Introduction To Custom-Made Orthotics
Walking and running are complex, coordinated processes. Flat feet or high arched feet causes abnormal stress on the feet, which can result in general pain, injuries and foot deformities.To treat this, we use devices placed in shoes (orthotics) to correct a foot’s function.
Types of Feet
Describes medium arches, meaning that around half of the foot arch touches the ground when standing. This normally means that the arch supports a person’s bodyweight and acts as an effective shock absorber when a person is walking or running.
Describes arches that are flatter than normal resulting in the entire or near-entire sole of the foot coming in contact with the ground, which may cause stress on a person’s feet or knees. If untreated, it could lead to foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes.
Describes abnormally high arches, resulting in greater weight than the body is designed for being placed on the ball and heel of the feet when walking or standing, and will not normally act as an effective shock absorber when running. Running exerts much greater force on the feet than walking and can lead to more severe injuries in people without normal arches, such as sprained ankles, shin splints, and fractures.
Orthotics are devices designed to stabilise and control the function of the foot and its alignment with the lower leg and are used to treat or prevent injury caused by excessive motion or a lack of motion in the foot and lower leg.
The goal of an orthotic is to allow a person to stand, walk or run more efficiently.
A custom made foot orthotic device is superior to an off-the-shelf model, because it is based on your foot structure and the symptoms of foot pain you are experiencing.
At The Foot Practice, we will assess your lifestyle, symptoms, foot structure and a range of other factors to ensure the orthotics are perfect for your needs, for example our orthotics may be:
- Made of a rigid or semi rigid material
- Suitable for sports but not restricted to only sporting activities
- Suitable for work or other day to day activities
- Used in the treatment of a painful condition resulting from poor foot function
- Fitted with specific design features to help with very specific conditions (for example to fulfill paediatric or diabetic needs)
- Adjusted so the insoles correct the function of the foot
- Tailored to suit lifestyle and activity requirements
The Foot Practice is also able to offer a range of additions include platar fascia grooves, heel apertures, first ray cut outs and metarsal pads, which we will explain to you if needed.
Custom Orthotics for Specific Requirements
Due to the rapidly-changing shape and size of children’s feet, a child’s orthotics need to be changed on a regular basis. For this reason, The Foot Practice can produce an insole that is more cost-effective by addressing factors such as the reduced need for durability.
These orthotics are specifically designed to improve coordination, balance, painful symptoms, posture and strength in the developing foot.
To help control a very flexible developing foot, modifications such as a deep heel cup, medial heel skive and high medial and lateral sidewalls can be used. If these are required, a podiatrist will fully explain the functions of these modifications to you.
It is important that children feel comfortable using the orthotics so the materials and top covers can be made softer for comfort.
Total Contact Diabetic Orthotics
Diabetes can lead to foot deformity, altered gait and abnormal pressures on bony areas of the foot. These constant pressures can lead to the development of calluses, which can result in ulceration if not treated.
The total contact orthotic aims to improve the function of the foot but also provides cushioning and offloading to the areas of high pressure.
A soft, semi rigid or rigid material can be used as the base of the orthotic to provide better foot function whilst softer cushioning materials with accommodative modifications can be used to redistribute high pressure areas at the forefoot.
Female Shoe-Friendly Orthotics
One common deterrent to using orthotics is that the orthotics are usually big and bulky, which may restrict the type of footwear that can be used in. The Cobra design is made slim and thin, and can fit into court shoes and pumps.