Orthotics are specially designed insoles / inserts which go inside your shoes and change the way your foot and lower limb biomechanics work. You can think of insoles as ‘spectacles for the feet’, involving a specific prescription to correct a specific abnormality. Like spectacles, it is always best to go to a specialist who can prescribe them accurately to correct your specific problem.
Because insoles are custom made, they can be made from almost any material. However, there are two more common types which South West Podiatry uses. Functional insoles: These are for the more athletic, weekend worrier amongst us. They have a slight stiffness to them with the aim of controlling the way the foot works and make it function more efficiently. These insoles are designed for people with knee and foot pain in association with issues like flat feet or high arched feet.
Accommodative insoles: These are for offloading specific areas of the foot where there is not a clear ‘biomechanical problem’ identified, such as flat feet. The most common condition for accommodative insoles might be insoles for bunions or for metatarsalgia (ball of foot pain). ‘Functional’ and ‘accommodative’ insoles are broad terms used to describe insoles and there is a crossover between them. At South West Podiatry we often take different features from each category and design a custom insole for your specific foot problem.
At South West Podiatry we often see patients who have been given insoles from a high street retailer where they have not been assessed or treated by a qualified, HCPC-registered Podiatrist. As a result, they have often been given insoles, which are not ideally suited to their feet or appropriate for solving their individual problem.
At South West Podiatry we spend time with our patients to ensure their insoles and treatment are right for them. Because South West Podiatry has spent years in the field of biomechanical podiatry, we have identified all the tips and tricks that prevent insoles from being uncomfortable to the patient. Will orthotics solves my foot problem?
Orthotics will control the position and motion of your foot. This may prevent the development of pain and disability, and the development of additional deformity. Some conditions will respond better to insoles better than others. South West Podiatry prides itself on not providing insoles unless there is medical research to support the use of them. Sometimes insoles can control your foot pain to a level where you are able to resume your activity, but you still notice it to some degree.
We understand that our patients are often professional men and women who need to dress appropriately for work and socialising, as well as for sporting activity. As a result, we will aim to fit our insoles in as many of your shoes as possible and will discuss the implication of this prior to any treatment plan being made.
Standard orthotics is appropriate for most activities, including sports, which do not involve excessive impact on the feet. Some sports, such as marathon running and basketball or netball, may require special insoles due to the high impact made with the ground. This is so the insoles are durable enough and so they can control the foot to an appropriate level.