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Acupuncture Today
January, 2000, Vol. 01, Issue 01
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These defects can have repercussions throughout the neuromusculoskeletal system. Since the structural component of the human body exists in the biomechanical kinetic chain, the movement of one joint influences the movement at other joints in the chain.4 The biomechanical kinetic chain begins from the feet, progresses to the ankle, tibia, knee, femur, hip joints and pelvis, and travels through the spine.

When imbalance or structural deficiency are present, the kinematic chain becomes vulnerable to destructive torques, bending and shearing stresses.5,6,7

Postural instability is a direct result of imbalance in the body's pedal foundation. The interrelationship of musculoskeletal structure dictates that uncontrolled movement in one area will have a negative impact on other links in the biomechanical kinematic chain. Pedal imbalance can have a significant impact on a patient's treatment outcome. Orthotic therapy helps overcome and correct biomechanical disturbances in the body resulting from deviations in foot structure or function. The goal of orthotic therapy is to control, not restrict, motion within the pedal structure. By controlling foot motion and position, orthotics encourage normalization of joint interaction along the kinetic chain.

Orthotics are known to help improve balance and proprioception, enhance muscle function, reduce leg length inequality, lower extremity overuse injury, and help patients with sacroiliac syndrome, heel spurs, low back pain, patellofemoral pain syndrome and a host of other conditions. A new study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics attempted to determine if orthotics could create positive structural skeletal changes in the foot. The results showed that the custom made orthotics not only improved biomechanical support, but were also comfortable and effective.8

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