by David Higgins, CEO of ING Source, Inc., and the inventor of the OrthoSleeve concept
We all know a main factor of the aging process is that parts of our bodies begin to degenerate and wear down which can lead to chronic pain and aching joints. I know first-hand the frustration that comes from not being able to do the things I was able to do before feeling chronic and recurring pain. One problem that can literally take you off your feet is foot pain. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) in a recent survey of 1,000 US adults ages 18 and older, a large majority, 77%, say they have experienced foot pain.
“Foot pain can have a profound impact on quality of life. Half of all adults say that foot pain has restricted their activities – like walking, exercising, working, or playing with grandchildren – in some way. For those with chronic foot pain, that number jumps to 83 percent. People say they would exercise more (39%) and participate in more activities (41%) if it weren’t for their foot pain.” (APMA survey, 2014, news-medical.net).
The condition known as Plantar Fasciitis is one of the main sources, and most common cause for chronic foot pain. However, Plantar Fasciitis is only one of many orthopedic issues that can plague a person and cause them to miss out on enjoying their life to the fullest. Knee and leg pain, ankle stability, Achilles Tendonitis, Patella tendonitis, knee pain, Medial & Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow), arch pain, all can lead to a downturn in activity, discomfort, and negatively affect overall well-being.
As you are probably aware, there are products and solutions offered for many of these painful conditions that can provide relief and support. The challenge is that sometimes the solution presents a new set of problems that can create their own adverse effects.
Traditional splints and braces
Traditional treatments like splints and braces rely on the patient to tighten velcro straps or other similar features to provide adequate support to the underlying tissue. While they certainly have some benefit, there’s a downside: the patient has no way of knowing if the way they’re tightening the product is affecting their circulation until it’s already been on for a long time and they notice symptoms like discoloration or temperature changes in the skin around the brace.
It’s not easy to strike that perfect balance in which the brace is tight enough to function properly, but not too tight to harm circulation.
In addition, most of these braces and splints are made of materials that are hot, heavy, bulky, and generally uncomfortable for long-term use, (such as overnight, or throughout a work day.)
The end result is that the device isn’t worn as often as it should be to treat the condition from which the patient is suffering.
Traditional compression products
Traditional compression socks and stockings are specifically designed to improve circulation, so assuming the correct size is being used, they won’t cut off blood flow like a brace that’s too tight. But, in order to accomplish this and stay in position on the leg, these stockings are so tight that many people have trouble putting them on or taking them off. These stockings can also become uncomfortably hot and cause the wearer to sweat underneath them.
Once again, that means they’re not being worn as they should be, and the patient’s condition is not treated sufficiently.
There is good news though! Technology has caught up with these conditions and led to alternative solutions providing the relief that people with these conditions deserve. Without going too deep into the science behind the technology, a new method has created a way to utilize medical grade compression coupled with anatomically engineered zones targeted at the exact spot where the highest level of orthopedic support is required to treat the condition in question.
All of this is accomplished through the use of high-grade compression fibers woven together seamlessly to provide maximum benefit and maximum comfort in the same thin and light product, without resorting to any straps or patient- controlled tension.
Even more exciting, is all of this technology has been created here in Hickory, North Carolina. This area has a long history in the textile industry with major innovations originating from the region. The evolution of textile technology as a solution for orthopedic and joint pain is another example of the innovative industry leadership from North Carolina.
For more information on this new technology, visit www.ingsource.com or call 828-855-0481. To access more information regarding the APMA survey mentioned, visit www.apma.org.