Foot orthoses are shoe inserts designed to support, align, or improve the function of the foot. They are commonly referred to as ‘orthotics’ and fit comfortably inside your shoes. There are many different kinds of orthoses. The orthoses recommended by your podiatrist are prescription devices, custom-made to suit your individual needs and biomechanics (the way your body moves).
People of all ages with a variety of foot or lower leg problems wear orthoses. Sportspeople are often prescribed orthoses by their podiatrist to help maximise their performance, as well as to address bio-mechanical problems. Anyone suffering from a chronic foot or lower limb condition which is limiting their mobility or independence may benefit from wearing orthoses.
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, callous and ulceration by redistributing the pressure of the body’s weight on the feet. Orthoses also help with rehabilitation of acute and chronic foot conditions such as tendonitis, recurrent ankle sprains and stress fractures, by providing consistent postural control.
Orthoses can be used for problems including:
Plantarfasciitis / Heel Pain
Achilles Tendonitis / Tendinopathy
Patella Femoral Pain
Medial Knee Pain
Shin Splints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome / Anterior Shin Pain)
Posterior Tibialis Dysfunction
Ankle Instability / Pain – in particular lateral and anterior joint pain
Dorsal Foot Pain (pain on the top of the foot)
Intermetatarsal Bursitis and pain in the balls of the feet
Bunion / 1st Metatarsophalangeal Pain
Callus and corn formation – via offloading
Lower back pain if foot function is a contributing factor
Children – specifically to treat pain and provide for healthy development
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 changes you may need to make, as well as any additional treatment which may be required.
Cushioning orthoses provide cushioning and padding underfoot with shock absorption during walking. Pressure relief orthoses offer additional relief by redistributing the pressure on problem areas of the foot. Moulded cast or non-cast orthoses offer similar features with superior fit, whilst prefabricated orthoses provide relief with the benefits of being customised by your podiatrist. Functional foot (customised kinetic) orthoses offer all these features, plus the benefit of postural realignment.
Podiatrists are 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 plan
• Fine-tuning or correction of any problems experienced when wearing the orthoses
At AC Podiatry we pride ourselves on the quality of our orthoses. Each pair of custom made devices is hand-made and finished to the highest standard. We take a functional approach to orthoses which means no hard, thick plastic or EVA orthoses “blocking” movement, but rather thinner more flexible co-polymer, carbon fibre and tri-laminate orthoses which aim to facilitate more efficient movement and pressure relief.