What are foot orthotics?
Foot orthotics (or orthoses) are orthopaedic devices designed to treat or adjust various foot complaints that affect not only the foot but the entire skeletal system. A true orthotic is a customised corrective innersole, designed specifically for an individual to treat a specific problem. No two individuals will have the same orthotic. Heat moulded or off-the-shelf generic devices are not orthotics but are shoe-inserts that often provide generic arch support. In some cases, these generic devices can be helpful and may be recommended.
The design and material of an orthotic can vary between each individual, depending on its aim. At OnePoint Podiatry, orthotics are prescribed by taking a 3D Scan of your foot, which is sent to our very own orthotic lab to be custom fabricated. By keeping the entire process in-house – from diagnosis, 3D foot scanning, orthotic prescription development and manufacturing and finishing – we can achieve the extremely high quality and accurate orthotic devices.
We believe the key to successful orthotic treatment is a clear diagnosis followed by a thorough examination/prescription process, which incorporates a detailed lower-limb walking/biomechanical gait assessment. At OnePoint Health, we pride ourselves in providing detailed patient education. Upon leaving your consultation you will have a clear understanding of your condition/injury and how and why an orthotic may work for you. We will also provide you with wearing and maintenance instructions and will monitor your progress until you’re completely happy and comfortable.
Who should use foot orthotics?
Due to the hard, manmade, unnatural surfaces that we now walk on, perfect feet are very rare, and almost anyone can benefit from orthotic therapy. They can prevent and alleviate many of the common foot complications that cause discomfort in otherwise healthy people. There is research supporting the relief of foot, shin, knee, hip, and back pain via orthotic therapy. There are several common symptoms that may indicate misalignment of the feet. Orthotics may benefit you if:
- One side of your shoe sole wears out faster than the other
- You frequently sprain your ankle
- You have chronic heel pain, foot pain, shin pain, knee pain or low back pain
- Your toes are not straight
- You have flat-feet (over-pronated) that cause pain
- Your feet point inward or outward when walking
- Your feet hurt in general
- You have painful corns or callous
When should I get foot orthotics?
If you are just wanting some extra cushioning or support for your feet, a generic over-the-counter shoe insert may be worth trying first. However, if you have been experiencing pain or discomfort, for any more than three consecutive days, it is recommended you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.
During your appointment, your overall health and possible contributing factors will be assessed. All of our podiatrists are specially trained to evaluate the biomechanics of the lower extremity and have undertaken additional training in the treatment of complex injuries.
In cases where there may be contributing factors from the upper body, we have the ability at OnePointHealth to introduce an additional practitioner (i.e. physiotherapist, chiropractor, exercise physiologist etc) to ensure our assessments are highly accurate. The information gained from your assessment will assist your podiatrist in developing a treatment plan specific to you.