THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your foot health. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or your podiatrist.
1. What Are Orthotics?
Orthotics, also commonly known as inlays, insoles, foot beds and arch supports. Orthotics are medical devices which are inserted into shoes that correct foot and ankle problems from worsening to surgery stage. Treatment can often begin with off-the-shelf orthotics and progress to custom-made orthotics as the foot conditions and symptoms required.
2. What Are The Uses Of Orthotics?
Orthotics are frequently used for many reasons. Even for a foot condition as trivial as feeling uncomfortable when walking or running, orthotics can be used to effectively relieve your discomfort.
Orthotics are not just arch supports, although some people use this term to describe them, they are in fact, dynamic medical devices that make standing, walking and running more efficient and comfortable by re-distributing the load, pressure and force placed on your feet.
Generally, orthotic are recommended to:
Align and support your foot or ankle
Improve overall function of your foot or ankle
Prevent, correct or accommodate any possible foot deformities.
How do you know if you need orthotics? If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your feet or legs or you have noticed that there is abnormal wear on your shoes and realized your ankles roll a lot when you are walking, then it is probably a good idea to visit us for a detailed assessment.
For more detail on recommended orthotic devices for specific foot conditions, read our post here.
NOTES: Do not buy or use any orthotic device on your own without consulting any foot care expert or podiatrist. Wrong use of orthotic devices could change the mechanics of your gait and causing more problem instead of curing your foot conditions.
3. Do Orthotics Work? What Is The Benefits Of Wearing Orthotics For Foot Pain?
Every person foot conditions are unique due to variety of lifestyle and walking pattern. Multiple assessments are commonly required to provide an effective solution as there is no definite cause to the problem. However, orthotics is a medical device that is that can be adjusted easily at low cost to change pressure on any specific part of your foot and thus relieving your foot pain.
Diabetics and other individuals with skin breakdown risk, patient who are unable or unwilling to undergo surgical correction can experience pain relief through the use of orthotics.
Benefits of orthotics include:
Secure proper positioning for foot, ankle and knee bones
Improve ankle motion range, ensure optimal balance and flexibility.
Assist your child’s foot grow in more neutral or anatomically alighted position.
Keep ligaments and muscles aligned, which relieve stress and tension in the hips and legs.
Prevent injuries and aggravation, while elimination unnecessary stretching during exercise and everyday chores.
Decrease muscle fatigue by ensuring connective tissues within the feet from constant and repetitive stress, which overtime may even be resulting in excruciating pain and discomfort.
Prevent bone instability, which is the direct cause of fallen arches, over-pronation and several other foot problems.
Absorb tension within the feet to prevent transmission of pain up the knees, hips and legs.
Eliminates low back pain from leg length inequalities
4. What Is The Differences Between Custom-made Orthotics And Common Shoe Insoles Available In Any Convenience Shop?
Depending on your foot conditions, an off-the-shelf orthotic devices can be just as effective if combined with a stretching and exercise program.
You can find those in podiatry clinics, shoes stores, chemists and convenience shops. They are of a generic design and are usually sized from extra small to extra large. These devices generally have shorter life and do not offer the same level of specificity and function as custom made orthoses but they can act as quick and temporary pain relief, recovery and cushioning tools. Like most items, off the shelf can range from extreme poor quality to top quality
However, there is always a risk involved in self-diagnose treatment without a proper consultation from foot care expert. Improper treatment can potentially worsen your foot condition which end up costly surgical procedures for restoration.
NOTE: To discover more about the condition of your foot, browse through Passion Podiatry foot condition section. If your foot condition fulfils our described symptoms, contact your local foot experts for assessment immediately.
A custom-moulded, individually designed shoe insert, are far more complex and are made specifically for your feet. They can provide much effective pressure on your foot and thus relieving your foot pain. Although custom orthotics are often considerably more expensive than off-the-shelf orthotics devices, but your feet ripe the benefit of personalized orthotics from day 1.
They may support, correct or prevent foot abnormalities or deformities and enable you to enjoy your favourite activities with better foot condition. They can also be adjusted as required, usually after years of use.
5. Why And When Do I Need One? Who Should Use Orthotics?
People of all ages with a variety of foot or lower leg problems wear orthotics. The type of orthotics you need will depend on individual circumstances - the condition you suffer from, the grade and level of correction, stability and support required, your lifestyle, type of sport played, footwear and the biomechanical abnormalities of your feet.
Sports people are often prescribed orthotics by their podiatrist to help maximise their performance, as well as to address mechanical problems. Anyone suffering from a chronic foot or lower limb condition which is limiting their mobility or independence may benefit from wearing orthotics.
Orthotics can be wear even if you do not have any foot issues as foot orthotics can help to secure proper positioning for foot, ankle and knee bones. They also ensure optimal balance and flexibility, while drastically improving ankle motion range.
Orthotics are widely used by:
Athletes from a range of sports to minimize plantar fasciitis.
Diabetic ulcers sufferers
People with joint pain related to arthritis.
People that are accustomed to standing for long hours.
People that are battling obesity and weight issues by reducing the stress on their legs and feet.
Industrial workers who tend to walk or stand on hard surfaces every day.
People that have experience previous foot or leg injuries
People with problems walking, running, jogging, or even standing.
Child’s foot grow in more neutral or anatomically aligned position.
Child with gait disorders from cerebral palsy and neurological disorders.
An analogy can be made by comparing orthotics and eyeglasses. Both devices require an assessment by professionals to determine the proper level of support and correction required. Some will only require an pre-form orthotics but some will require a custom made orthotics. The best answer can only be given after a detailed examination.
Over the years, many people have regained their lives due to the benefits of orthotics. Contact us today to allow us treat your foot.
6. What Is The Average Cost Of Custom-made Orthotic?
The cost could vary between $400 and $800 per pair depending on the type of material and functionality. When it comes down to cost per use though, custom made orthotics can be more beneficial in long run as compared to a quality $100+ per pair of shoe from local shoes shop.
A custom-made orthotics generally last longer and are tailored specifically to support your foot. Not to mention they also protect your feet from any potential deformities which a quality shoes can’t provide.
At Passion Podiatry, we strive to achieve a balance between best orthotics for your conditions and what you can actually afford. Our podiatrist will assist you with a solution that ticks all the boxes - good orthotics, good footwear and a good fit within your budget.
7. How Long Do I Need Orthotics?
A quick answer to this is like asking how long is a piece of string? Orthotics are prescribed to treat biomechanical abnormalities and assist in prevention of further lower limb complications. Most of the times, the abnormalities is still present when you take the orthotics out of your shoes. If we were to use the eyeglasses analogy again, when you take your glasses off, your long or short-sightedness still present. You can still see but you may not be able to see as clearly.
It is recommended though, that you wear your orthotics most of the time while you are weight-bearing. These include time at school, work, sports and travel. For special and casual occasions like going out for dinner and a party, you can wear the shoes you like for short hours. We all know that our body and feet can change over time, so an annual review is highly recommended to ensure your orthotics are functioning at the best level they can be.
8. Will My Insurance Cover My Orthoses?
Yes, you can have coverage through work or private health insurance plans. However, we will recommend you to contact your health fund provider directly as there can be little consistency from one insurance company to another regarding level and type of podiatry cover. It is in your best interest to find out/verify your coverage with insurance plan prior to any agreements. Most private health fund providers will cover custom made orthotics under “extras”, instead of basic podiatry cover. To see what your private health plan covers, please contact your health fund provider directly.