Orthotics are designed to adjust the way a person stands and walks, or to distribute pressure evenly across the sole of the foot. This direct adjustment within the feet can affect the function of a person’s ankles, knees, hips and spine.
The Podiatrists at Ipswich Podiatry take orthotic therapy seriously. There is no single style of orthotic that can be used for all patients. Every human foot is different, in some cases even from left to right. Your Podiatrist will explain why a particular type of orthotic will be the most applicable to you.
Orthotics need to be made to the exact dimensions of your anatomical foot structure and allow for natural (but not excessive) foot movement. If your current pair of orthotics do not feel comfortable it is usually due to a failure to meet these requirements.
Video Gait Analysis
Assessment of your feet requires us to complete a visual analysis of you standing, walking and/or running. To make this analysis easier the clinic is equipped with SiliconCoach video analysis software and a treadmill. This gives the Podiatrist the ability to easily convey each individual’s biomechanics and functional anatomy back to the patient. Physical analysis requires testing of muscles and joints in the legs, ankles and feet. By using video gait analysis software and conducting a physical assessment, the Podiatrist can visually show what has caused, or is contributing to your pain, and what the orthotics will do to adjust this. We will spend as much time as required in this process to ensure a thorough understanding by you.
Orthotics are not an automatic cure. The wearing-in period is important to allow your body time to adjust to the new position your feet are in. During this period it is not uncommon for you to notice that your orthotics are influencing your muscles, knees, hips and lower back. Following a wearing-in period, you need to want to wear the orthotics because you feel better in them than out of them. If the orthotics are not able to be worn, they can not do their job.
The final factor in orthotic success is footwear as: orthotics are only as good as the shoes they are worn in.
Although not all shoes will fit orthotics, all efforts will be made to utilise a patient’s current footwear when possible. However, if this is going to limit the function of the orthotics, your Podiatrist will advise what footwear is required for your specific needs.