Orthotics

WHAT ARE CUSTOM MADE ORTHOTICS
and why might your Podiatrist and you agree they are an aid that might help you?

 

It is the job of your Podiatrist, as a specialist in the lower limb, to understand all the mechanics that allow you to move effectively and enjoy your chosen physical activities, be that walking each day or participating in professional or amateur sports.

We live in a diverse and complex society made up of individuals of all ethnicities, shapes and sizes.  These features along with our genetic make-up, determines how evolved we are for the hard surface world we move on by living in cities.

We are also living longer in this tough environment and how mobile your joints are, your muscle strength, your ability to stretch, your genetic anomalies (ie scoliosis as an example), age, sex, occupation and favourite activities will all determine how well you live.

As such, some of us will do better than others.

The parts of our body with the least blood flow (cartilage, tendon, ligament, fascia) are all easily injured if subjected to repetitive stress and or poor function.

A good Podiatrist WILL NOT simply suggest you have custom orthotics.  A good Podiatrist will first thoroughly assess you (and your pain) looking for all the "whyyyssss"?

Once your Podiatrist has identified as many of the 'whys' as possible, then they can start to build the treatment plan they recommend, which will include a range of treatments that they believe will best help you.  Your treatment plan might include for example joint mobilisation, dry needling or trigger point therapy, shockwave therapy, stretching, taping ad YES.... where applicable, an orthopaedic aid (like custom or prescription made orthotics).

Custom orthotics, properly prescribed, serve a variety of purposes, for example:

  • to redistribute pressure areas (ie away from a septic foot ulcer, a nasty callous or corn),
  • help to offset the impact of a loss of cartilage
  • restrict or allow motion where you have lost function
  • enhance stability when your sensory nerves have diminished function

and the list goes on!

What about "off the shelf" non prescription orthotics?  In our opinion, these can offer cushioning and act as a good temporary recovery tool.  However, an off the shelf orthotic will not be able to help change the function of your foot, if that is what your Podiatrist recommends will help you.

Knowing what your individual biomechanical needs are, is what allows a Podiatrist to determine what is going to give you the most optimal health outcomes.  A well made, correctly prescribed, customised orthotic device can last you many years and be an important part of your overall treatment plan.

We all know that our lives and bodies change over time, so we always recommend at least an annual review with your Podiatrist.

At Feet First Podiatry, we only have to reflect for a moment to recall thousands of patient cases, who we know would testify to how the quality customised orthotics we prescribed and supplied as part of their overall treatment, assisted them in achieving their foot health goals.

 

 

If prescribed, how do we make your customised orthotics? 

There are 3 steps...

1.  Gait Analysis

Assisted by the Zebris treadmill technology, your Podiatrist will observe and note the unique  things about the way you walk and stand.  This is part of the process that assists them in determining if there is "realignment" corrections that they will make to your prescription following casting (step 2).

2.  Casting

By placing each foot on a special computerised pin plate, the pressure points on your feet are converted into data that creates your unique pattern or design.  This is the prescription which your Podiatrist then uses to make the orthotics that will help achieve the goals you and your Podiatrist want this device to assist you with.

3.  Milling and Fitting 

The data from your casting prescription, along with any corrections made by your Podiatrist, is transferred to our orthotic milling machine that then cuts and shapes the orthotic, ready for you your Podiatrist to then fit and test it.

 


 

 


 

WATCH THE MILLING MACHINE AT WORK