What are orthotics?
Foot orthotics are custom made medical devices. They are made individually for you and are a support that fits inside your shoes.
Most foot pain is as a result of faulty alignments of the foot bones and foot shape. This poor alignment can cause bunions, toe deformities, pain in the heel and arches and balls of the foot.
Foot orthotics are used to realign these foot joints and reduce the stresses on the painful over-worked joints, tendons and ligaments.
Foot orthotics are carefully shaped to gently lift collapsed arches or alter the position of feet that lean in or out too far.
******************Picture of foot orthotics …..
Who wears foot orthotics?
Anybody! They can be used to treat all manner of problems. They can work very well for children and adults of all ages. Sports people, gym goers and for work boots and work shoes. We’ve treated nurses, policemen, teachers, actors, athletes, lawyers, judges and vicars!
How do I get foot orthotics ?
Firstly you will need an assessment by the Podiatrist. They will take a look at your structure and alignment and advise of suitability. They will then take measurements, scans and write you prescription so it they can be made for you.
Do I need a referral?
No. If you have foot or lower limb and back pain you should speak to our team who can advise you and book you an assessment if it seems like the right thing for you.
Are orthotics right for you?
Anybody of any age can potentially benefit from orthotics. We typically can begin from about age 7 and then any age. The orthotics are made for you so will be tailored to your requirements – whether they need to be firm support, soft cushion or a combination of both
Many people have a single pair and move them around all their footwear. However on average 50% of the time people opt to have a second pair. This can provided for you from your original scans at a reduced price and is a very convenient option. The second pair can be a different style to suit a particular activity eg running or golf or suit a certain pair of shoes e.g. heels instead of your work shoes.
Orthotics most of the time can go in your normal footwear. However people with toe deformities or problems in the ball of the foot may need to find deeper footwear. They can also be made with existing sport shoe, it often does not matter if they are “support” shoes as usually people with pain require greater support than a shoe on its own can provide.
Orthotics tend to be used for problems that have been around a while – probably more than 6 weeks or so and is stopping you from walking or working or doing sport without pain. For problems of less than 6 weeks you can try rest and protect, shoe changes, anti-inflammatories. Over the counter insoles are not like custom orthotics – they fit nowhere near as well, aren’t tailored to your problem, activities or footwear and don’t last very long. However for mild issues and short-term use they can work in some cases.
We think of orthotics as being helpful for issues that arise when you’re standing and walking. If the pain tends to come on with the more you walk its likely to be connected to foot function. Mechanical foot pain that responds to orthotics also tends to vary with what you are wearing on your feet – do you notice you’re better in trainers or boots what offer a bit of support or cushion. Of course, you may have a noticeable issue or deformity such as a bunion or a flattened arch.
If you’re not sure, the best thing to do would be to book in for an assessment, discuss the issues and have an opinion. We never prescribe orthotics if we think they are not indicated so you can trust us to advise you.
Foot orthotics are individually made, time-intensive items and as such are more expensive than mass-made insoles. They however work much better and last much longer – typically several years, so worth the investment.
Your foot orthotics are here!
Congratulations – you’re the proud owner of a pair of custom-made medical foot orthotics!
They a have been individually designed for you from your foot scans and biomechanical assessment. They are for you, and you only – they cannot be worn by anyone else. They are inscribed with your name and left and right.
At the fitting they will have been checked for being the right size to your shoes and reduced if needed. This can be adjusted a bit more and you can trim the soft material at the toes if you want yourself. Do not however be tempted to make any other type of alteration yourself – we cannot replace or repair damage done in this way.
Any new orthotic, even if you’ve had them before, can take a few weeks to get used to. They typically will feel very strange when you first try them on – firm, supportive and you’ll feel them lifting up your arches. Strange….but not painful. If they do feel painful at the outset please say and we’ll look into this.
To get used to them its best to wear them in gradually. This is because they will change the alignment of your feet and limbs and this needs to be acclimatised to slowly. Doing this too rapidly can cause new problems. The best approach is to wear them for 1-hour day one and then increase this by one hour extra per day.
They may fit better in some of your shoes than others, you may have also been advised to stick to certain shoes until your condition is better. You may have also have been advised to do some exercises. Both of these measures are often crucial to the success of your treatment – please do your best to stick to thei advice.
Your orthotics may need an adjustment made to them to make them comfortable and the need for this can sometimes only become apparent after you’ve worn them a little while. Don’t panic or despair! This is not uncommon and we often find 1 or 2 millimetres as all we need to do to change things for the better. We have machinery on-site in clinic specifically for this job and can often do it while you wait.