct diagnosis and treatment.

Inserts

Inserts are bought in stores, over-the-counter and without prescription. They can provide cushioning, support and comfort for tired feet when we are out on the open trail. They are generally made of gel, plastic, foam or fibre glass.

Inserts come in a vast array of shapes and sizes for every foot and condition.

Inserts can make a huge difference to your walking experience, offering comfort and support where it’s needed.


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Conclusion

There is a lot of information available on this subject and not all of it can be correct. There are claims of cures and life-changing possibilities, some even declare to be an authority in a very complicated and specialised area of human anatomy and physiology, so tread carefully while you make your choices on who and what you decide on being informed by.

We rely so much on our feet to carry us, and good foot health is crucial to living a full and active life.

A day’s walking can be demanding on our body as a whole, but our feet are the vehicles that can make all the difference - while you experience the thrills, excitement and achievements of adventures in the great outdoors.



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