Orthotics are a pair of supportive devices placed inside your shoes, which positively alter your foot and ankle’s movement pattern.
Orthotics (orthoses) are prescribed when a particular problem exists with either the bones or soft tissue structures such as tendons, ligaments or fascia. These problems can arise in the foot, ankle or lower leg and are often called musculoskeletal pathology. Orthotics aim to alter the forces placed on the foot and ankle, subsequently reducing stress and strain.
There are many treatment options for pain and injury. Your consultation will include a detailed history, biomechanical assessment, provisional diagnoses, education and identification of your goals. Paul will provide you with education about your problem and you can together develop a course of action that is appropriate and takes your goals into consideration.
It is common practice that the following modalities are tried first, such as, strapping, padding, footwear changes and exercise rehabilitation. If your foot posture and function is thought to be contributing to your problem, then orthotics can be considered a useful component to your treatment plan, particularly to provide longer term benefits.
Types of Orthotics
The process starts with an impression of your feet. An individualised prescription is created, which is the recipe to ensure the orthotics include the necessary features to control your foot mechanics and support the painful injured structures, which were identified during your appointment and assessment. Orthotics are made to be supportive, but flexible too, which enables your feet to still function naturally.
The orthotics are 3D printed by the laboratory, here in Melbourne, which is owned and operated by Podiatrists.
Where Science meets Art. Although orthotics are made precisely with scanning and 3D print technology, sometimes an artistic approach is also needed to create you the best possible bespoke device.Paul can manufacture additional customised features to your orthotics, to ensure correct padding and/or posting support is precisely matched to your foot’s needs. This service also gives you the opportunity to try these features and have them fine-tuned on the spot.
These orthotics are also 3D printed and light weight. There are 9 different styles, which vary in arch style and degrees of correction. They are an alternative to custom orthotics and are often well suited for children who are growing quickly. They must be carefully considered to ensure the foot appropriately matches these pre-determined styles and will fulfil the necessary requirements to achieve therapeutic benefit.
You may have noticed ‘over-the-counter‘ orthotics sold in a retail setting. Often the arch profile of the orthotic doesn’t adequately match the foot. Most do not have rearfoot inversion posting (ankle tilt feature), which is needed to control pronation (rolling-in) at the ankle.
Podiatrists have access to various prefabricated orthotics, which can be modified. These adjustments can provide a closer match to your foot, with the necessary posting features to provide support. This can be finished with your choice of covering material.