(From left) Rick Lusiak, Allard district manager;  Barbie Barnett; Lisa Victorius; Beth Deloria and her husband, Jim, participated in the Chicago Half Marathon on July 21. “Beth goes around the U.S.” running and sharing the message to get back up. She is why I have the brace, which changed my life,” Barnett said.  |  Submitted43-year old Barbie Barnett is without a doubt a role model to many. Despite her personal obstacles, the teacher took part in this year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon. In 2009, Barnett’s right foot and lower section of her right leg became paralyzed while she was recovering from back surgery.

What Barnett was going through is known as foot drop, a condition which allows weakness in the muscles that move the front part of the foot. With the assistance of an ankle-foot orthotic brace, Barnett eventually learned how to walk again. “My brace helped me gain the mobility and independence” Barnett said as a response to her rehabilitation therapy and participation in the event, hoping to serve as an inspiration to others enduring the same condition.

If you have a need for ankle-foot orthotics, it is highly recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist, like Dr. Alan Discont of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC. Dr. Discont can work with you on treatment options for your foot conditions that might require the use of ankle-foot orthotics.

Ankle Foot Orthotics and What They Do

Usually used for the foot or ankle, orthotics provide support for weakened limbs or help direct the limbs so they may function properly. These orthotics can help strengthen muscles as well as benefitting muscles that need to be loosened or lengthened. Usually the orthoses is designed in a rigid L shape that is contoured to the calf and flesh colored in order to blend with the patient’s appearance.

When are Orthotics Necessary?

Orthotics are prescribed when someone is diagnosed with diseases that affect the musculature such as polio and multiple sclerosis. However, ailments such as arthritis and stroke, or foot conditions that “toe in”, may also require orthotics.

As opposed to metal braces of previous years, modern orthotics has improved tremendously. Many of today’s orthotics are manufactured with lightweight plastics and other advanced materials to provide new levels of support and comfort.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our two offices which are located in Sun Lakes or Chandler, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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