Orthotics for Runners

Many runners are highly dedicated to the sport, it provides stress relief, time to decompress, overall health, a competitive outlet, weight management, an opportunity to enjoy the northern michigan beauty and natural endorphins. Who wouldn’t get a little addicted over time? Regardless if you are a seasoned runner who is looking to protect your joints so you can continue running for a long time, a competitive runner who is looking for an extra edge or a new runner who just wants to eliminate some of those aches and pains orthotics are an excellent solution.

WHAT IS AN ORTHOTIC?
An orthotic is a shoe insert that corrects biomechanic inefficiencies. They are available in generic “over the counter” versions as well as customized creations prescribed by podiatrists. They are great solutions for injury prevention and treatment. Some common uses for orthotics are to relieve foot, leg and back pain, increase endurance and balance, relieve chronic blisters, leg-length discrepancies, plantar fascists and shin splints.

HOW DO ORTHOTICS WORK?
Only about 25% of the population have normal running patters the rest of us have some degree of skeletal imbalance that causes us to either overpronate or underpronate when we run. The correct orthotics can immediately and permanently correct the problem by changing the angle at which your foot strikes the ground creating the optimal amount of inward roll in your foot as you run and allowing your body to preform better. Although they may take some getting used to the benefits of proper orthotics are immediate and permanent.

OVERPRONATION VS. UNDERPRONATION
A person overpronates when their foot rolls too far inward after their heal strikes the ground, 15% roll is considered ideal. This places an more stress on the two bigger toes than is ideal, the foot is unable to absorb the impact as well and the foot and ankle have to cope with the additional impact. Underpronation is just the opposite, after the heal strikes the foot does not roll inward enough keeping most of the pressure on the outside of the foot. Under and over pronation decrease your body’s ability to absorb the impact of each foot-strike and increases the likelihood of injury to the feet, ankles, knees and legs.

WHAT ARE SOME SIGNS THAT YOU MAY NEED ORTHOTICS?
– You have a visible alignment issue, for example bow knees, knock knees, pigeon-toes (walk with toes together) or duck feet (walk with toes pointing outward).
– You have a foot “problem” for example pain in the arch of your foot, heel spurs, constant blisters and/or calluses,
-You tend to get shin splints.
– You have back pain after being on your feet for long periods of time.
– You participate in a sport that places a high impact on your feet. For example, running, tennis, soccer and basketball.

CAN ORTHOTICS MAKE YOU A BETTER RUNNER?
Wondering if the right orthotics can make conquering the Traverse City Bayshore Marathon a more reasonable feat? They might. The slight imbalances in your feet that do not affect your normal activities can become a significant handicap when placed under the stress of running. Correcting small imbalances in your stride will make you more efficient leading to less fatigue, fewer aches and pains and fewer injuries.

Whatever your needs may be one of the trained staff on the Teter team will be happy to help you find the best orthotic for you. Feel free to click the links to find contact information on one of our many locations:

Alma, Alpena, Big Rapids, Cadillac, Charlotte, Cheyboygan, Fremont, Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Grayling, Greenville, Houghton Lake, Kalamazoo, Ludington, Manistee, Mt. Pleasant, Muskegon, Petoskey, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Ignace, Traverse City