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A foot support insole having four different versions, each providing differing degrees of arch support for use in any shoe or boot. The insole is biomechanically shaped to support the medial arch, the lateral arch, the metatarsal arch, and the heel. In each of these versions, the principal variable is the extent of support for the medial arch. Low, medium, high, and extreme foot support versions are disclosed. The insole design effectively distributes the weight-generated forces provided by the user into a neutral plantigrade position. Supporting the neutral position for the foot obtains optimum balance and weight distribution by dispersing the forces applied by the foot over the greatest area possible within the shoe. The insole allows the three foot arches to work together and function as a structural support tripod, alternatively absorbing compressive forces and recoiling into a stable support state.
A foot support insole is disclosed comprising an elongated, resilient, and semi-flexible body. The body has a size and a plan configuration which generally conform to the size and general shape of the foot of the user. The rearward portion of the body includes a relatively depressed heel cup. The heel cup is defined by a floor surrounded by a raised wall extending continuously around the lateral and rear sides of the floor. The wall is contoured to provide lateral and rear support for the foot heel.
The body also includes a metatarsal arch, or raised feature, located in its forward portion. The metatarsal arch has a relatively wide front section and a relatively narrow rear section. Between the metatarsal arch and the heel cup is a longitudinal medial arch, also providing a raised feature. The medial arch is more specifically located on an inner, medial portion of the body. Generally opposing the medial arch on the body is a longitudinal lateral arch. This raised feature is located on an outer, lateral portion of the body, extending from the raised wall of the heel cup forwardly past the rear section of the metatarsal arch.
As disclosed herein, this basic insole construction may be adapted to suit a wide variety of foot sizes and shapes. There are hundreds of different foot shapes among the human species and all include the same basic structural and operational features. However, the area of each foot that varies considerably from person to person is the medial arch, also called the dynamic arch. The medial arch flexes downward to transfer weight to a support surface. It also springs back up, to return forces to the lower limbs of the person, while walking. The principal characteristics of this arch are its elasticity and the considerable number of small joints between its component parts. When these factors are taken into account, especially for a person with a particularly high medial arch, it can be appreciated that adequate support of the medial arch is critical to foot comfort and well-being.
It is for this reason that the primary focus and design considerations for the present invention revolve around the medial arch. The foot support insole herein is preferably constructed in four different degrees of medial arch support. These four different degrees of support satisfy arch support requirements for the vast majority of feet, and eliminate the need for expensive custom orthopedic supports in most instances. By selecting the foot support insole having the proper degree of medial arch support for their feet, the user will enjoy maximum support with even distribution of body weight over the foot.
A lateral arch support is also provided. The lateral arch is longitudinal in configuration, and is located on the outer, lateral portion of the foot support insole, on the opposite side of the insole from the medial arch. The lateral arch is formed from an outer support wall, and has a standard degree of height which corresponds approximately to one-half the height of the medial arch. The length of the lateral arch also increases with increased shoe size for the support insole. The purposes of the lateral arch are to control supination (an outward turning of the foot) of the foot, to control unwanted foot motion or shifting within the shoe, and to provide equal lateral balance for the foot.
A metatarsal arch, having a section which is transverse to the longitudinal axis of the foot support insole, is also included. The raised extent of the metatarsal arch is somewhat circular or tear-drop shaped in configuration, providing support for the foot by distributing pressure more evenly on the forefoot and toes. The metatarsal arch has the characteristics of a "hemi-arch" or half dome which has a portion directed downwardly and rearwardly toward the medial arch. Thus, when the medial borders of the feet are placed in apposition to the foot metatarsal, a complete tarsal dome is formed. With the inclusion of this metatarsal arch in the foot support insole, body weight will be distributed more evenly over the metatarsal bones of the forefoot. It is a physiological fact that the metatarsal arch does not vary in degree from person to person as much as the medial arch. Thus, the foot support insole of the present invention employs a height for the metatarsal arch which varies only slightly, for varying degrees of medial arch and for varying shoe sizes for the insoles.
The heel portion of the foot is an extremely important part of the foot that is normally overlooked in most supportive insoles. Because the bottom of the foot heel resembles the curvature of a tennis ball, it is not difficult to visualize that an unsupported foot heel will tend to move and roll from side to side within a shoe. In addition, the bottom of the heel will have more of a high pressure, point contact with the shoe, since certain bottom and lateral portions are unsupported. Consequently, the foot support insole disclosed herein includes a weight-bearing deep heel cup. The heel cup includes a continuous wall, extending from one side, around the rear side, and ending on the opposite side. The wall includes a downwardly and inwardly inclined contoured portion extending to the floor of the cup. This contoured portion is configured to accommodate the curved portion of the heel snugly and comfortably.
