Optimal Rigidity and Flexibility of MASS4D®



Optimal Rigidity and Flexibility of MASS4D®

Manufactured with the goal of promoting healthy postural alignment and treating various musculoskeletal conditions, the full-contact MASS4D™ orthotics are calibrated according to the bodyweight, foot flexibility, activity levels and pathology of each individual.

This is to ensure that the resultant product is designed to accommodate the specific needs of the patient and provide the optimal level of corrective support required for the successful treatment and management of the problem.

For this purpose, it is crucial to firstly, pay attention to the free range of motion available in the subtalar and midtarsal joints; this helps in evaluating the foot’s tolerance and response to differing rigidity of orthotic materials.

In the case of conditions such as pes planus and plantar fasciitis, a higher rigidity level orthotic would prevent further weakening of the medial longitudinal arch by imparting adequate stability to strengthen the intrinsic musculature of the foot.

Another advantage of balancing appropriate rigidity into the orthotics is the extra durability component that protects the orthotic from collapsing whilst combating high ground reaction forces as the patient performs different kinds of activities all through the day.

These type of orthotics can also be considered ideal for individuals with a compromised foot posture participating in strenuous fitness programmes such as CrossFit or weightlifting.

A higher proportion of flexibility, in contrast, needs to be incorporated into the orthotic if the patient suffers from conditions such as a rigid flatfoot or hallux rigidus, which require a re-distribution of plantar pressure in the foot to alleviate pain and restore functionality.

Additionally, for a patient with an unpredictable inflammatory condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, it is essential to respect the level of pain and stiffness experienced in the foot.

Calibration must reflect this clinical need as a rigid orthotic would likely increase pressure and pain.

The benefit of providing this level of customisation in conservative management therapies is that the end product promotes healing of the affected foot by absorbing highly compressive loads, minimising stress on the hotspots and re-aligning the whole musculoskeletal system, without compromising on the degree of comfort provided to the patient.

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References:

  1. Phillips R., Olson W., Richie Jr. D., Scherer P., Smith E. C. (2003) Key Insights On Orthotic Materials. Podiatry Today: September 2003, Vol. 16, No. 3

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