Orthotic Devices In Adelaide & Inertia Health Group
Inertia Podiatrists are Adelaide Experts when it comes to Orthotic Therapy and Care.
What is an Orthotic that a Podiatrist Prescribes?
Podiatry Orthotic Therapy are known as a “device” or “Medical Device” by Podiatrists. Orthotics are formed or prescribed as an individual therapy for a patient to alleviate or assist with a manner of conditions for the feet, these orthotics can be prescribed for painful feet, heel pain orthotics, flat foot orthotics, ankle pain orthotics and are designed to help with knee pain, hip pain and even back pain in instances. They are also effective at reducing corns and callus’s in areas and also used in foot ulcers.
Orthotics or Orthotic therapy prescribed by Podiatrists are designed to try to optimise the biomechanics of a patient’s foot. What we mean by this is the orthotics are created specifically to the shape of the patient’s foot and can be altered to alleviate and change pressures and forces as we walk, stand and run to optimise the biomechanics of the patient either leading to more aligned force transmission through the body. The intent of this is to alter people’s pain by either offloading certain areas of the foot, or encouraging other areas to absorb more load. What this effectively does is move or alter the forces going through the patients toes, foot, knee and hip leading to better transmission of force and optimised biomechanics. So essentially they are shoe inserts that are designed to support, align, or improve the function of the foot and lower limb.
Podiatry Orthotics are also often used as an adjunct or combination treatment. What this means is in the foot there are loads of tiny muscles which can also be strengthened. Often but not all the time the use of orthotics is to complement these exercises to help patients strengthen their feet and leg improve their conditions. Unfortunately, some patients do not always complete the prescribed exercises and become more reliant on their orthotics to assist them day to day.
Orthotics or Orthotic Therapy are a very personalised approach to foot care.
Its really important to note, not all orthotics are the same. Why? Because not all Feet are the same and not all walking styles are the same and not all running mechanics are the same! So individualised approach to the prescription and creation of the device is key!
How Do You Get Fitted for Podiatrist Orthotics?
Custom made orthotics are made custom to your foot and your presenting complaint. As such we have a variety of ways to achieve the right fit, size and shape specific to your foot. To achieve this our Podiatrists have a range of assessment techniques for checking different aspects of your foot to ensure the orthotics your receive are accurate for what you require.
The Biomechanical Examination for Orthotics
Your Podiatrist will perform a Biomechanical assessment of the areas that contribute to your issue. That may be from Hips, Knees, Ankles and of course your Feet. It is a crucial part of the Orthotic prescription because it tells us about how stiff or mobile certain area’s are in your biomechanical chain which effect aspects of gait or locomotion (walking or running) It also tells us about your strength in certain areas of your body and what may or may not be over or underworking and how this may contribute to your problem or concern
Your Podiatrist will be able to perform a gait analysis and look at your walking or running pattern from head to toe. This is a critical feature of the assessment as it shows us what your joints are doing during loaded (bodyweight) locomotion. It gives us an idea as to where you may be overloading along the chain and what the orthotic may be able to rectify to assist in improving this for you.
3D Foot Scanning (Imaging) or Moulded Casting
Your Podiatrist will then be able to decide which method is best for your foot for imaging as we have two option.
1. A 3D digital foot scan- A precision image scan of your foot
2. A moulded casting of your foot
Your orthotics will be designed based on the Podiatrists assessment of all the above taken information from your assessment.
Different condition benefit from different orthotic designs, some of which are listed:
- Accommodative Orthotics: These are made from soft materials designed to provide extra cushioning and support. They are designed to treat uncomfortable medical conditions such as painful calluses on the foot’s bottom and diabetic foot ulcers.
- Functional Orthotics: These are made from semi-rigid materials such as hard plastics and graphite. They are usually prescribed in the treatment of foot pain caused by an abnormal motion of the foot that can result in injuries such heel pain and tendinopathies.
The Manufacturing of Our Orthotic Devices
These are completed locally in Adelaide by Podiatrists who specialise in the interpretation of prescription and have the equipment for milling of Orthotics. There is often a 1-2 week turnaround time from the prescription of the orthotic to the dispensing of the Orthotic.
The Orthotic Fitting and Dispensing Appointment
During this appointment your orthotics are fitted and trimmed to your match your foot and footwear exactly to ensure they are comfortable and alter the foot the way they are designed to. Please bring some shoes to the orthotic fitting appointment so we know they are comfortable for you, fit your footwear correctly and you are happy with them.
TYPES OF PODIATRY ORTHOTICS
There are a variety of Podiatry Orthotic Options that are available but these depend on the reason for attaining an orthotic in the first instance.
Standard Half Length Orthotics
These Orthotic designs are basically where the cover of the orthotic stops at then end of the orthotic shell. The advantage to these orthotics are they require less room in the toe box of your shoes which means they can be easily worn across a variety of shoe styles.
These are more tailored to particular sports or activities. They are generally a softer form of an orthotic and more advised if a patient has issues with blistering and can be modified more for the footwear they are being worn in or worn for.
These are a more sleek slim line version of an orthotic which can be dispensed for more dress shoes. They can be worn in things like sandals, football boots and cycling shoes where other more thicker styles of orthotics do have the room in the shoe to fit. They can be sized very precisely for you and for your shoe.
What Conditions can Orthotics be beneficial in Helping with?
Orthotics can be helpful in the following conditions and many more, however, it is important to understand they are not always a magic bullet. They are a way assisting the body to alter it biomechanics to help improve a condition. Whilst many research studies report improvements of 80-85% of pain in many conditions there are still some that don’t experience this improvement. It is important to look at orthotics as an assistive device rather than a complete solution to pain although this may be the best case scenario in some.