With the growing inclination of our generation to sloth hours off and lack of physical activity, the occurrence of orthopedic problems is more commonplace than ever. The maladies that used to affect people at a ripe age are now wreaking havoc on the health of the millennial’s who are more vulnerable to be subjected to the risk of joint-related problems than ever. The knee joint, being the most vital in human skeleton system supports the weight of our entire body while routine movements. It is obvious thus that with increased occurrences of obesity in young adults, our knee joints are more prone to damage than any other body part.
With the advancement in medical sciences, however, there are now many types of equipment available in the health market to correct such problems. Shoe inserts are one such piece of equipment that comes handy in aiding the correction of joint problems associated with the knee.
What are shoe inserts?
Shoe inserts or orthotics are medically prescribed devices that can be inserted in the upper-sole region of regular shoes to cushion the feet arch and reduce friction between the feet and ankles. Orthotics initially came out as corrective equipment used to treat special conditions of flat feet or knee joint pain in patients. There are mainly two types of shoe inserts:
Common mass-market shoe inserts
These shoe inserts are widely and cheaply available in markets and can be found at any of the medical or sports stores easily. They are usually ‘one-size fits all’ kind and are sold without prescriptions.
Orthopedist prescribed custom-made shoe inserts
These inserts are often prepared on an orthopedist’s prescription. These orthotics are expensive but more comfortable as they are tailor made to the exact requirements of the person wearing them.
Treatment gone wrong – When solution becomes part of the problem
There are no two ways about the utility of shoe inserts in the correction of knee joints and pacify the effects of pain in the region. But it is important to be particular about the details and avoid side effects.
The locally available, cheap orthotics are usually worn without proper consultation with an expert. More often than not, these devices are not suited for all feet type and their consistent usage can deteriorate the health condition further instead of improving it. The side effects of using the wrong shoe inserts include:
- Bent ankles and knees
- Deadly and increased in intensity knee joint pain
- Dislocation of joints
- Hair cracks
- Slip disc
The situation can be further worsened for people having already existent knee-joint pain, chronic arthritis or flat feet. The use of wrong curvature shoe inserts bends the feet arch in the wrong way, increasing tension between the tendons and ultimately leading to the flattening of the natural feet sole curve. This can lead to inward bent ankles which further reaches up to the knees and gives birth to a painful, rickety condition.
How to choose the right orthotics?
It is always advised to judiciously choose when it comes to medical equipment especially when a tender and vital body weight supporting joint is in question. Here are a few things to be kept in mind when choosing the right shoe inserts for your feet:
- Consult an orthopedist and get to know your proper fee type before getting orthotics
- Do not buy cheaply available shoe inserts from sports stores. They might be cost-efficient but disastrously effect you orthopedic health in the long term
- Always put comfort first. If a shoe insert does not feel comfortable, stop using it immediately and see a doctor about it.
- Do not rely on orthotics for a long term. They are meant to be supplements and not the primary treatment. One should rather focus on joint exercises and medication prescribed by a certified medical practitioner.
Every problem comes with a solution but it is necessary to look into its side effects so as to not pay a heavier price than required. Shoe inserts can be of immense help in correcting knee related issues but it is always advisable to be vigilant about the type of orthotics you choose so they only act as an enhancement and not a spoilsport.