Orthotics are defined as an orthopaedic appliance or apparatus used to support, align, prevent, or correct deformities or to improve the function of movable parts of the body [Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary].
Custom foot orthotics are custom in-shoe medical devices that are used throughout the world to treat foot and leg pains caused by poor foot mechanics. Foot orthotics have been used for over 150 years in Perth & Australia wide to treat painful syndromes of the foot and lower extremity and have even been successful in the treatment of lower back pain. Over this time orthotics have shown therapeutic effectiveness in treating multiple lower extremity conditions including:
Because of this experienced podiatrists and podiatric specialists often consider custom orthotics to be the most important non-surgical treatment of these foot and leg conditions.
The human foot is a complex anatomical structure that acts as our body’s foundation. This finely tuned body part can ‘lock’ to move us forward efficiently and ‘unlock’ to help our body adapt to rough or unstable surfaces. Over time your foot can change and create inefficient movement patters that lead to poor posture and alignment of the entire body.
Many people believe custom orthotics can only fix people with flat feet. This is not true. Despite orthotics being used Australia wide to treat excessive foot pronation (rolling in/ low arch) they can also help other foot types such as supinated (rolling out/ high arch) feet.
There is no single orthotic to fix all feet just as there are no two feet that are the same. Before a custom orthotic can be made an expert who specialises in the foot and leg must examine the anatomical structures to allow the correct orthotic device to be prescribed for the patient. Dr Rino Saint is university trained and an experienced podiatrist in the accurate examination and diagnosis of foot problems. Your feet and body are thoroughly analysed whilst walking, standing and non-weightbearing. Further investigations including x-rays, ultrasound, and MRI can be ordered to better identify and precisely measure the structures involved which all help guide the correct treatment. Should it be decided that orthotics are necessary to correct your foot problem or to provide pain relief your foot mould is taken. At Australia’s Foot & Leg Specialists we utilise traditional, accurate plaster cast techniques as well as the latest technology laser scanners and other modalities based on your individual needs. Once taken we work alongside the best WA orthotic laboratory who only work with podiatrists and podiatric specialists to provide the best quality and accuracy to our patients.
When done correctly custom orthotics are one of the best investments you can make for your health. They can last over 10 years or they can last less than 1 year depending on how active you are and how well you care for your custom orthotic. Most patients typically order new orthotics every 2-3 years and have different pairs for their different shoes. The best analogy when comparing custom and non-custom orthotics, is that of glasses. You may purchase glasses from the pharmacy, or you may see an optometrist and have prescription glasses made that suit your eyes. Orthotics are the same. The best results are often achieved by consulting your podiatrist, podiatric specialist or other foot health professional.
You can purchase over the counter orthotics from your local pharmacy and trial a pair of over the counter orthotics for under $100. These will typically provide some arch support, a limited degree of customisation but only come in a few sizes. These pre-fabricated orthotics often only act like a cushion rather then a true re-aligning foot support for painful feet.
Custom orthotics require a thorough biomechanical assessment by a trained podiatrist or podiatric specialist to accurately assess the problem and prescribe the correct device. Custom orthotics can be made from a wide variety of materials from lightweight carbon fibre and hard plastic to soft foams depending on the condition and degree of deformity to be corrected. Since custom orthotics are not ‘mass-produced’ and require individual moulding a pair of custom orthotics can cost from $300-$900 depending on the prescription. They also take time to be made ranging from 1-3 weeks. Your podiatrist should always be upfront with the costs involved in orthotic treatment and most health funds cover custom orthotics Australia wide as part of Podiatry cover. Some health funds cover a new pair every year. Please contact your private health fund for more details. Contact our team for Perth Orthotics Solutions.
No. Custom orthotics require space to work and a solid foundation to work from. Custom orthotics cannot be made to fit into your Jimmy Chu’s (high heels) or in thongs. With this disclaimer in mind most sport and work shoes can fit custom orthotics. So as long as you allow a little extra space for the custom orthotic your shoes will be perfect. For best results its suggested you try on your new shoes with your custom orthotics to ensure a proper fit.
Orthotics only work while you wear them so if you have difficulty finding shoes to fit your feet or are more aesthetically inclined then your orthotics allow your shoe choices to be, then you may consider talking to our Podiatrist about Foot Mobilisation Therapy in Perth. This gentle non-surgical treatment can help remove foot pain without custom orthotics or painful surgery and can even help reduce bunion deformities. To see if your condition could benefit from Foot Mobilisation Therapy contact our team to book an appointment with our Perth Podiatrists today.
Get better now, book an appointment with one of our experienced podiatrists today.