What are Orthotics and How Can they Help my Feet - Point Cook

Written by Steven De Rooy

What are Orthotics and How Can they Help my Feet?   This is a common question which we hear from many of our patients with different types of foot problems and foot pain.   Orthotics are inserts which are placed into your footwear to improve the function of your feet.   Orthotics are only prescribed after a thorough analysis of your resting foot stance,  a Gait (walking) analysis,  and a Biomechanical assessment (looking at the range of motion and function of joints in your feet) by an Experienced Podiatrist.   

Most commonly (95% of cases),  Orthotics are prescribed because someone's feet 'roll in' or pronate too much.  It is this increased rolling in which can be the direct cause for various foot conditions including Chronic Heel Pain or Arch Pain (Chronic Plantar fasciitis),  Shin splints (Periostitis),  Peroneal (outside foot) muscle fatigue,  Tibialis Anterior/Tibialis Posterior (inner foot) muscle fatigue.  

Orthotics may also be prescribed for both children and adults, without pain, but want their feet to function in a straighter (and improved) position, particularly if their parents have foot pain and they want to reduce their risk of inherited/genetic conditions.  It is important to be aware that Custom Orthotics are generally only used for Chronic/Long term conditions (not for Acute/Short term conditions such as Acute Plantar Fasciitis of 1-2-3 weeks duration)

There are two types of Custom Orthotics,  Custom Formthotics (cost $140) made from high density, well cushioned material with a lifespan of 2 years and usually if someone's foot is only mildly to moderately pronated.  These are the most popularly used custom orthotics in Australia and are prescribed for approximately 80% of our patients who require orthotics. They can also be prescribed at your initial consultation, saving you time and expense.  Ensure you bring your 2 main pairs of footwear to your consultation as it is essential that the orthotics are 'matched up' with appropriate, good quality footwear. 

Custom Rigid Orthotics (cost $380) may also be prescribed but only for people with moderately to severely pronated feet.  Their main advantage is being made from very strong, rigid materials which have a longer lifespan (3-5 years).   Rigid orthotics should generally not be used in childrens (growing) feet or for the elderly.

If you believe you may need orthotics, give Point Cook Family & Sports Podiatry a call on Ph.  9395 8205  or Book Online at www.completefoothealth.com.au for a thorough biomechanical and gait assessment which is included free in your initial consultation.  Steven the Podiatrist, has over 15 years experience in the field of orthotics prescription and can give you an accurate assessment of firstly if you require orthotics or not,  and secondly if you do, prescribe the best and most appropriate type of orthotics for your feet.   Point Cook Family & Sports Podiatry is open 6 days/week, 9am-6pm Mon-Fri,  8am-2pm Sat.  Ph.  9395 8205  and is located at 17 Dunnings Road,  Point Cook.