What is orthotic therapy?
Foot orthotics are devices inserted into the shoe that change the functioning of your neuromuscular and skeletal structures. Orthotic may be prescribed for short term or lifelong use.
What can orthotic therapy do?
-Redistribute forces associated with the foot and lower limb to improve the functioning of joints, muscles and ligaments
-Create a feeling of improved alignment
-Reduce pain and deformities
-Increase comfort in foot, ankle, leg, knee, hip, lower back
-Prevent certain injuries
What conditions may benefit from orthotics?
-Orthotic therapy is one modality that helps multiple conditions, including:
-Painful feet, ankles, legs, knees, hips and backs
-Flat feet/excessively pronated feet
-High arched feet/excessively supinated feet
-Heel pain conditions such as plantar fasciitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, heel spurs, Achilles tendinopathy
-Forefoot ‘metatarsalgia’ pain including Morton’s neuroma, plantar plate dysfunction and metatarsal stress fractures
-Big toe joint conditions such bunions, turf toe, hallux limitus
-Children’s lower leg conditions
How do I know if I need orthotic therapy?
Just because someone has a condition in the list above, it doesn’t mean they need orthotic therapy. The best way to find out if you would benefit from orthotics in your shoes is by having a biomechanical assessment conducted by a podiatrist. If faulty biomechanics are identified, orthotic therapy may be indicated. There are other treatment options that can improve poor movement patterns, such as massage, dry needling, mobilisation, footwear and exercise prescription.
What footwear features will cater for an orthotic?
-The shoes need to be deep enough. Having a removable innersole provides additional space
-Some form of fastening such as laces, buckles or Velcro
-A closed heel to hold the orthotic in place
-Orthotics come in a variety of lengths to cater for people’s footwear choices and diagnoses
What type of orthotics does New Step Podiatry have?
Over the counter
Off the shelf devices that allow for minor adjustments. These devices have a short life span but are useful in conditions needing temporary support
Prefabricated devices are heated to moulding temperature to capture the shape of the foot. Medium life span that offers good contour and support. Multiple adjustments can be made
A 3D scan of the feet and prescription are sent to a laboratory. Computerised machines manufacture the orthotics to develop a more precise device compared to human made orthotics. Customised prescription orthotics have a long shelf life and are completely individualised to the client’s needs. Available in a variety of materials including soft EVA, semi-flexible polypropylene and rigid carbon fibre
Similar to custom foot orthotics but a tracing of the feet are taken instead of a scan. This reduces production costs and is a great solution for growing children that need a similar level of support to customised orthotics
Carbon fibre spring plate
A thin plate that can be worn under other orthotic options. Issued in certain forefoot conditions that need reduced forefoot motion and assistance with propulsion
Which orthotic type is best?
Not everyone needs fully customised orthotics and that’s why we stock other options. The following factors are considered when selecting the most appropriate orthotic type and design:
-Condition that is being treated
-Regular footwear choices
-Degree of force required to change function
-Degree of contour required to develop a comfortable device
-Financial status of the client