Orthotics – Everything you need to know
Production of Custom Orthotics:
The production of custom orthotics is an exacting process and determines whether or not you receive quality devices that will best treat your condition. As with everything, there are well-made orthotics and poorly-made orthotics. The ability of an orthotic device to eliminate your pain is dependent on the quality of the orthotics.
What is Involved In Producing Custom Foot orthotics?
The most important factor in designing foot orthotics that will provide optimum function is an orthotic prescription based on a thorough examination by an experienced and knowledgeable practitioner. I cannot emphasize this enough. The exam should include a complete biomechanical examination and gait analysis.
Following a biomechanical and gait examination, there are three important components to ensure you receive the best possible orthotic devices:
1. An accurate cast of your foot must be taken. This is a VERY exacting process as your foot must be placed in a precise position to ensure the best clinical outcomes. To help ensure that a proper cast is taken, we feel that the Podiatrist, and not a technician, should take the cast of your foot.
2. A proper prescription must be written to accommodate your biomechanical problems, your activities, and your shoes. This process requires that an exacting gait evaluation and biomechanical examination be performed.
3. A high-quality foot orthotics laboratory should be used to produce your orthotics. This will ensure that the prescription is filled correctly, that the orthotics are comfortable, and that high-quality and long lasting materials are used.
Dispensing and Break-in:
Your Podiatrist should work with you to ensure that your orthotics are comfortable and are relieving your symptoms. They should also provide you information on the proper shoes for your feet. This will help you find appropriate, comfortable, and fashionable shoes.
One of the most important parts of orthotic therapy is appropriate follow-up. If you have a problem with orthotic fit, function, comfort, shoe fit or any other issue, your Podiatrist must be able to diagnose and correct these concerns. This is why a skilled, knowledgeable and experienced practitioner can usually provide the best clinical outcomes.