Gait Correction with Orthotics
The way we walk is a unique part of who we are. Whether you walk slowly and like to experience the world or you walk quickly, getting to where you’re going as fast as possible, how you walk says something about you. For some people, however, how they walk can end up hurting them in the end. When someone’s walk is incorrect in a way that can cause damage, Calgary podiatrists like us at Dalhousie Station Foot Clinic call it an “incorrect gait,” and try to help change it for the better.
How Do I Know if I Have an Incorrect Gait?
There are a lot of different kinds of incorrect gait. It’s best to walk with your back straight and the pressure on your foot as even as possible to spread out the impact of walking. A little variation from this ideal is fine but if your posture or how you place your feet when walking varies too much, it can damage the nerves in your feet or legs or cause other kinds of long-term damage. A few examples of specific incorrect gaits include:
Propulsive Gait: walking while bent forward too far, as if propelling yourself forward.
Spastic Gait: walking with one foot dragging.
Steppage Gait: walking with one foot curled forward so your toes scrape the ground.
If you have an incorrect gait, you should ask your podiatrist about getting orthotics the next time you visit their Calgary foot clinic.
What Are Orthotics and How Can They Correct Gait?
Generally, orthotics are devices we use to help our bodies work better. The word itself comes from the Ancient Greek word meaning “to set straight” and splints and casts are technically orthotics. The most well known form of orthotics, however, are inserts that go in your shoe and help set you straight when you walk. You can buy these at your local Calgary drug store but you may want to visit a foot clinic before you do. Although these readily available orthotics might help you, they’re not really designed for your specific form of gait problem. They’re all-purpose cushioning for your feet but won’t set you straight.
If you have gait problems in Calgary, we at Dalhousie Station Foot Clinic can custom design orthotics that will help your unique gait. Using the latest imaging technology we can develop a precise, 3D digital picture of your foot’s anatomy and create an orthotic for you that exactly contours to your foot, truly setting you straight and preventing any long-term impact damage from developing. If you’re interested in getting orthotics or simply consulting an expert about your foot pain, contact us today.