How Orthotics Help Arthritic Joint Pain

July 3, 2020

Osteoarthritis (OA) is painful, frustrating and limiting for many New Zealanders. OA affects almost 50% of those aged over 60 years, and almost all over 80 years old. This makes it very important to both manage the symptoms effectively when they arise – as well as reduce the rate that it develops too! While the reality of osteoarthritis is that it is degenerative and irreversible in nature, there is one particular thing you can do to improve your comfort – and your quality of life. That is to get a good quality pair of custom orthotics for your feet! Let us explain…

Orthotics ease the pressure on your joints

Osteoarthritis describes the state where the cartilage at the ends of the bones that form your joints are worn down. Because cartilage helps your body absorb shock and creates a slippery surface for your joints to move effectively and without friction, cartilage that has worn down has very painful consequences on your joints and body. Orthotics help your feet and legs absorb shock through their precise support and cushioning, easing the impact on your joints. This means that with each step you take, instead of ground reaction forces (from the impact of your foot hitting the ground) moving up through your joints, the force is dissipated through the orthotic and have much less of an impact on your joints.

Orthotics change the way your foot moves

Custom orthotics are also made specifically to your foot and where its bones and contours are located. This means they will work to give back function or limit painful movement, depending on your specific feet and problems. This is prescribed after a thorough assessment of your feet. The orthotic is then prescribed with the best features to help you feel comfortable, stable and decrease your pain.

Not all orthotics are custom orthotics…

It’s important to understand that the orthotics you purchase from the pharmacy are NOT custom orthotics. These are a one-size-fits-all orthotic that does not feature anything specific for your individual feet. While these may improve daily comfort for those that don’t have any foot pains or problems, they won’t work to effectively improve your OA joint pain like custom orthotics are able to. Furthermore, our podiatry team all specialise in the biomechanics of the feet and legs and orthotic prescription.

It starts with an appointment

The first step to creating your custom orthotics is an appointment with one of our Podiatrists. From there, we’ll assess your symptoms and what’s going on to rule out any additional causes to your joint pain, assess the range of motion and movement in your feet and legs, take a cast of your feet and create the prescription. It then gets sent to our orthotic laboratory where your orthotics are made! You can book an appointment by calling 09 523 2333 or using our online booking system here.