Can Orthotics Help You in Sports?
Custom orthotics are one of the most powerful treatment tools at our disposal, for a variety of conditions. A large percentage of painful foot problems arise at least partially because the feet in question aren’t entirely up to the combined challenge of gravity plus hard, flat surfaces. Orthotics supply the missing pieces—support, cushioning, stability—so feet can operate without pain.
However, for athletes with structural or biomechanical foot problems, there’s an added bonus. The right set of orthotics can not only relieve pain, but actually boost athletic performance.
What Biomechanics May Mean to Performance
In almost every sport, biomechanical efficiency—using the right posture and form when you play—is a critical component of performance. When your body is in proper alignment and you’re not wasting time or energy on unnecessary movements, you will be faster, more agile, and can generate more power even if all other physical skills (strength, fitness, flexibility, etc.) remain equal.
Orthotics not only put your body in better alignment, but can even correct gait problems like feet or ankles that roll too far after impact. If you’re a distance runner, they can help you improve your pace and maintain it for longer. They can also provide the extra joint stability you might need to change directions on a dime, or generate explosive power when you swing a racquet, bat, or golf club.
Don’t forget that orthotics reduce pain and injury risk during training and play. This allows you to work harder at improving your game before succumbing to fatigue or frustrating stints on injured reserve. That gives you the time and security needed to develop skills that may not be directly related to your footwork.
If you’re an athlete, custom orthotics aren’t going to automatically make you better. The value you get from them will depend on the sport you play and the current state of your feet. If you’re one of the lucky ones with feet and ankles that are already efficiently handling the load of activity, you may not need orthotics and they may not help you. But for those struggling with chronic pain that eats away at performance and durability, orthotics can be the key to not only feeling better, but playing better, too.
If foot pain is keeping you from the lifestyle you want to live, you don’t have to accept it! You have teammates at Gulf South Foot & Ankle who are dedicated to your success. Give us a call at (504) 708-4810 for an appointment in Metairie, or (985) 809-1464 for Covington.