What are orthotics?
Orthotics or orthoses are medical devices which fit inside your shoes to correct and guide the motion of your feet. They work by correcting and supporting your foot’s arch and alignment to restore natural foot function. The most common biomechanical fault is over ‘pronation‘, which is the dropping of your arch causing flat feet, and the rolling inwards of your feet and ankles. Over pronation affects an estimated 70% of the population. Alternatively, high arches can lead to supination, or excessive rolling out of your feet. Both these conditions place stress on other areas of your body.
Correctly fitted orthotics will realign your feet and ankle bones to their neutral position and correct these anomalies. In turn, this will help alleviate painful symptoms not only in the feet but in other parts of your body, such as knee pain, shin pain, heel pain, and lower back pain.
Why are there different types of orthotics?
Our Melbourne podiatrists prescribe different types of orthotics depending on your requirements and your budget. Top of the range are custom made cast orthotics which can be firm or soft, are robust and are very effective in correcting severe biomechanical problems. More importantly, cast devices can be regularly adjusted to accommodate changes in your lifestyle and foot health.
We also offer pre fabricated orthotics which have been designed by podiatrists in Melbourne, which can be customised to suit your feet. These devices are very good quality but not as robust as cast orthotics. They are however a very cost effective solution for children with growing feet. These devices offer much greater support than ‘innersoles’ which can be purchased from a chemist or retail outlet.
Why should you see a podiatrist for your orthotics?
A podiatrist is university qualified in the study of the feet and lower limbs. We are specialists in the study of biomechanics so when you see a podiatrist you can be assured that you will be thoroughly assessed before a treatment plan is recommended. Our podiatrists will conduct a biomechanical assessment of your feet and lower limbs, video your gait to analyse how you walk and run and only then will they prescribe a treatment plan for you. Your plan may or may not include orthotics. More importantly, our podiatrist will recommend which type of orthotic will best suit your condition, lifestyle and budget. Private health rebates are applicable if your orthotics are issued by a qualified podiatrist.
It is important to remember that no two feet are the same and that your practitioner has the ability and knowledge to adjust and mould your devices to suit your particular feet. If orthotics are prescribed and fitted correctly, they should not be uncomfortable to wear. If you would like more information, please call our Brunswick or Sandringham Foot Clinic or complete the below contact form.