Orthotics are prescription medical devices worn inside the shoes to correct biomechanical issues of the feet (problems with how one stand, walk or run) and lower extremities. Unlike shoe inserts, they can only be prescribed by a podiatrist if other treatments or exercises do not work; therefore, they are recommended in extreme cases that other means recommended have not been able to correct. A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the problems of the feet.
Certain things orthotics are recommended for are; to correct foot deformities, help the foot and ankle function better, provide support to the ankle, and reduce risks for further injuries. They help with foot pain caused by medical conditions like diabetes, plantar fasciitis, bursitis and arthritis. Orthotics also helps avoid surgery to fix a flat foot.
Orthotics are not recommended until a procedure being has been carried out. After a complaint by the patient, the procedure begins when the podiatrist takes 3D images of each foot by casting it with plaster slipper cast or foam box casting followed by a thorough examination which may include watching how the patient walks and paying attention to details on how the patient’s feet, ankles, legs and hips move. The podiatrist can also recommend that the patient get an X-ray, bone scan, r MRI. When the problem is figured out, the podiatrist makes a mold of the tired feet to get the right fit. A professional then turn the mold into rigid or soft orthotics depending on which is required for the problem.
There are two types of orthotics. There is a rigid or functional orthotics which is made from materials like plastic or carbon. These are mainly used to ease foot aches and strains as well as pain in the leg, thigh, and lower back. There are also soft or accommodative orthotics that are made from soft compression materials. These ones are used to provide cushioning to take pressures off uncomfortable or sore spots from diabetic foot ulcer or plantar fasciitis.
Some of the orthotics are full-shoe inserts, while others are a smaller heel that fits into the back cup of the shoes. Ankle foot orthotics have shoe inserts and also an upright portion that extends from the heel upward and around the calf and orthotics can either be used alone or could be used with braces, other shoe inserts, or kinesiology taping. This is carried out as recommended by the podiatrist.
Here are some of the foot diseases orthotics can either lessen, the aid healing process, or correct:
- Arthritis: this causes feet discomfort and poor positioning
- Back pain: lack of cushioning and arches that roll inward can cause this
- Bunions: painful bumps developed at the base of the big toe
- Diabetes: this can make the individual lose sensations in the feet (diabetic neuropathy)
- Injuries: trauma to feet and ankles need extra support
- Plantar fasciitis: a common cause of heel pain.
- Hammertoe: it is a side effect of bunions causing second toe pain and deformed ball of the foot.
- Bursitis: it is caused by inflamed fluid-filled sacs in the heels and toes.
Orthotics are quite selective about conditions to help. It is not for every foot and ankle problems, and there are factors to consider for effectiveness sake like the training and experience of the person making the orthotics, the prescription of the doctor, the shoe in which the person wears them, and how often the person wears them. So, ask every question possible whenever orthotics is recommended to make sure everything falls in place and it is effective.
To consult orthotics In Surrey, BC book an appointment at Therapex Health Center
BY: Therapex Admin
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