What are Orthotics?
An orthotic is any material placed between the sole of the foot and the inside of the shoe that will realign the foot to a neutral position. It will help ease the tension and stress put on muscles, tendons and ligaments due to poor alignment, fallen arches or various other treatable problems. They may also help with complaints such as knee pain, lower back pain and pain in the joints at the base of the spine called the sacroiliac joints.
Your physiotherapist will conduct a range of tests known as a biomechanical assessment. This will involve being assessed in standing, walking and in a non weight bearing position. All of these positions are vital to your assessment. You will be asked to walk up and down so the physiotherapist can observe what’s happening with your feet, knees and hip joints when you move. From the assessment your physiotherapist will be able to advice you on the best treatment plan for your needs. This may be one of the following:
- A suitable “off the shelf” device
- A “chairside” device – your physiotherapist may make an insole for you in the clinic
- A custom made prescription insole
- A handmade casted device
Orthotics can be used for:
- Shin splints (pain down the front of the shin)
- Patello femoral dysfunction (knee pain)
- Hallux valgus (bunions)
- Metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot)
- Plantarfascitis or plantarfasciosis
- Achilles pain
- Leg length differences
- Flat feet
- Supinated feet
- Lower back pain
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- And many more
Orthotics will be used alongside rehabilitation exercises while wearing the device in your footwear. It is important to strengthen the muscles surrounding the foot in the neutral position.