What are foot orthoses?
Foot orthoses are shoe inserts designed to support, align or improve the function of the foot. They are commonly refereed to as ‘orthotics’ and fit comfortable inside your shoes.
There are many different types of orthoses. The orthoses recommended by your podiatrist are generally prescription devices, custom-made to suit your individual needs and biomechanics (the way your body moves).
Who wears orthoses?
People of all ages with a variety of foot and lower leg problems wear orthoses.
Sportspeople are often prescribed orthoses by their podiatrist to help maximize their performance, as well to address biomechanical problems.
Anyone suffering from a chronic foot or lower limb condition that is limiting their mobility or independence may benefit from wearing orthoses.
When are orthoses used?
Your podiatrist may prescribe orthoses for your particular foot problem after a comprehensive assessment, taking into account your own biomechanics, footwear and occupational and lifestyle factors.
Orthoses provide valuable long-term solutions in the treatment and prevention of corns, calluses and ulceration by redistributing the pressure of the body’s weight on the feet.
Orthoses can also help rehabilitation of acute and chronic foot conditions such as tendonitis, recurrent ankle sprains and stress fractures by providing consistent postural control.
A personalised approach
If orthoses are recommended, your podiatrist will design a care plan. This plan will outline your diagnosis, the type of orthoses you have been prescribed, proposed footwear to wear with your orthoses, lifestyle changed you may need to make and any additional treatment that you may be required.
What type of othoses?
- Cushioning orthoses provide cushioning and padding underfoot with shock absorption during walking.
- Pressure relief orthoses offer additional relief by redistributing the pressure of problem areas of the foot.
- Moulded cast or non-cast orthoses offer similar features with a superior fit, whilst prefabricated orthoses provide relief and can be further customized by your podiatrist.
- Functional foot (customized kinetic) orthoses offer all these features, plus the benefit of postural realignment.
Podiatrists and the primary health care practitioners for disorders of the foot and lower leg. dealing not only with diagnosis and treatment but also prevention and rehabilitation. When prescribing orthoses, your podiatrist provides a comprehensive service to ensure safe and effective foot care, including:
- A full clinical assessment of your foot problem prior to prescription
- Prescription of orthoses tailored to individual needs
- Provision of any additional treatment required
- Advice regarding exercises, footwear and training methods where relevant
- Complete control over prescribing making and fitting your orthoses
- Comprehensive follow up, including initial and ongoing treatment plans
- Fine-tuning or correction of any problems experienced when wearing orthoses.