TFC Podiatry – The Orthotic Explanation

Hello and welcome to this episode in our series on podiatry. Today we’ll be talking about foot orthotics.

Orthotics are a device that you put inside your shoe, that helps control foot and ankle motion inside the shoe. So forces that are exerted on the shoe from various muscles inside the foot and ankle, and also pressure from the ground can be redistributed and changed. Foot orthotics come in a variety of forms including custom made, prefabricated, and semi-custom orthotics. Today we’ll be focusing mainly around custom foot orthotics.

At The Foot Clinic Pediatry, we use a 3D scanner to scan for our custom foot orthotics. Custom foot orthotics are custom made to a patient because they are designed on the actual patient’s imprint or foot profile, arch profile. With this arch profile, we send this off to the laboratory along with a prescription which includes up to 100 variables on the prescription, on the custom foot orthotic prescription. This custom foot orthotic prescription is designed to change biomechanical factors in the foot and ankle.

Biomechanical factors that can influence foot pain are quite complex and quite an interesting area of study. So biomechanical risk factors for foot pain can include anywhere from decreases in range of motion to lack of muscle strength, lack of muscle endurance, or even foot posture could be attributed sometimes. Foot posture is basically the position of the foot in space, so that can be anywhere from the high arch foot type, to a low arch foot type, to anywhere in the middle.

Footwear that works with your custom foot orthotic can depend quite highly from patient to patient and depending on the type of orthotic that is proscribed to you as well. Generally speaking, the footwear must be wide and deep enough to fit your foot and the orthotic as well, it must have a fastening mechanism such as laces or Velcro or a strap to hold the foot and the orthotic in place, and it also must have a nice and structured base. Generally speaking, the safest option is to consult with your pediatrist before implementing a new pair of footwear into your regular wear pattern.

At the Foot Clinic Podiatry, we are able to provide both custom and non-custom foot orthotics depending on your needs. Orthotics can be an important part of the treatment process for a musculoskeletal condition. Information in this video is general, if you have a specific condition, please seek professional advice. If you would like to see one of our podiatrists, we take online bookings through our website.