The Importance Of Foot Orthotics

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Treat Your Feet With The Care They Deserve

Foot Orthotics are a great tool for relieving stress and tension on the feet, ankles, hips and legs. They work to help secure proper positioning for the foot, ankle and knee bones, while ensuring balance and range of motion are enhanced. Primarily they help to correct underlying alignment issues and prevent injuries and aggravation caused from these issues.

Who Can Use Foot Orthotics?

  • Foot pain sufferers
  • Back pain sufferers
  • People with diabetes
  • People with arthritis
  • Knee Pain Sufferers
  • Athletes and runners

Off The Shelf VS Custom Fitted Orthotics

Off-the-Shelf 

Commonly seen in chemists or pharmacies, off-the-shelf inserts offer a universal correction technique aimed at offering the same benefits that fitted Orthotics do. The problem with off-the-shelf inserts is that they are not individualized which can create problems in finding the best insert for you.

Feet, like bodies, come in all different shapes and sizes, often patients need correction of symptomatic conditions and biomechanical imbalances. Using standardised or non-individualized orthotics without the assistance of a professional can worsen the problem. For example a patient may require a properly placed support on a very specific part of the orthotic, something which an off-the-shelf product will fail to do

Custom Fitted 

Any foot, any shape, any size, custom fitted Orthotics are carefully tailored after a thorough biomechanical assessment of the patient. A range of materials are used, depending on the desired result and can be fitted in almost any pair of shoes – From high heels to performance runners.

Custom Fitted Orthotics while more expensive than off-the-shelf provide a much more assured option in treating foot and ankle imbalances. This can aid rapid relief of underlying complaints and a custom fit ultimately provides a more predictable response and longer-term symptom relief. Additionally, if any modifications or slight alterations are required in the future, this can be done systematically without any element of trial and error.

How MJB fits orthotics

After a thorough biomechanical exam, an end goal will be determined (for example – Neutralize fallen arches and increase ankle and hip alignment). Also factoring in things like shoes the orthotics will be fitted for, level of activity and previous conditions, the Orthotics will then be cast.

Casting the orthotics can sometimes utilize a scanning system, which provides an accurate reading of the patient’s foot and allows the orthotics to be very personalized. Casting positions can vary as some orthotics need to be fitted in a non-weight bearing position, semi-weight bearing position or weight bearing position.

Casting works similarly to casting for a broken bone, thankfully Orthotics casting doesn’t involve any broken bones and is a very easy, pain free process. Other casting techniques include foam impression casting.

Tips On Finding The Right Shoes

Finding the right shoes is just as important as finding or customizing orthotics for your feet. Orthotics work best when the shoes you are wearing are also ideal for your feet.

There are a number of things to look out for when buying shoes, some of which include –

  • Trust your own comfort level rather than a shoe’s size or description.
  • Ignore the advertising or marketing of the shoe. If the shoe claims one thing, but you feel something completely different, it is not the shoe for you.
  • Wear socks you will be wearing with the shoes.
  • Breaking in shoes is a myth – if they do not feel comfortable right away, there is a likely possibility they will never be comfortable on your foot.
  • More bells and whistles the better the shoe? Not entirely true, some shoes today are packed with loads of features, whilst some may be beneficial, often, the simpler the design of the shoe, the better functional support.
  • Finally know when to replace your shoes – Look for worn down soles, particularly on one part of the sole more so than another part, it is usually a good indication that it’s time to usher in a new pair.

For more tips and tricks on proper fitting shoes, follow the link below.

http://www.theathletesfoot.com.au/footwear-fitting-tips

Before having any orthotics fitted, it is recommended that a biomechanical exam be conducted of your feet, ankles, knees and hips. For more information on how podiatry can help you, or to book an appointment contact us on (03) 9715 0582.

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