Falling During Ice-Skating? You May Need Orthotics.

Your ice-skating skills may not be the culprit if you find yourself falling constantly. It could be your feet and ankles. Only a podiatrist can determine for certain whether you have weak ankles that are causing your feet to buckle underneath you. If that's the case, strengthening your ankles with foot orthotics may be the solution.

Diagnosing the Need for Foot Orthotics

Your podiatrist should be well-versed in biomechanics and orthotic therapy. To determine if you need foot orthotics and subsequent physical therapy, your podiatrist will ask you to walk back and forth to learn how your feet move in relation to your ankles. X-rays may also be ordered if it is a bone issue. If the issue is soft tissue, like tendons, your podiatrist may order a CT or an MRI of your feet and ankles.

If it is determined that orthotic therapy is warranted, your podiatrist will give you a prescription for custom orthotics. They can be ordered through the podiatrist's office, or you can order them from a vendor that you prefer.

Will Foot Orthotics Be Enough or Will Physical Therapy Also Be Ordered?

Foot orthotics will help support your feet and ankle structure so that you can function better in activities like ice skating. If custom orthotic support is not enough to keep you standing on your feet during skating, you may need custom foot and ankle splints or braces while you undergo physical therapy to further strengthen your feet and ankles.

Physical therapy may include exercises to increase your ankle's range of motion, muscular strength, and function. Often it takes a few sessions a week with a physical therapist for an hour at a time to strengthen your ankles and feet. 

Your physical therapist will instruct you on how to properly do your rehabilitation exercises so that you can do them at home on your off days. You may be re-evaluated by your podiatrist after a few weeks of physical therapy and foot orthotic wear.

Are Foot Orthotics Temporary or Permanent?

You may need to wear your foot orthotics temporarily. If your podiatrist and physical therapist determine that you need extended therapy, you may need to wear foot orthotics long-term or permanently in order to align and support your feet and ankles. Today's foot orthotics are more comfortable than the metal orthotics of yore. They are made of soft, molded plastic material that should not rub against your feet or cause pain or pressure that will keep your ice-skating days behind you.

For more information on foot orthotics therapy, contact a professional near you.