Podiatrists are the most experienced practitioners in foot mechanics and therefore the most appropriate to produce foot orthotics.
Sandals for orthotics
In our humid Queensland summers sandals are often the preferred footwear. There are now a number of footwear manufacturers that make sandals with removable foot beds to allow for orthotics to be inserted.
Some sandals are ideal for ¾ length orthotics, and some are capable of taking full-length devices.
Sandals with sling-backs however, are not as supportive as fully enclosed sandals or shoes, your podiatrist will discuss appropriate footwear for orthotics with you.
Shoes for orthotics
Some conditions can be treated by changing footwear alone.
Your podiatrist can advise on which shoes are appropriate for your level of activity and foot posture needs.
Orthotic therapy is prescribed by podiatrists to help with foot and leg alignment, your footwear needs to compliment the orthotic to work as one unit. Some features of shoes that accommodate orthotics are:
- removable foot bed/ insole
- depth around the heel area
- any form of attachment on top of the foot e.g. strap/laces/t-bar etc.
Custom-made versus low-cost orthotics
Buderim podiatry has access to a wide range of orthotics, some are pre-formed and can be moulded to the foot, some conditions warrant custom-made orthotics made from casts of the feet because of the degree of variability between feet. Having access to this variety of orthoses means we will work with you to find the best solution for your condition, footwear needs and budget.
Pre-formed orthoses offer less control than custom-made devices, are lighter weight and cost about 1/3 of the price of custom-made devices. Pre-formed devices have a limited life expectancy of 12-18 months when replacement may be recommended.
Custom made devices are manufactured to our prescription from casts taken when the foot is held in a corrected position. These orthotic shells last approximately 3-5 years, and give superior control of the foot for conditions requiring extra control of foot motion.
Why have a podiatrist prescribe orthotics?
A podiatrist is trained in the science of ‘biomechanics” this is the application of anatomy and physics in the study of gait and posture. No other profession studies foot anatomy and biomechanics in as much depth as podiatry, the qualification being a 4 year University degree.
When to wear orthotics
If orthotics are prescribed some people will need to wear them for sports or school shoes only. Some conditions are self -limiting and orthoses will be worn for symptomatic relief only.
Some stages of childhood development need orthoses at various intervals, depending on the condition. Once the growth spurt has stopped so might orthoses wearing.
Your podiatrist will discuss these concerns and your footwear needs before long term orthotic treatment is prescribed.
How are orthotics made?
Custom-made orthoses are manufactured in an off site laboratory to a prescription from your podiatrist. The Orthotics laboratory has a podiatry adviser should a difficult case present that requires further consultation.
The hand crafting of orthoses taken from casts of feet is the gold standard in orthotic manufacture.
It is as accurate and repeatable as the skills of the prescribing podiatrist. Small adjustments and detailed finishings are done at the practice on fitting of the devices.
Fitting and breaking in of orthotics
Orthotic devices do require fitting into the footwear as discussed through the consultation process.
Please bring your shoes to the fitting appointment and any review appointment.
It usually takes 2 weeks from the time of casting the feet to fitting orthoses, however a faster service is available if required.
There is usually a breaking in process for any new orthotic over a 2-3 week period. Please consider this time if new orthoses are required before a long holiday or major sporting event.
We prefer to do a review appointment after your breaking in time to gauge the level of symptom relief and check if any minor adjustments or further advice is required.