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:
- Optimise foot function (like glasses for your eyes),
- Support, offload or help with alignment (like a cast on a broken arm) and,
- 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 orthotic be hard or soft?
There is a large variety of materials custom orthotics can be constructed from. To choose which combination is best for you there are three main areas of consideration:
1. Offloading pressure. One reason this is so important is that due to being a custom device, the materials selected are specifically designed with your individual foot function in mind, and how we need to offload pressure under the foot. If we need to offload a callused area or corn, or maybe a large bunion joint, then a soft covering will be used on top of the custom orthotic.
2. How active you are. This second reason of consideration is important and the custom orthotic shell will be based on this. 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.
3. What footwear you choose to wear. This is the third consideration when designing a custom orthotic device as we need the device to fit into your shoe! Footwear is extremely important as the shoe will play a major role in supporting your foot.
At Stepping Out Podiatry on the Sunshine Coast, 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 ulimately to reduce their pain.
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 you 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.
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.