Orthotics are custom made contoured insoles which can be placed into shoes to help correct or improve the foot posture of a person. There are many styles of orthotic devices that can be made, and many types of materials which are used (ranging from rigid to soft).
The purpose of these devices is to allow the feet to function in a more efficient and healthy way, and to discourage unhealthy movement patterns in a person’s walking style. Orthotics are usually made from an impression of a person’s feet. This is an essential stage in the orthotic making process. By taking casted impressions of your feet, the devices can be made to fit exactly with your foot shape and this increases the comfort and wearability of the finished products.
Here at Happifeet, we utilise digital scanners to gain these 3D models or impressions of your feet. Your podiatrist will discuss with you which style of orthotic might suit your needs best, and also can show you some of the different materials used. By discussing this together, you have a greater chance of designing a pair of orthotics that your feet will love!
Yes, orthotics are used to alleviate and reduce symptoms of many lower limb conditions, see below for a few common conditions that are successfully treated with the use of orthotic therapy.
General foot & ankle pain:
o Plantar fasciitis/ Heel Pain
o Foot and leg sporting injuries
o Feet that roll in (pronate) when walking
o Fee that roll out (supinate) when walking
Posture & joint pain:
o Poor Lower Back Posture
o Knee problems
o Limb length differences
o Hip alignment
Pain in the ball of your foot or toes:
o Hammer or claw toes
o Corns and painful pressure areas
o In-toeing (pigeon toed)
o Knocked knees
It is quite normal for your orthotics to feel a bit strange in the first few weeks of wearing them. Your podiatrist should go through and fit them to any shoes you plan on wearing them in before you begin wearing them. However sometimes you can develop some mild irritation, rubbing or blistering if your feet are not used to wearing orthotics. We can very easily make changes to the orthotics to improve your comfort and reduce any initial teething problems which may arise.
A well cared for pair of orthotics can last years, provided the prescription of the devices still meets the needs of your feet. Your podiatrist can discuss with you the purpose of your devices and what your expected recovery time might be. It is recommended to have your orthotics checked at least once a year, sometime more often for growing children.