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What You Need to Know Before Getting Shoe Orthotics

Shoe Orthotics

If you regularly experience discomfort or pain in your feet, you might have contemplated getting orthotics for your shoes. Orthotics can be used to relieve pain, cushion the feet and help support and train feet to function correctly.

They can help treat a wide variety of conditions that can affect your feet and lower limbs, however, they may not always be the right option for you.

Before you go about buying just any old pair of orthotics, keep reading to learn more about what orthotics are and how they are fitted to your feet.

What exactly are orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts that fit inside your shoes that are designed to increase your comfort levels and help to correct biomechanical issues you may have. They can also improve balance and help aid in the recovery of injuries.

How do foot orthotics work?

Orthotics can be used in different kinds of shoes and help to align your feet, ankles, and legs into a natural position that should allow your feet and body to work more efficiently.

With a great pair of customised orthotics, you should feel a positive difference when you're walking, running, jogging and even standing still.

As the orthotics help to correct the alignment in your lower limbs, you may even feel more supported in your back.

The different kinds of orthotics

There are two different kinds of orthotics, they are:

Prefabricated orthotics

Prefabricated orthotics are ones that are ready to slip straight into your shoes. They are available to be purchased from a wide variety of shops, including supermarkets, chemists, and sports stores.

As they are generic, while they may provide some comfort or relief, they may not be as effective as custom orthotics.

Custom orthotics

Custom orthotics are shoe inserts that have been made to suit your feet specifically. They are usually only available from foot specialists like podiatrists and have been designed to suit the exact pattern of the biomechanical make up of your foot.

As they are personalised to your feet they can provide more accurate support than prefabricated orthotics.

Do orthotics work?

Yes! However, the effectiveness of orthotics is often dependent on the kind of orthotics you have, their condition, and what they are being used to treat.

Which kinds of orthotics are better?

As they are tailored to suit your feet, customised orthotics are generally more effective and better for you than prefabricated ones. While some prefabricated orthotics can be moulded and fitted to your feet, they are unable to be fitted to your feet as much as custom orthotics can be.

What can orthotics be used to treat?

Orthotics can be used to treat a number of different issues that can affect your feet, including:

  • Bunions
  • Corns and Callus
  • Ankle Instability
  • Various Tendinopathies
  • Synovitis
  • Flat Feet
  • Shin Splint
  • Stress Fractures
  • Knee, Hip and Back Pain
  • Bursitis
  • Plantar Faciitis
  • Limb Length Discrepancies

What's involved when you get custom orthotics?

To get your custom orthotics your first step is to make an appointment with a podiatrist. They can first determine whether orthotics are the right option for you. And if they are, the process of getting custom orthotics usually involves three appointments.

In the first appointment, your podiatrist will further assess your foot posture and gait, and scan your feet to take impressions of the biomechanical make up. Using a laser scanner and software, the podiatrist will be able to determine the exact measurements and requirements of your custom orthotics.

In the second appointment, the podiatrist will work on fitting your orthotics to the shoes you wear most often. The orthotics should contour to your feet and provide support. In this appointment the podiatrist will make adjustments and modifications, to ensure they are right for your feet and shoes.

The third appointment is a follow up, where after 4-6 weeks, you will return to the podiatrist so they can assess how effective the orthotics are and whether any modifications may be required. If you're looking for custom made orthotics Melbourne, then you should make an appointment with Watsonia Podiatry. The podiatrists at Watsonia Podiatrists are highly experienced and qualified when it comes to feet and orthotics. Book your appointment online today.