An 'orthotic' is a device designed to restore your natural foot function. Many 'biomechanical' (walking) complaints such as heel pain, knee pain and lower back pain are caused by poor foot function. Orthotics re-align the foot and ankle bones to their neutral position, thereby restoring natural foot function. In turn this helps alleviate problems in other parts of the body.
In addition, orthotics give a more even weight distribution, taking pressure of sore spots (e.g. the ball of the foot, corns in between toes, bunions etc) and they provide some shock absorption.
Who needs orthotics?
Orthotics benefit people with foot pain or discomfort due to walking imbalance (biomechanical complaint). Imbalances such as Flat fee, heel pain, knee pain and shin pain are known to cause pain and discomfort.
Can you wear the orthotics during all daily activities?
People who stand or walk all day will benefit from orthotics.
If you suffer from pain during any form of sporting exercise then orthotics can reduce the pain associated with your condition.
For overweight individuals, orthotics will help to counteract the extra stress being placed on the feet.
What specific conditions may be helped?
Below is a list of all the conditions that orthotics can help.
Achilles Tendonitis, Corns, Metatarsalgia, Sesamoiditis, Ankle Sprains, Flat Feet, Neuroma, Tendonitis, Arch Pain, Heel Pain, Pronation, Top of the foot pain, Bunions, Knee Pain, Shin Pain, Toe Pain. Imbalance in your feet can alter the bony structure of your feet and lower legs, foot orthotics may eliminate posture problems and foot and leg pain.
Do I need a physician's prescription to get custom orthotics?
No. Chiropodists are primary health care professional and therefore do not need a physician's referral. Custom orthotics are orthotics that are especially molded to your feet. Only a registered Chiropodist can properly determine if you require orthotics. The best orthotics are formed from a plaster cast rather than a computer foot pad and the orthotic needs to be made by a Chiropodist.
Why do I need orthotics?
Imbalances of the bones of the feet can result in abnormal foot motion (over pronation). This can impair foot function which can result in abnormal rotation of the legs and sometimes affects the knees, hips or back. If we combine these tremendous forces with the need for precise balance, we can see how small structural changes in the foot can make significant differences. Orthotics help to improve those structural changes.
How long will my Foot Orthotic Last?
Usually between 12 to 18 months.
Does it take time to get used to orthotics?
Your feet need time to adjust to the correct biomechanical (walking) position. Orthotics should be gradually used to begin with. During the first 48 hours of use, use the orthotics for approximately 3-4 hours. After this period of time it is recommended you use the orthotics for 6-8 hours. In the second week of use the orthotics can be utilized all day.