Article by Robert David Malseed

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Othotics - bad for feet and legs

The use of orthotics and certain shoes such as motion control shoes do more damage to one's feet and legs, and increase the propensity for injury and further problems in the future.

Certain running shoe companies market and sell all sorts of shoes that provide such items as protection, motion control, arch support, cushioning etc., most of which are unnecessary and counterproductive. More the gimmicks and extras that are added to the shoes, the greater the profit margins they can extract. Therefore a need must be created even though people do not actually require them. Now, we have the extensive use of orthotics, which have created a greater number of problems and injuries.  Injuries such as Anterior Tibia Syndrome, shin splints, stress fractures and Plantar Fascia have gotten worse over the period of time as the natural movement of the foot is compromised and forced out of position.  The majority of runners only require a light weight, neutral running shoe, with an adequate amount of cushioning. Too much cushioning can actually make the shoe too heavy and that increases the level of shock impacting the feet and legs. Orthotics put too great a pressure by replacing the work normally done by the plantar fascia, if there is no problem with the plantar fascia the orthotic would put undue pressure and forces the foot outwards, this also weakens the plantar fascia thus exacerbate the problem.  The solution therefore for weak or collapsed arches is pretty simple and that this barefoot jogging on well mowed grass, or soft surfaces. Also exercises such as picking up marbles with the toes and barefoot toe-towel crunches. Simple, inexpensive, light weight, well-fitting shoes with simple and easy exercises are all that one needs instead of expensive, heavy, shoes and orthotics that are unnecessary.