What is an Orthotic?
An ‘orthotic’ is a device designed to restore your natural foot function. Many complaints such as heel pain, knee pain and lower back pain are caused by poor foot function. It’s the orthotic’s job to re-align the foot and ankle bones to their neutral position. the natural foot function is restored and 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.They are either inserted in a shoe or integrated into the shoe’s design so that they become a part of the shoe’s sole. Orthotics differ from inserts that you can buy at any store because they are specially made to conform to the unique shape of your foot. Each orthotic is as different as the foot it’s made for.
PhysioActive has a Registered Chiropodist available for onsite consultations that will work with you and your physiotherapist. A Chiropodist will assess your gait (how you walk) and determine if orthotics are necessary and what will suit your specific needs.
Assessment and prescription by a licensed chiropodist. General chiropody services are not performed at PhysioActive.
If you desire more detailed information about this or any of our services, contact your therapist or our helpful administrative staff to book a Chiropody appointment directly.
How do I know if I need Custom Orthotics?
Our experienced therapists use a combination of clinical experience and GaitScan™ technology to decide if you will benefit from orthotics including:
- Interpretation of your history of injury and functional requirements including footwear.
- Examination by and experienced Physiotherapists or Chiropodists which considers biomechanics and factors contributing to your pain and the role for treatment and corrective exercises.
- The GaitScan™ results which may indicate abnormal foot mechanics which contribute to your pain.
If we identify abnormal foot function that correlates to your symptoms, we can use the GaitScan™ data to help prescribe custom foot orthotics to correct the problem.
Does the effectiveness of my orthotics rely on the type of shoes I wear?
Orthotics are most effective in shoes that are constructed well, fit properly and are in good condition. It is best to bring in your shoes and your orthotics when we’re fitting you for new orthotics. Knowing the type of footwear you wear the most will help your practitioner prescribe the right style of orthotics for your lifestyle. There are orthotics to for all shoes, including dress shoes (even high heels), skates or other types of footwear. Although we don’t recommend you wear high heels, we do realize that wearing your orthotics in the shoes you actually wear is more effective than great orthotics sitting unused in your closet.
How long does it take to improve conditions with orthotics?
Your feet and soft tissues will start adapting immediately, however, in some severe, irritable or long term conditions, it can take up to 6 weeks for the inflammation and pain to start settling.
What do you recommend if the orthotics feel uncomfotable?
During the first few weeks of wearing your orthotics, you may experience aches and pains in your feet and legs. This is normal and is an indication that your orthotics are working. Your body has been conditioned to accommodate feet that do not function properly; as a result, it may need time to adjust. If your discomfort persists beyond a few weeks, please contact us, as your orthotics may simply need a minor adjustment.