Orthotics

What are Orthotics?

An ‘orthosis,’ more commonly known as an orthotic, is a medical term that describes a device that supports, realigns, or assists in the function of the musculoskeletal system.

Biomechanical and alignment anomalies can significantly impact the lower limb, including the back, hips, knees, and feet. The benefits of orthotics are to support, align and improve the function of the feet and lower limbs during gait to improve functionality in walking.

Orthotics work by applying forces to the feet and distributing the load more evenly through the foot, enabling the podiatrist to alter specific movements or offload stress within the tissues. In addition, orthotics provide pain relief and ongoing support to allow for realignment of the knees, hips, and spine, thereby relieving a range of musculoskeletal problems not limited to the feet.

Patients with recurrent lower limb injury, arthritis, diabetes, or circulatory conditions are at increased risk; thereby, orthotics can act as an effective preventative treatment.

Conditions Orthotic Devices may help:

Do I need orthotics?

Orthotics are used to relieve pain, improve mobility and maintain function.

Custom foot orthotics are inserts that are worn inside of shoes. They differ to off-the-shelf orthotics in that they are designed specifically to an individual’s foot shape, foot posture and function. They act by supporting the feet and correcting alignment, which aids in more efficient foot function.

At Highett Podiatry, we pride ourselves on using the latest of technologies including 3-D scanning and 3-D printing of your orthotic devices.

Our prescription of orthotics is conducted in an ethical and caring manner. We pride ourselves on following our patients closely through their orthotic prescription, wearing in process and injury resolution. We ensure all our patients expectations are met fully and work on the principle that “orthotics should be comfortable” and “shouldn’t feel hard.”

Our Podiatrists can prescribe custom orthotics to treat a range of foot, ankle, leg and lower back pathologies.

Examples of common conditions that can be treated with orthotics include:

Gait Analysis and Biochemical Assessment

We use treadmill, video and the latest in biomechanical analysis software to get the highest quality and most accurate assessment of your gait.

Our podiatrists with a “good eye” will also conduct a visual gait analysis and assess muscle strength, joint mobility and range of motion, and angle alignment of the lower limb and foot.

1. Biomechanical Assessment: Patients should be thoroughly assessed to record joint range of movement, gait and function.

2. Pathological Assessment: Underlying pathology causing foot abnormalities should be evaluated.

3. Footwear Analysis: Patient footwear should be evaluated, and recommendations should be made for shoes that provide support and, when necessary, to allow mobility for deformed feet, a wider toe box.

Hips and Knees

Although podiatrists are experts in the foot and ankle, we assess the more proximal structures, like the hip and knee. Orthotics can significantly impact your whole lower limb biomechanics and alignment. So, a thorough whole-body assessment is done to ensure we get your orthotic prescription right.
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Foot and Ankle

Next, we dive into our specialty, the foot and ankle. Here we gauge where to apply the correction and how much. This is based on you, the individual, assessing what your body needs and can cope with.

Your neutral position is measured against your resting stance position, along with other measurements are used to help determine the personal script of your orthotics.

Orthotics for Children

At Highett Podiatry prescribe orthotics for children for many reasons. Children’s conditions that respond well to orthotic therapy are:

We understand that children grow very rapidly, so here at Highett Podiatry, We do custom Orthotics at a 25% less Costing for children under the age of 16 years..

FAQ's

How often do I need to get new orthotics for my child?
  • Orthotics generally don’t wear out, but kids grow out of them.
  • two years is the average time orthotics last for children as they usually fit for two full sizes of growth. Most children grow half a size a season ( one size a year ), although, after a rapid growth spurt, children’s orthotics may need replacing.
Can orthotics be harmful to children?
  • Generally speaking, no.
  • Although orthotics should only be prescribed or issued by a trained health professional or an expert in foot health, such as a podiatrist.
Will my child be in pain, getting used to orthotics?
  • Orthotics are 3-D scanned and printed, ensuring a perfect fit. Due to accuracy of the manufacturing, it is unusual for a child to find the orthotics uncomfortable. Please seek advice from your podiatrist, as soon as possible, if your child is experiencing pain from their orthotics.

Orthotics FAQ's

Will my Orthotics be comfortable?
  • At Highett Podiatry we guarantee your orthotics will be comfortable
  • Click here to see our Guarantee policy
Will I need to buy new shoes for my Orthotics to fit in?
  • Your shoe size should not change, although some of your shoes may not fit your orthotics.
  • Reasons for this is that your shoe may be too narrow or shallow to accommodate your orthotics.
Why are custom Orthotics expensive?
  • Costs involve the prescription, assessment and issue of the orthotic device made specifically for you
  • The manufacturing lab uses the latest in 3-D scanning and manufacturing of your device
  • Materials used are of the highest quality
  • The latest technology is used within our clinic to ensure your orthotics are of the highest quality.
Do I need to wear my Orthotics all the time?
  • This is individual to the patient. Some people feel the need to wear their orthotics at all times, where others can go periods of time without wearing them
  • If your symptoms return without your orthotics get them back in your shoes
  • Remember, your orthotics are like glasses, they only work when you are wearing them.
How often do I need to replace my Orthotics?
  • Custom orthotics made from nylon rarely wear out. Some EVA devices can compress and will need to be replaced.
  • Orthotics need to be replaced when they either wear out or become obsolete to your needs.
  • Changes in foot and lower limb structure and alignment will need a new orthotic prescription.
Will Orthotics make my feer weak?
  • This is debatable. Orthotics only work when you wear them and usually are worn by patients to combat a weakness or alignment issues.
  • Your podiatrist will give you a strengthening program alongside your orthotic prescription and issue.
Do I need more than one pair of Orthotics for different shoes or activities?
  • In some cases (rarely), an orthotic prescription for sport or running can differ from your regular standing and walking orthotics.
  • Most people only require one pair of orthotics to move between shoes and activities.
Do customised Orthotics do the same job as the insoles I can buy at the chemist?
  • Unfortunately, no. Customised orthotics are prescribed to fit your foot “like a glove” with the maximum control prescribed
  • “Off the Shelf” or “arch supports” are made with a low control correction and low arch height, as not to cause any significant alignment problems for the wearer. These can sometimes offer temporary results and improvement for some patients, but most people will need more support, contour and alignment to get maximum results and be comfortable.

Always Consult A Trained Professional

The information in this resource is general in nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subject matter covered. It is not a substitute for medical advice and you should always consult a trained professional practising in the area of medicine in relation to any injury or condition. You use or rely on information in this resource at your own risk and no party involved in the production of this resource accepts any responsibility for the information contained within it or your use of that information.