by Ann Rickard
IF YOU accept bad knees, dodgy hips and an aching back as a normal part of ageing, you may want to think again.
According to Sunshine Coast podiatrist Dan Everson, these nagging pains and problems could be caused by your gait. The good news is, bad gait is something that could be improved with knowledge and orthotics and it may help elevate a multitude of problems.
With 20 years' experience in the orthotic business, Dan Everson is is a leader in podiatry and constantly strives to revolutionise traditional shoe inserts.
He has just been provided with a $499,000 federal grant for a digital innovation that could give Australians widespread access to life-changing orthotics which will help improve mobility and reduce pain.
His Sensokinetic digital platform will enable more health professionals to identify problems earlier and lead to the design and manufacture of individualised Kinetic Orthotics to improve patient mobility and quality of life.
Federal Employment Minister and Acting Minister for Industry, Science and Innovation, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash joined the Member for Fairfax, Mr Ted O'Brien MP to announce Dan Everson's company would receive funding under the Australian Government's Entrepreneurs' Programme.
"Innovation is central to the government's plan to grow the Australian economy and I'm very pleased that Kinetic Orthotics will be assisted to navigate what is often a challenging stage of product development and roll-out," Minister Cash said.
The world-first program designs an orthotic specifically for the patient which would be manufactured on the Sunshine Coast. It could be used by physiotherapists and occupational therapists, as well as podiatrists, to improve the lives of more Australians right across the country.
"Orthotics can be used to help with all kinds of problems, from knee pain, to hip and back pain and to prevent our ageing population from suffering terrible falls because of musculoskeletal problems," Mr O'Brien said.
"It's estimated that 75 per cent of people could benefit from an individualized orthotic intervention but with cost and access to expert key barriers, only five per cent of the population currently seek intervention.
"With this Sensokinetic program, orthotics could be made more affordable and accessible."
Mr Everson said it had been in development for more than 20 years and was the only evidence-based method capable of delivering consistently better health outcomes with prescription orthotic therapy.
"With musculoskeletal issues so common across a variety of age groups, our primary goal is to increase the number of people who can benefit from orthotic interventions by making them more accurate, accessible and affordable," said Mr Everson.