The foot support insole is readily manufactured in standard shoe sizes. As will be discussed in more detail below, the primary variables for insoles of different shoe sizes are the length and the width of the insole, the length of the medial arch, and the length of the lateral arch.
A foot support insole of the proper size and providing the proper degree of medial arch support is inserted into the interior of any shoe or boot and adjusted to lie flat on the floor. Then, the user's foot is inserted into the shoe or boot, to lie over the support insole. Owing to the three raised features in the body, at the locations of the medial arch, the lateral arch, and the metatarsal arch, these foot arches are fully supported. The depressed heel cup supports the heel, and helps to restrain lateral and longitudinal movements of the foot. The weight of the user is thereby distributed more evenly across the user's foot bed and unwanted movement and rolling of the foot is inhibited.
Re: Patent granted for orthotic with different arch heights
Here is another new orthotic patent just granted: Foot orthosis and method of use thereof
A foot orthosis device which may be used with footwear to provide arch support for the purpose of relief of physical discomfort such as pain of the foot due to such conditions as over use of longitudinally directed muscles, tendons, and ligaments located between the metatarsal and calcaneal section of the bottom of a human foot. The orthosis device can placed between the existing removable sole and non-removable platform, or above the non-removable sole, or may be integral with a portion of the footwear.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Briefly stated, the invention in a preferred form is an orthosis insert for footwear having a dorsal surface and a plantar surface. The orthosis insert includes a substantially longitudinally oriented web portion having a posterior end, an anterior end, a medial side and a lateral side. The posterior end, the anterior end, the medial side, and the lateral side may each be formed such that there is varying thickness between the two ends as well as between the two sides. For example, the web portion may include a compound arch such that each end is relatively thinner than at a position intermediate of the two ends, and the web portion between the two sides is of a different thickness.
Attached along the length of the web portion are substantially transversely orientated projections. The transversely orientated projections are attached to the lateral side of the web portion by a root end and extend laterally outwardly from the web portion to a lateral terminus. The transversely orientated projections include a posterior side and an anterior side. Portions of the transversely orientated projections between both the root end and the lateral terminus, and between the posterior side and the anterior side may independently vary in thickness. Adjacent transversely oriented portions are separated by a space.
The longitudinally oriented web portion and the transversely orientated projections of the orthosis insert may include channels. The channels of the web portion may extend or be present at various locations along the length of the web portion. The channels of the transversely orientated projections may extend, or be present at, various locations along the length of at least one of the projections. The channels of the web portion and the transverse projections may in some cases be connected. The channels of the web portion and the transverse projections may each vary in relative volume, depth, shape, and width. The channels of the web portion and the transverse projections may each be fully or partially filled. It should be noted that the channels may in some cases be encapsulated in the material of the web portion and/or transverse projections.
The orthosis insert may be associated with a piece of footwear. For example, the orthosis may be located between a removable sole portion and a non-removable sole portion, or above a removable sole of the foot wear. The orthosis may also be formed integrally with the footwear.
The invention in a preferred form also includes a method of using the orthosis insert to provide relief of physical discomfort, such as pain of the foot due to, for example, over use of longitudinally directed muscles, tendons, and ligaments located between the metatarsal and calcaneal section of the bottom of a human foot. For example, to relieve pain associated with conditions such as plantar fasciitis and/or shin splints through support of structures such as the plantar fascia. The method includes supporting portions of a foot with at least one of the transversely orientated projections such that the web portion extends substantially along the medial foot arch.
An object of the invention is to provide a low cost, lightweight, and efficacious orthosis device for the enhancement and/or maintenance of orthopedic function and stability.
Another object of the invention is to provide a method of supporting portions of the foot such that weight bearing muscles, tendons of the muscle group, and ligament can be supported transversely with the orthosis device.
In general, the material of the invention may be alternately formulated to comprise, consist of, or consist essentially of, any appropriate components herein disclosed. The material of the invention may additionally, or alternatively, be formulated so as to be devoid, or substantially free, of any components, materials, ingredients, or species used in the prior art compositions or that are otherwise not necessary to the achievement of the function and/or objectives of the present invention.