Orthotics by David Webby
What are Orthotics and what conditions are they used for?
Orthotic devices are moulded devices made out of different materials, to contour the foot and arch, in order to exert opposing pressures against abnormal forces, that may be the cause of the foot, leg, or hip pain one is experiencing. They may be there to counter balance the uneven wear on shoes, or help support the foot posture that could be contributing to back pain and/or other symptoms.
Such conditions may be heel / arch pain, Achilles tendonitis, Shin Splints, Knee/Hip and lower back pain, Ankle joint injury, ankle sprains, midfoot and rearfoot pain, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and a number of other conditions.
Orthotics are specific for each person, and treatment can vary from Podiatrist to Podiatrist, who may / may not fix your problem.
Some foot pain can also be a little tricky to treat as conditions can be long term or acute.
Feet can also be tricky as there can be many variations compared to the text book description of how the foot is structured and normal motion.
This could include differences in size and angle of bony structures, ligament strength, and variance to the axis of important foot joints, eg heel joint, that result in abnormal forces, compared to others.
But not all conditions require Orthotics as part of their treatment plan.
Thus, Orthotic devices are determined on an individual basis, particularly for those outside the norm.
Orthotic devices are prescribed by Podiatrists for many reasons.
Primarily they are focused on reducing the forces on your ligaments, muscles and bones that are relating to the foot pain or other symptoms that maybe occurring.
They may be to assist alignment of your feet, and which also has an effect on your knees, hips and lower back.
They are more than just arch supports, because Podiatrist assess the forces that occur on joints and ligaments to determine how to design the Orthotics to resist those detrimental/abnormal forces.
Types of Orthotics:
Custom Orthotic devices (or Orthosis), give the best possible treatment outcomes because Podiatrists are able to take a scan or cast of the feet which mirrors the exact contour of your foot.
From there, they can design an Orthotic that best suits the pressures needed to resist the abnormal forces that may be causing your foot pain.
Polypropylene– plastic devices with different strengths, according to the forces and body weight. Expect 5 to 10 years lifespan.
Carbon Fibre– Rigid Orthotics used for excessive forces, or large body weight. Provide an excellent contour of your foot, and are very lightweight. Sometimes used for women’s dress shoes due to the lightness.
Expect 10 to 15 years lifespan.
3D Printed– The Orthotic uses state of the art machinery to make a mould directly off your foot scan/cast. It is made of very lightweight material.
EVA – a softer Orthotic that is designed for shock absorption, and cushioning
We do have a range of ‘Off the Shelf Orthotics’, for those who can’t afford custom devices.
Sometimes Orthotics get bad press, yet one doesn’t hear about the successful results in the news or on the internet.
Why? There could be for a number of reasons. Unhappy patients voicing their grievances on Facebook or other forums?
Strict advertising laws for professionals doesn’t permit Podiatrist to use patient testimonials on their websites.
So, the only way for Podiatrists to brag about their treatments is by word of mouth from happy patients, or discuss how they treat certain conditions, on their websites.
Foot pain is a condition that is often treated by the GP. A Dr might refer onto a Podiatrist, if they have had feedback from their patients about the successful treatment of previous problems.
But one doesn’t need a referral from a Dr to see a Podiatrist.
Podiatrist are trained professionals, who solely focus on the lower limb, and have experience and expertise to treat painful feet, and other associated structures, including the legs, hips and lower back.
Ring our clinic Kingston Beach Health Centre on 6229 9844 to make an appointment or make an online booking.