An orthotic is commonly known as an insole that fits into your shoe and re-aligns your foot, ligaments and muscles to work more efficiently when walking or running having a direct effect on the joints further up the skeletal system such as the knee, hip and back by altering your posture.
Orthotic therapy is complex and may require the practitioner to search suppliers for the best device to suit individual needs. If an off-the-shelf device is not suitable, a custom-moulded device is prescribed. At the Foot & Lower Limb Clinic, we are unique in using the Sensor Medica CAD CAM milled system, which allows our practitioners to design a complex specific orthotic using the data from the pressure plate during the assessment. The turn-around time for the device is approximately 1 working week. Many other clinics will offer up to three week turn-around for a moulded device, which is a long wait when you are in pain.
We also have the SIDAS system which can design a custom orthotic within an hour. A decision is made on which option to use, dependent on cost and the patient requirements.
Sometimes simple insoles are used to offload pressure areas. These are cost-effective devices made mostly while you wait.
Ottoform splints are also prescribed to correct toe alignment such as Bunions. These will be made to suit you during your appointment.
Inappropriate footwear, can cause long-term foot deformity and pain. The correct footwear for your specific foot type is paramount for dynamic comfort and support.
The correct running shoes (neutral or stability and the variation in heel drop) can make or break an athletes’ performance. Please ensure that you get the correct footwear advice from professionals like ourselves.
When wearing insoles or custom-made orthotics, the shoe they insert into, have to have enough depth at the forefoot, rearfoot and should not be a “slip-on shoe” but one that ties with laces or a strap.
Patients with certain systemic medical conditions such as Diabetes or Rheumatoid Arthritis, have to wear shoes with no protruding seams inside, be wide and deep enough to accomodate toe deformities; otherwise you could end up with pressure points that ultimately could lead to ulceration.
DO NOT abuse your feet – they have to carry you around for many years to come.