Custom Orthotics

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What are Custom Orthotics?

Custom foot orthotics are not arch supports you will find online, at the Chemist or at the markets.  These devices are designed uniquely for each individual as they are used to:

  1. Optimise foot function (like glasses for your eyes),
  2. Support, offload or help with alignment (like a cast on a broken arm) and,
  3. Reduce pain.

Why would I need Orthotics?

 

The aim of a custom orthotic device is to optimise the way your hip, knee and feet move together when walking.  Custom orthotics also address any specific foot pathologies or pains, for example bunions, heel pain pressure or balancing one leg that is longer than the other.

Before any custom orthotic is prescribed by our podiatrists, we first need to assess what joints have an increase in load when you walk and when you are standing still.  This increase in load may be causing the pain or discomfort that we need to treat. We also assess your muscle movement as muscles that are overloaded or that are too weak, tend to cause injuries to the surrounding joints, which can lead to pain.

If an orthotic device is prescribed, then the shape or contour of the devices are based on state-of-the-art 3D scanning technology to ensure the orthotics fit like a glove and are totally unique to your feet.

Will my custom orthotic be too hard?

This is a question that patients always ask us when they need a custom orthotic to help them walk pain free.  Will my custom orthotic be too hard for my feet?

In short, because the device is custom made to your foot, then it will feel just perfect for you.  Let’s explore this a little more…

There are many material composites that are layered together to create the best custom orthotic design for your foot.  To choose which combination is best for each patient, there are three main areas of consideration:

 Offloading pressure. One reason this is so important is that the materials selected are specifically designed with your individual foot condition in mind.  If there is excess pressure on your foot causing a callus or corn, or maybe a large bunion joint, then a soft covering will be used on top of the custom orthotic.  As it is custom, then we can individually cut out sections on the orthotic shell, around the corn, to release pressure under the foot.  If you have heel pain or painful arches, then we can angle the orthotic shell a few degrees when designing the device, to ensure that as soon as your heel hits the ground when walking, your arch is supported in the right position.

How active you are. The material we use for the custom orthotic shell will be based on how active you are, what sport you play, and how much support your feet need to move through these activities.  If you are a runner or walk large distances, you will need a different level of flex in your orthotic to accommodate the force through your foot, compared with someone who may have pain due to an injury but only performs low level activity.

What footwear you choose to wear.   Footwear is extremely important as the shoe will play a major role in supporting your foot. Every shoe has a different width, length, and depth, so therefore the design of the custom orthotic needs to accommodate this. 

At Stepping Out Podiatry we involve our patients in the above process by thoroughly explaining how the custom orthotic can be designed for them to fit in with their lifestyle and ultimately to reduce their pain.

 

On-site laboratory.

Our on-site laboratories are at the Sunshine Coast Landsborough practice, and also at our Sunshine Coast Kawana practice. Watch us adjust an orthotic to fit into a shoe.

Do I need to gradually ‘wear in’ my new device?

It is really exciting to receive your own custom made orthotic devices!  But hold on…we don’t recommend you run a marathon the first day!  Some patients can wear their new custom orthotic straight away with no problems and feel great.  Others will need to gradually get use to the devices, and this depends on what the orthotic is designed for.  Please read here for handy tips on how to properly wear in your orthotic.

4 Blog Articles about Orthotics

Shockwave therapy and custom orthotics

SHOCKWAVE THERAPY is proven to increase the healing properties of the tissues, decrease the levels of pain and speed up recovery.

It is not indicated for everyone however your Podiatrist may recommend this therapy in conjunction with your prescription orthotics. Read more about how combining these therapies can work for you.

Orthotic review appointment

Your Podiatrist will usually recommend a follow up appointment approximately 1- 2 weeks after your orthotics are fitted. This is a very important step in the treatment plan.

To find out why, read more here.

3D scanning

At Stepping Out Podiatry we use 3D scanning equipment to create a detailed impression of your feet. Here we are taking advantage of the most modern technology to then work closely with the orthotic lab to design a custom device that is right for you.

Why doesn’t the orthotic fit into all my shoes?

This is a common question we get asked at Stepping Out Podiatry.

Click here to read why we occasionally suggest a different design for different shoes.