Custom foot orthotics are medical devices prescribed to support the feet and correct underlying biomechanical issues. These devices are custom insoles made for you to put in your footwear. They can be used to treat foot pain but may also be used to treat pain and gait issues in the legs, knees, hips and/or lower back as well. Orthotics can be made for casual wear, sports, sport specific such as skates or skis, dress shoes and work boots. There are two categories of custom foot orthotics.
Accommodative Orthotics: are used when the Chiropodist wants to provide support to the foot but not alter the function of the gait. These are typically prescribed to individuals with severe arthritis or foot deformities where support is needed to prevent breakdown but the gait is not being altered. They are typically fabricated from softer materials to provide cushion where needed.
Functional Orthotics: are prescribed when the gait is being altered. They are more commonly prescribed for painful gait and foot issues. By altering the gait, the orthotics address biomechanical issues leading to pain and injuries. In some cases a functional orthotic may incorporate some elements of an accommodative orthotic when gait function is being changed but an area of the foot requires extra padding or support.
A Chiropodist will perform a thorough biomechanical assessment as well as a gait assessment. They will analyze joint mobility in both weight bearing and non-weight bearing positions. They will also look at the full kinetic chain of the lower limb to spot any abnormalities affecting the leg, knee, hip and lower back. The Chiropodist will also note other factors such as weight and shoe size when performing their assessment. The feet will then be cast using a three-dimensional scanner or plaster. These images are then sent to the orthotic lab. An orthotic will be fabricated from that mold using various thermoplastic materials. Certain cutouts and additions will be made to the device depending on your foot concern. You will then be fitted with the device 2-4 weeks later. Proper break-in advice and follow-up will occur to ensure the orthotics are fitting well and adequately supporting your feet and correcting your gait.
There are many other providers out there who sell orthotics. Some of these devices are not custom- made and instead your orthotic is selected from a library system that may or may not closely resemble your foot and address underlying concerns. For some clients an off the shelf orthotic is adequate but for others this is not an appropriate treatment plan. Your Chiropodist has extensive experience, having trained for 3 years exclusively in treating the foot at the Michener Institute. This was followed by 5 years of clinical experience. We use an accredited lab that manufactures your orthotics to specification. We also provide a 3 month warranty on all devices. This includes any adjustments or modification to your devices. We are committed to providing a quality product and it is our policy to follow-up with you after the devices are dispensed.
• Plantar fasciitis
• Heel spurs
• Arch pain
• Low back pain
• Knee pain
• Hip pain
• Shin splints
• Flat feet
• High arch feet
• Neurological conditions
• Hammer toes
• Children/pediatric feet
No. Custom orthotics are not the only treatment available. While many people can benefit from the devices in the treatment of foot and/or gait issues, they are not always necessary. There are a number of other treatment options that may be more appropriate given factors such as footwear, activity and pain level. Your Chiropodist will discuss all these options with you.