Looking to get orthotics and don’t know where to start?
Want to know how orthotics from a Podiatrist are different from the ones at the chemist? And are they really worth the price?
Read on to learn what orthotics are, how they work and how they are used to treat foot conditions.
What is an orthotic?
Orthotics are a special shoe inserts that can be used to treat numerous foot conditions. There are many different types of orthotics, and they will vary in materials and features based on where you get yours.
History of orthotics
Orthotics have been successfully used for centuries as a treatment for foot pain and to improve comfort. The materials used and theory behind them has evolved and changed over time. Originally made with metal, they now use specialised plastics. The comfort and fit of orthotics has improved to provide the best solution for people that need to wear them.
Podiatrist and Orthotics
Podiatrists are experts in foot care with training in foot anatomy, biomechanics and prescribing orthotics for therapy. At our foot clinics, we assess all our patients looking at symptoms, their footwear, activity and recommend orthotic therapy options if needed.
How do orthotics work?
Our patients always ask us this question and feel that as Podiatrist, we should be able to answer it as best as possible. The goal of orthotic therapy is to reduce internal and external forces which are acting on specific parts of foot, to treat injury and reduce foot pain.
Orthotics alter pressure coming from the ground to the foot (ground reaction force) when you stand, walk or run. By altering these forces, we can achieve better foot function and reduce any excessive forces that lead to foot injury.
Depending on pathology and where your foot pain is located, different orthotic design with specific features can change location, magnitude and timing of force acting within the foot. These excessive forces inside the foot and ankle are the cause of nearly all mechanically related injuries that we treat on a daily basis.
By wearing orthotics, we can help send back sensory feedback to your brain to prompt it to change its movement during gait. With these signals, your brain can send corrective movements to the foot and improve function, avoid pain and prevent injury.
Now that the Physics lesson is finished read on to see how orthotics can help you with your foot pain.