People have been creating orthotics to relieve foot pain longer than you may think!
The Realm of Artisans.
Orthotics may seem to be a recent medical invention, but did you know these corrective devices have been utilized for over three thousand years? The earliest examples of orthotics used to treat bone, joint, and muscle impediments originated in the Iron Age, around 1200 BCE. Many of these early devices were designed by empathetic artisans and blacksmiths—cumbersome contraptions crafted out of leather, wood, even metal—in order to increase mobility or address malformed limbs and joints. While these creations were the first of their kind, they were not without significant drawbacks: an archeological discovery of a lower-leg orthotic from this time period weighed over twenty pounds!
Orthotics as Medicine
These early orthotic devices remained largely unchanged for centuries until medical practitioners began to study orthotics as rehabilitative medicine. Early understanding of anatomy and physiology meant orthotic development became the domain of early physicians rather than artists. Many of the earliest known advancements at this time were the work of French battlefield surgeon Ambroise Paré at the beginning of the 1500s. Considered the father of modern surgery, he also developed new prosthetic and orthotic devices to help those wounded in war. This vital scientific study continued, and the medical lessons of the American Civil War and World War I ensured great strides were made in corrective devices. Later, the introduction of technology like rubber, plastics, and new metal alloys would help make orthotics lighter, stronger, and more focused on comfort. Because to these factors, we not only have greater understanding about the biology of these conditions, but better ways to help provide relief for foot pain, leg pain, and back pain, as well as the deficits in mobility that can accompany it.
Taking Advantage of History
At Happy Feet Plus, we have numerous options to benefit from all the progress made in corrective footwear. Lynco Orthotics by Aetrex is one of the most advanced lines of orthotics available today to help relieve pain and add support to the feet, legs, and spine. Aetrex has been developing and refining orthotics and orthopedic shoes since 1946, and the Lynco insoles are a culmination of all that research and progress. Since the beginning, Aetrex’s mission has been to provide the latest in addressing heel pain, ball of foot pain, and foot arch pain, and you can benefit from all these advancements in a convenient shoe insole that can be added to your own favorite pair of footwear.
Another name in corrective footwear that has benefitted from years of development and advancements is also one of the most respected and well-known: Birkenstock! Since its humble beginnings by Johann Adam Birkenstock in 1774, the German shoemaker has continued to develop and refine comfortable corrective footwear for almost two hundred and fifty years. By the 1930s, the company invented a new shoe sole which forms and fits to the foot, unlike the traditional flat-soled shoe designs of the time. At Happy Feet Plus, we supply many styles and forms of these popular shoes, but did you also know that they have developed shoe inserts as well? Offerings like the Birkenstock Contact Sport Insoles are a well-crafted, economical way to take advantage of the maker’s advancements in relief and support and are a comforting addition to almost any shoe.
Technology Today and Beyond
Today’s orthotics are better than ever to help gain mobility and alleviate pain. The most common application of orthotic technology today is for the feet, as conditions like plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, and other foot conditions affect almost 75% of the population at some point in their lives. For many, these afflictions are chronic and may require permanent therapeutic assistance. At Happy Feet Plus, we focus on providing the most up-to-date offerings in orthopedic shoes and inserts, and we’re always in search of the next innovation as technology moves forward. Whether it is pain relief, comfort, or stability, all of our offerings benefit from the long history of orthotic development and its many advances. As we continue to expand our understanding of these chronic conditions, more innovations and the adoption of the newest technologies will ensure even more relief in the future.