The normal arch functions as a shock absorber for our entire body. Each time we step down we place up to 5 times our body weight on the foot, depending on whether we are walking, running, jumping, or carrying heavy loads. If the arch is either too low or high, it cannot function as efficiently as a shock absorber; thus, the soft tissues and bones of the absorb the pressure of each step. These structures are not designed to absorb these forces, and after a few hours they become “tired or achy.”
Biomechanical problems in the feet, such as pronation, may prevent the ligaments, tendons, and muscles from binding the joints together properly. This allows the joints to slip, the arch to collapse, and the bones to move into abnormal positions. When these actions occur, the feet can no longer act as an efficient support for the body. The results are feelings of fatigue and “achiness” which spreads to the legs and back.
Loss of the protective fatty pads in the heels or balls of the feet can also lead to tired and achy feet and legs. These fatty pads act as cushions that absorb the tremendous forces that are applied to our feet with each step that we take. If these pads become too thin, or disappear all together, the bones and joints in the feet absorb these stresses instead. When this occurs, our feet become tired, “achy,” and eventually painful. This fatigue eventually travels to the leg muscles, causing them to ache.
Carrying heavy loads, whether they are heavy trays of dishes or heavy pieces of equipment, will also place increased and abnormal forces and weight on our legs and feet. These forces and weight will eventually cause the body’s natural shock absorbers (the arches of the feet) to collapse, and our fatty cushions to be destroyed. As this occurs, our feet and legs become “tired,” producing aches and pains in the feet and legs.
Similarly, when we gain extra weight, our feet and legs do not become larger and stronger. Carrying extra weight will tire the feet and legs out quickly, causing “achy” and tired feelings. This may eventually lead to pain.
Standing in confined areas for long periods of time, or occupations that require redundant activity using legs and feet will cause fatigue.
Venous insufficiency can also cause a heavy feeling in the legs and fatigue. Even people without venous insufficiency can benefit and avoid tired, achy feet with the use of support socks and stockings. The gentle compression helps in eliminating the “tired feeling”.
An effective method of relieving foot and leg fatigue and “achiness” is to use specially designed custom-made orthotics. Custom-made orthotics are made from molds of your feet, designed for your foot’s structure and problems, your life-style, and your shoes. Our custom-made orthotics will help to:
- Re-establish the normal position of the joints in your feet, thus allowing your feet to function efficiently again, helping to alleviate fatigue and “achiness.”
- Support the arch of the foot, allowing it to be the efficient shock absorber it was designed to be, when it is at its optimum height.
- Using modern materials that mimic the body’s protective fatty pads, we once again maximize the shock absorption at the heels and balls of the feet. This will reduce the stresses and forces on the bones, joints, and muscles of the feet. The feet will feel younger, and foot and leg fatigue and pain will subside.