Indications for a Varus or Valgus Heel Wedge

A varus or valgus heel wedges that can be easily fabricated from our cork adjustable heel lift.  Heel Wedges are meant to decrease either supination or pronation of the subtalar joint. Improving the stabilization of the subtalar joint with a varus or valgus heel wedge can improve foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back function. A heel wedge can improve an abnormal heel strike and decrease painful joint motion further up the kinetic chain.

Indications for a Varus Heel Wedge:
1. Excessive subtalar joint pronation (flatfoot, collapsing arch)
2. Medial ankle sprains
3. Shin splints
4. Medial knee syndromes
5. Plantar fasciitis
6. Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

Indications for a Valgus Heel Wedge:
1. Excessive subtalar joint supination
2. Lateral ankle sprains
3. Lateral knee syndromes
4. Peroneal tendonitis

Teri Green

Atlas Biomechanics cork-adjustable

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Heel Lifts in Ski Boots

Some skiers have the sensation that their heels are lifting out of the boots and the general feeling that the boot does not fit properly. A heel that is pistoning in the boot can cause undo pressure on the forefoot. This will also improper energy transfer on the boot.

One of the simplest correction of a heel lifting in the ski boot is to add a cork heel lift. The most common heel lift used is the Atlas Biomechanics 3mm (1/8″) cork heel lift. The 6mm (1/4″) cork heel lift could also be used for more severe cases.

Usually, the 3 mm ( 1/8 inch ) cork heel lift is placed under the ski boot’s insole. This will cause the best alignment. This will allow the heel lift to sit firmly at the bottom of the ski boot for optimum control and comfort.


Teri Green

Atlas Biomechanics


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Ski Biomechanics and Orthotics

Let us discuss the biomechanics of skiing and how an orthotic can help.

The typical downhill skier’s lower extremities never go through a complete gait cycle. They ideally should have limited pedal mechanics between midstance and the beginning of propulsion, and knee flexion during the entire contact phase. When initiating a turn a skier will maintain their control by directing the downhill knee medially and transferring the load into the foot over the inside edge. This is done by internally rotating their tibia, causing a closed kinetic chain pronation of the foot which transfers the pressure through the boot onto the ski edge. The higher level skier has a more subtle dynamic and reversely is true for the beginner. When a skier has an over pronated or unstable foot, they may have more difficult time turning as the medial arch of the foot may collapse within the ski boot before the edging force can be transferred to the ski edge.

In the normal gait cycle, subtalar supination and pronation are primarily influenced by foot structure, shoe construction, and the supporting surface. In ski boots, subtalar joint supination and pronation are responding to knee function. In a normal ski boot, there may be too much medial room and there will be an inefficient transfer of force to the ski edge as the tibia and knee move medially. That is a ski orthotic comes in.

A ski orthotic from Atlas Biomechanics is usually molded indirectly to the foot in neutral position. This can be done either placing the heated orthotic blank under the insole inside ski boot or on the ground. By controlling the medial arch and preventing over pronation (or collapsing) the skier will have a more efficient transfer of energy and will decrease overall foot and knee fatigue. A properly fitted ski orthotic will make sure there is no wasted space under the foot, therefore allowing the ski to turn quicker and with more power.

Ski boots are known for being less than comfortable due to unsupported insoles. A great way to improve comfort and support is to create a custom orthotic from Atlas Biomechanics under the boots insole. Our athletic heat mold orthotic blanks are only 1.4 mm thick and are excellent for low volume ski boots. Ther can be private labeled with your name and phone number on the orthotic device.

Heat Mold Custom Orthotic Blank

heat mold custom orthotic

Duplicate a lab built custom orthotic arch support in less than 10 minutes for the fraction of the cost.
*3/4 semi rigid sport orthotic shell.
*12mm heel cup for added control
*Medium profile (Sport Orthotic) to fit in most gym and casual shoes.
*1.3 mm thin.

Completely heat moldable and reheat formable.

*Heat gun or Boiling Water  is the only equipment needed to fabricate a custom orthotic.
*Usual price range charged is between $140-375.
*Proprietary material used to ease of mold.
*Total contact fit.

Teri Green

Atlas Biomechanics

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Steel Shank Shoe Inserts for Forefoot Injuries

Steel 1/2 stabilizer plate rigid insoles, half-length, and full length are used to stiffen the shoe’s insole. This will limit the range of motion of the forefoot and midfoot. Doing so will make the shoe non-flexible. These steel shank shoe inserts (either 1/2 or full length) will limit the dorsiflexion at the metatarsal joints. Immobilizing the forefoot and metatarsal joints prevent the joints from bending during walking and sports.

Atlas Biomechanics produces two types of steel shank shoe inserts.

