What are Orthotics?
Orthoses are shoe inserts designed to support, align or improve the function of the foot. They are commonly referred to as ‘Orthotics’ and fit comfortably inside your shoes.
Orthotics support, align, and reduce unnecessary compensation of foot function to occur and are intended to correct an abnormal or irregular walking pattern, by slightly altering the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface.
There are many different types of orthoses. Here at Gentin Podiatry & Physiotherapy, we use best practice by casting the foot in its neutral position. We use a boutique laboratory, which allows us to prescribe custom made Orthoses for each individual’s needs.
Common Conditions that Benefit From Orthotics
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Shin Splints
- Muscle Pain
- Runner’s Knee
- Jumpers Knee
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Flat Feet
- Illio-Tibial Band Syndrome (ITB)
Why get Orthotics?
There are some situations that require extra foot support. It is important to have a thorough assessment of your biomechanical needs.
Below are some situations where Orthotics can provide assistance.
1. Ongoing Foot Pain
When serious issues have been ruled out, orthotics can be beneficial as they remove pressure and stress from painful areas.
2. Your Biomechanics
Orthotics help reposition structures in the foot to improve biomechanical function and reduce chance of injury.
There are a few different conditions that contributes to insufficient biomechanics:
- Plantar Fasciitis: The plantar fascia connects the heel bone to the toes as well as supports the arch of your foot. If it becomes strained, weak, swollen, or irritated, you get heel pain when you stand or walk.
- Hallux Valgus: This situation is commonly referred to as a bunion. It is a a deformity at the base of the big toe in which it deviates or points towards the lesser toes. This causes muscle imbalances within the toe joints. As well the big toe provides significant stability for the foot, so if it drifts it can contribute to a fallen arch and decreased foot stability.
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis occurs from “wear and tear”. It affects the smooth, gliding surface (cartilage) of the joints. As it becomes worn, it can contribute to inflammation and pain.
Diabetes can cause an increased risk of corns and calluses, especially if your foot alignment is altered. These corns and calluses impact your skin integrity, and if left untreated can result in diabetic wounds. Orthotics can be helpful in reducing these key pressure areas of the foot.
4. You Stand For Long Periods At Your Job
If you are spending long periods of time on your feet, you will need extra support because your muscles will fatigue. It’s important to move around and give your feet a break, however in this situation orthotics can be helpful.