What are Orthotics?
Orthotics are prescription devices placed into your shoe wear that can help redistribute forces in order to offload certain pathologies of the foot and lower limb. This helps to relieve a patient’s pain, allowing them to recover from injury whilst also providing an overall level of comfort.
When are Orthotics used as Treatment?
Orthotics can help treat a variety of different issues including heel pain,
Flat foot posture and excessive rolling in (pronation) and
An excessive arch causing repetitive ankle sprains
Poor shock absorption just to name a few.
Sometimes even the muscles and joints further up the chain including the knees and lower back can become overworked due to foot posture or gait pattern.
So, do I need Orthotics?
Not everybody will need orthotics in their life, however, some people do experience issues with foot pain and other lower limb injuries similar to the ones mentioned above.
To know if orthotics are a potential treatment option that would work for you, it is best to seek advice from our team of podiatrists. When assessing a patient for orthotics, our team will consider the underlying cause of your foot pain and conduct a thorough biomechanical assessment. Following this, they will develop a personalised management plan that may or may not include orthotics.
If I get Orthotics, how often do they need to be Reviewed?
Once getting orthotics made it is important to review them in order to make sure they’re comfortable and still completing the job we designed them to. Here at Your Foot Doctor we initially review orthotics at 1 week following dispense, 1 month following dispense, and then every 6 months thereafter.
A good way to think about an orthotic review is by likening it to a car service. When servicing your car, your mechanic will initially look at the tyres for signs of wear and mal-alignment that may be causing issues with the overall comfort of your ride. Sometimes wear on the tyres can cause more wear and tear on the car itself. Think of your orthotics as the tyres and your body as the car, this is why it's important for six monthly service.
Attending your review also helps us prevent excessive wear and tear on your orthotics, extending their lifespan and protecting your investment.
What happens at a Review Appointment?
When presenting to your review appointment it is important you bring in your orthotics, with multiple pairs of your regularly worn shoes.
At this review appointment your podiatrist may also:
Review your initial condition and symptoms when first presenting to the clinic to ensure the orthotics are still doing the job. If you’re still experiencing pain, our podiatrists may consider modifying the orthotics or changing footwear. In addition to this, manual therapy including foot mobilisation, dry needling or massage and review of prescribed exercises might be of benefit.
Review the wear and tear of the device and assess you standing on the device and during gait (walking) whilst in shoes to help determine if it is still providing adequate support and control (Note, there are many modifications we can make to orthotics to help increase their effectiveness and lifespan)
Review your footwear to make sure the orthotics are fitting in appropriately and that the shoe provides an adequate base of support and is suited to your foot type, the device and your daily activity.
Do I always have to swap them from shoe to shoe?
Not necessarily, we encourage you to discuss with your Podiatrist whether a 2nd, 3rd or 4th pair of orthotics are appropriate for you. Most people order a new set of orthotics when their Health Insurance resets either at the end of December or the end of June each year (depending on the your Health Insurance company).
A subsequent set of orthotics can be made to fit perfectly into a specific type of shoe; eg you may wish to wear slimmer shoes or high heels - (yes, we can make orthotics to fit these shoe types)
The added bonus is that subsequent pairs of orthotics are cheaper than the initial pair as we are able to adjust previous prescription and use previous scans of your feet. We offer Low Gap options for our patients.
Contact Your Foot Doctor on (08) 8562 1700 for any questions, or to book an appointment with one of our Podiatrists.