Orthotics – how do they really work?
If you’re not currently wearing orthotics then it’s likely you know someone who is. But what do they do for your feet and can they really help you? Our experts at Perform Podiatry answer your questions!
So, what are orthotics?
Orthotics are ‘inserts’ or ‘inner soles’ that go into your shoes. However, they are so much more than the ‘cushioning arch supports’ that they are often thought of being. They serve a functional purpose to alter the alignment of your feet and change the way your bones, joints and muscles function each time you take a step. When feet are paired with the right orthotics for them, they can make a significant difference to your pain levels, rate of recovery from an injury and your overall quality of life.
What do you mean by the ‘right’ orthotic?
For an orthotic to be able to function correctly and be of benefit to the wearer, the orthotic needs to be right for that person’s foot type, their injury if they have one, the motion they have available through the joints of their feet and many more factors.
Because foot posture and function varies so significantly from person to person, there is no ‘one type fits all’ orthotic and you can’t expect an orthotic that worked so well to relieve your foot pain to do exactly the same for someone else. This is why it’s so important to get your orthotics from a Podiatrist that completes a comprehensive biomechanical assessment of your feet prior to prescribing the best orthotic for you – and why some people that buy a ‘one type fits all’ orthotic from K-Mart wonder why their foot pain didn’t disappear overnight.
What can orthotics help with?
Orthotics can be a great adjunct to helping treat a variety of conditions and ailments, including helping to:
- Facilitate healing of damaged muscles and tissues – g. plantar fasciitis
- Relieve pressure from painful areas of the feet – g. corns, callous, ulcers
- Improve walking and running techniques
- Stabilise and support the feet and body
- Support foot and leg abnormalities – g. limb length difference
- Reduce pain from systemic conditions – g. arthritis
- And so many more!
It is important to remember that in order for orthotics to help specific conditions and ailments, they will have the right features to address the issue – including the most suitable materials, additions and pads, and the right positioning with regard to the anatomy of your foot. This is where it’s critical that you see a practitioner that is highly experienced with prescribing the best orthotic to help you and address all of your foot health needs.
Perform Podiatry specialises in orthotics
Perform Podiatry are specialists in orthotic prescription and clinical biomechanics and our team have been doing it for over 20 years. One of our Principal Podiatrists, Martin Kane, even lectures and teaches orthotic prescription to the only Podiatry school in New Zealand. As such, we’re proud to be leaders in this field and are committed to bringing you the best podiatric care so you can enjoy doing the things you love without being limited by pain or injury.
If you have an issue with your feet or legs, or would like to know how orthotics can help you, we welcome you to join our team of healthy and happy patients! Give us a call on 09 523 2333 to speak with one of our friendly team.