Orthotics are innersoles made to be worn in your shoes. They are designed to improve gait efficiency, reduce the risk of overuse injuries in the foot and lower leg, and reduce/eliminate pain. Each orthotic prescribed to you takes into account your everyday needs, injury history, and foot type.
Orthotics have many functions, including:
- Redistribute pressures within the foot, ankle, and lower limb
- Improve foot function
- Realign the lower limb
- Help offload overused tissues in the foot and ankle
- Improve walking and running efficiency
At TFC Podiatry, our team will conduct thorough assessments to determine whether you are someone who will benefit from orthotics. Some common issues that we use orthotics as a part of treatment include:
- Pronated (flat) feet
- High arched feet
- Pain underneath the feet, in the ankles, or the knees
- Corns and calluses
- Diabetic foot wounds
If you are unsure if you need orthotics, we can assist you in your decision-making during a consultation by conducting a thorough assessment. This includes assessing injury history, muscle strength/flexibility, joint range of motion and joint axis position, activity levels, and conducting a video gait analysis.
Different types of orthotics
Prefabricated orthotics: These are the cheapest options, can be issued on the day of your appointment, and can be mildly adjusted to suit your needs. However, the high point of the device is not adjustable, they aren’t customised, mostly fit into only runners and typically only last up to 12 months.
Semi-custom orthotics: These can be adjusted where the pressure is applied in the device, tend to fit better than prefabricated orthotics, and have higher durability. However, semi-custom orthotics are not designed for your foot and therefore do not fit as well as custom foot orthotics.
Custom orthotics: This type of orthotic has the most durability, fits your feet the best, can be made and modified specifically to your needs, and can be made to fit into most shoe options. These are the most expensive, but durable of the three options.
How do we make custom orthotics?
If we collectively decide custom orthotics are the best option, we proceed with digital casting. To cast, we use a 3D scanner to collect images of your feet. With these images, we create a prescription specifically designed for your requirements. We consider not only your injury, but also your foot posture, the tissue we are trying to offload, your activity levels/work requirements, and the shoes you will be wearing. The clinic sends the images and prescriptions to a laboratory and typically takes two weeks to be made. We will schedule you in for an orthotic pick-up and fitting 2 weeks from your casting date.
We almost always combine orthotics with other treatment modalities such as exercise rehab, shockwave therapy, training modifications, dry needling, and footwear education.
If you would like advice on orthotics, please book an appointment with us at our clinics located in Yarraville or Point Cook.