Prefabricated and Prescription (custom) Orthotic Therapy
Orthotics are devices that fit inside your shoes designed to support, stabilise and biomechanically correct poor foot posture, improving the efficient function of your foot and lower limb. They are used to distribute pressure/force evenly across the soles of the feet to relieve pain and prevent overuse injuries.
Orthotics are widely used by Podiatrists to treat a range of foot and lower limb problems in conjunction with alternative treatments such as stretching and strengthening excerises.
There are a range of devices available to suit patients, taking into consideration the foot problem and structure, current footwear, patient lifestyle and budget.
The orthotics prescribed by Podiatrists are quite different to the standard ‘arch supports’ purchased from pharmacies and shoe shops. Whilst these prefabricated devices have their place and use, they are not comparable to the devices prescribed by a Podiatrist in terms of function, fit and longevity.
Customised foot orthotics are cast moulded to your feet. They have specific modifications prescribed by your Podiatrist to apply direct forces to certain aspects of the foot to improve postural stability, decrease certain tissue stresses and improve foot function.
There are also different types of materials and densities orthotics can be manufactured in; the firmer/rigid devices are made from Polypropylene and the softer devices are made from EVA (Ethylvinylacetate, a type of foam). Both materials differ in properties and will be prescribed according to symptoms, foot type, lifestyle and needs.
Suitable footwear is imperative in the adequate functioning of orthotics. Orthotic assessment and treatment also involves a comprehensive evaluation of your footwear and education/referral to appropriate footwear suppliers.
There are orthotics also available for children. The age at which they wear them is debatable and very much patient based. At Vital Podiatry we strongly believe in prevention and education. If you are a parent who is concerned over the appearance of your children’s feet or their walking pattern it is advised you have them assessed as young as possible to ensure normal development and to prevent future problems, as their feet carry them for a life time. A simple in-shoe wedge, exercises and monitoring may be all that is necessary.