Following the running craze of the 1970’s, podiatrists in the USA became more actively involved in the care of sports injuries of the lower extremity – which previously had been a little understood area of health care. On the back of seminal research by authors Root, Reed and O’rien, the discipline of podiatric biomechanics came into being, with sports injuries related to biomechanical deficiencies becoming better understood and managed. Sports medicine and podiatry became intertwined.
One of the critical treatment tools to come out of this period was the functional foot orthotic. At the time, podiatrists would undertake extensive assessment of a range of variables related to gait, joint movements and muscle lengths, and then tie this information together with the diagnosis and a plaster cast of the foot – to design a prescription for an orthotic laboratory to manufacture into an orthotic device. This process was the foundation of biomechanical practice in podiatry for many decades up until the advent of more advanced computerised assessment and manufacturing tools which we have today.
There is little doubt that the use of orthotic devices as an integral part of sports medicine of the lower extremity has become a well researched and accepted standard of practice. Overuse sporting injuries like shin splints, stress fractures and tendonitis are common conditions for which orthotics are commonly used. However, other therapies such as muscle strengthening and stretching, gait training, footwear modifications and physical therapies also play a part in the rehabilitation of sports injuries of the lower extremity.
If you are on the southside of Brisbane and trying to recover from a sports injury of the foot or leg, come in and see us.