1. Steel 1/2 Stabilizer Plate Rigid Insoles, Half Length

2. Steel Stabilizer Plates Insoles, Full Length

Stabilizer / Insole Plates to Limit Fore-Foot, Metatarsal Joints & Turf Toe

Used to stiffen the sole of the shoe.
Limits Range of Motion of the Forefoot and Midfoot.
Makes shoe Non-Flexible.
Extremely thin steel stabilizer plate insole, 1/8″ thick.
Comfortable and durable felt top cover.
These steel insole plates are constructed to Limit Dorsiflexion at the metatarsal joints.
Immobilizes toe joint to prevent it from bending during walking and sports.

Indications of the Spring Steel Insoles- 1/2 Steel Stabilizer Plates
1- Problems requiring a Rigid or Semi-Rigid footbed
2- Turf Toe
3- Hallux Limitus / Hallux Rigidus
4- Forefoot Pain
5- Metatarsalgia
6- Cuboid Syndrome
7- Freiburg’s Infraction
8- Post-Bunionectomy Surgery
9- Foot Stability Post-op
10- Shin Splints

11-Plantar Plate Tear


Steel 1/2 stabilizer plate rigid insoles, half-length, and full length are used to stiffen the shoe’s insole.

Teri Green
Atlas Biomechanics

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Atlas Biomechanics : 6mm ( 1/4″ ) Heel Lift is the Most Prescribed Shoe Lift for Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is frequently treated with heel lifts. Per our in-house survey with Atlas Biomechanics prescribing practitioners, the 6 mm ( 1/4″) heel lift is the most prescribed for their patients.

Achilles tendonitis is a painful inflammation of the tendon that attaches to the calcaneus ( heel bone). One of the most common and least expensive treatment options is to put a heel lift in the back of the shoe. Putting a heel lift in the shoe will raise the heel bone to decrease the stretch on the Achilles tendon. It will allow the Achilles tendon to relax and heal faster.

A 6 mm ( 1/4 inch ) heel lift will raise the heel just enough to relax the Achilles tendon.

Atlas Biomechanics produces two types of 6 mm ( 1/4″ ) heel lifts.

1. Cork Heel Lift

2. EVA/Rubber Heel Lift

These heel lifts are produced here in the USA. They come with double sided tape to allow the better application.

For Best Alignment and Optimum Control:

1. Place under the shoe’s insole.
2. Make sure they are against the back of the shoe.
3. Heel Lifts are firm but will soften with use.

Limb Length Discrepancy and Heel Lifts
Teri Green
Atlas Biomechanics

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Heel Lifts Used in Unequal Limb Length Post Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery

Heel lifts are a common and simple treat option for patients with unequal limb length due to a hip or knee replacement surgery. Following replacement surgery, one of the most common patient’s complaints is that one of their replacement leg is shorter than the nonsurgical leg. Some of the issues are lower back, medial knee, lateral ankle ligament pain and plantar fasciitis.

Measuring for leg length inequality to determine the proper height correction is paramount in determining correct heel lift. Most patients will be measured by their physical therapist while doing rehabilitation or during a post-op visit.

The most common heel lift dispensed is the 6mm ( 1/4″ ) correction. Overcorrection can cause increased pain. According to our survey of Atlas Biomechanics Heel Lifts dispensing practitioners, the most common heel lifts prescribed for post hip or knee replacement surgery are:

20%  3mm (1/8″) Heel Lifts

40%  6mm (1/4″) Heel Lifts

20%  9mm (3/8″) Heel Lifts

10% 12mm (1/2″) Heel Lifts

10% Adjustable Cork Heel Liftcork-heel-lift

In patients with unequal leg length due to a hip or knee replacement surgery, a heel lift can be a simple inexpensive correction.

Teri Green

Atlas Biomechanics




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How to Perform a Semmes Weinstein Neuropathy Skin Test

How to Perform a Semmes-Weinstein Neuropathy Skin Test

Use a Semmes-Weinstein Monofilament Wire 5.07 10g

1. Have the patient in a sitting position with shoes and socks off.
2. Explain to the patient that you’re screening/testing for neuropathy (loss of skin nerve feeling).
3. Touch the Semmes-Weinstein 5.07 nylon monofilament wire to the patient’s arm to show what the touch feels like.
4. Tell the patient to respond “Yes” each time he or she feels the pressure of the 5.07 monofilament wire on the foot during the exam.
5. Tell the patient to shut their eyes during the exam.
6. Hold the monofilament wire perpendicular to the patient’s foot. Press it against the foot, increasing the pressure until the monofilament bends into a C shape. (The patient should sense the monofilament by the time it bows.)
7. Hold the monofilament in place for about 1 second. Press the monofilament to the skin so it buckles at one of two times as you say “Time one” or “Time two.” Have the patient identify at which time he or she was touched. Randomize the sequence of applying the filament throughout the examination.
8. Locations for testing: On both feet, use the first, third, and fifth metatarsal heads and plantar surface of the distal hallux and third toe. Avoid callused areas.
9. Record response on foot screening form with “+” for Yes and “–” for No.


Teri Green

Atlas Biomechanics

We produce  Semmes-Weinstein Monofilament Wire 5.07 10g Neuropathy Diabetic Testing Kits, 20 Disposable Filaments


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