What is a Custom Foot Orthotic?
Custom foot orthotics are “shoe inserts” fabricated to compensate for specific biomechanical faults. A custom orthotic limits the mechanical stress placed on the soft tissues and joints of the lower extremity, back and pelvis, thereby limiting pain and disability. In contrast to “over-the-counter” inserts, custom orthotics are individually created to address the unique construction of each patient’s foot.
Custom orthotics are fabricated from a plaster impression of each patient’s foot and altered based on the findings of a complete physical examination and biomechanical analysis.
Your therapist will assess your muscle strength, mobility, gait pattern, and the joint mechanics of the lower body in order to determine if an orthotic can help. Should an orthotic be needed, a plaster mold will be made of the foot. From a mold of the plaster impression, a lab makes our recommended alterations by incorporating specific degrees of correction to the rear and forefoot of the orthotic.
Custom foot orthotics are “shoe inserts” fabricated to compensate for specific biomechanical faults. A custom orthotic limits the mechanical stress placed on the soft tissues and joints of the lower extremity, back and pelvis, thereby limiting pain and disability.
Who Can Orthotics Help?
In general, custom foot orthotics may help any patient suffering from lower extremity, back or pelvic pain pain and disability secondary to a biomechanical fault. Once the biomechanical faults are detected, the resulting mechanical issues may best be addressed through selective stretching and strengthening. Even changes in sleep postures, ADLs and work habits, for example, may effectively correct the dysfunction. Typically, this sort of intervention is pursued first.
If the mechanical issues do not correct, or the pain and disability cannot be minimized, a custom orthotic maybe appropriate. Orthotics may be an effective choice in the treatment of foot, ankle, knee, hip, or back pain that is insidious in onset, especially if not responding to conventional therapeutic intervention. (However, previously dormant, non-symptomatic biomechanical faults may be “awakened” by trauma.)
Specifically, plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, medial or lateral ankle pain, medial knee pain, patello-femoral syndrome, trochanteric bursitis of the hip, general hip pain, and low back pain may be effectively addressed by custom foot orthotics. Regardless of the diagnosis, the symptoms must be linked to a specific mechanical fault before an orthotic solution will be pursued.