Custom made foot orthotics.

Our feet are the foundation of our being. Surprisingly, most people ignore their feet until something starts to bother them. Only at time time, do people start to appreciate their feet, and what they do for them. Fortunately, there are many tools a Chiropodist can use to help with foot pain, one of these tools is orthotic therapy.

Orthotics can significantly improve the quality of one’s life.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts for your shoes designed to support your feet. These fall into two categories: over-the-counter and custom made.

Over-the-counter orthotics are generically made to a neutral foot type and can be purchased in a drug store. They vary in their ability to support your feet and may not address issues.
Custom orthotics are made specifically for your feet. Custom measurements are taken, to ensure precise fitting of the size, width and contour of your feet.

Custom made Orthotics, however, are a much more sophisticated version. These medical devices are prescribed and made to specific molds of your foot and provide the exact support that your foot requires.

Casting for orthotics can be taken in many ways. However, the College of Chiropodist of Ontario (our regulatory body) allows their regulated members to only cast for orthotics using a 3D laser scanner or by plaster casting. The two methods with proven better outcomes for patients.

Custom made orthotics go far beyond what those drugstore inserts can do and provide relief from significant foot and leg pain, knee pain and back pain. In some cases, they can even help the wearer avoid surgery for conditions like flat feet.

What Conditions Can Orthotics Help With?

Orthotics can not only help with foot problems but also various other conditions. Let’s look at a few problems that orthotics can rectify.

Orthotics can help relieve pressure created by foot deformities and like high arches, flat feet, hammertoes, bunions, and heel spurs.

Since diabetics are at higher risk for foot complications diabetic custom orthotics are a great way to help prevent problems from developing.

The feet and gait can be affected by neurological conditions like a stroke or Parkinson’s disease. Carful orthotic design can significantly help with their gait.

Since the feet are the foundation of the body, they can affect other parts higher up the kinetic chain as well. For example, people commonly find relief from back pain by using orthotics because the problem lies within their feet.

Orthotics can also help with complications from certain diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and diabetes. They may also be used temporarily while healing from a foot or ankle injury.

Types of Orthotics

Orthotics come in a range of types and sizes. Some people require a full-shoe insert, whereas others may only need a small heel insert. Orthotics can also be longer, encompassing both the foot and the calf. This is called an AFO or an Ankle-Foot Orthosis.

Orthotics can be either rigid — made from plastic or carbon fibre — or accommodative — made from soft compression materials.

Rigid orthotics are typically used to correct physical problems with the foot. In otherwords, when your foot doesn’t function the way that it should.

Soft orthotics are used to provide cushioning and relieve pressure from foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis.

So many types of material exist to design orthotics with. Let you chiropodist help you chose what is best for your specific needs.

Are Orthotics Worth it?

Absolutely! Just ask a fellow orthotics wearer who can again do what they love because of their orthotics.

Chiropodists are the only health care professionals regulated in the area of Orthotics. What this means for you is that you can rest assured that we are held accountable to give you the best care you get from start to fish and beyond.

Orthotics are prescription medical devices, that may be covered by your insurance.

What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are medical devices that you can use to help your feet. They act as a support and they are prescribed by the doctor. They are custom-made, moulded for your foot to ensure that you receive the relief that you need.

A lot of people wonder what the difference is between orthotics and shoe inserts you can buy in the local drugstore. Indeed, some gel or cushioned inserts might help you. However, they are generic so that they can help everyone and this might mean they are not suitable for your condition. On the other hand, orthotics are more sophisticated.

Can Orthotics Help with My Condition?

There are a number of conditions that orthotics can assist you with. For example, if you have any growths, this can relieve some of your symptoms. This can include bunions and heel spurs. In addition, if you have a foot deformity, orthotics can help you manage your symptoms. This can include:

  • Flat feet
  • Hammertoes
  • High arches

There are some people that feel orthotics help with other conditions too. For instance, relief may be felt from back pain, arthritis and diabetes. Even if you are suffering from a foot or ankle injury, orthotics can be helpful for better mobility and relieving discomfort.

Are There Different Orthotics I Can Choose?

Orthotics are custom-made since everyone has different feet. This means that there are various sizes available. They can also have different designs. For example, some people will need a full-shoe insert to help with their symptoms. Alternatively, others with specific issues can use a small heel insert. There is even an ankle-foot orthosis, which supports the foot and the calf.

In addition, there are soft and rigid orthotics. The best choice for you is going to depend on what the problem is and your symptoms. For example, a foot specialist may choose soft orthotics if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis. The soft compression materials will provide cushioning and some discomfort relief. Alternatively, if you have problems with your feet, aspecialist can choose rigid orthotics. These devices can be made from plastic or carbon fibre. This is going to correct the issue.

Will Orthotics Really Help?

There are some foot inserts that you can buy cheaply in your local drugstore. However, the inserts are generic for everyone. This means that they might not work for you. Instead, orthotics are custom-made just for you. This does mean they are more expensive, but some insurance policies will cover them.

Indeed, some people love orthotics and feel the relief they provide very quickly. However, some people are not fans of orthotics. We find that it is often down to the individual patient. For example, a lot of people will only use them a few times and then complain they feel no benefit. Alternatively, the foot specialist has not prescribed the correct orthotics in the first place.

We recommend trying orthotics out for yourself. Choose a professional and experienced foot specialist to help you and ensure you follow their advice