Orthotics are specially designed devices that are worn inside the shoe to control abnormal foot function and/or accommodate painful areas of the foot. Properly designed foot orthotics may compensate for impaired foot function, by controlling abnormal motion across the joints of the foot. This may result in dramatic improvement in foot symptoms. Functional foot orthotics are usually made from rigid materials, such as plastics and carbon-fibre composites. They are constructed upon a plaster impression of the feet, and modified based on the podiatrist’s evaluation of your problem. Rigid orthotics have a variable lifespan, depending on the required activity. Additions such as top covers and extensions require routine replacement. Some patients, for example the very elderly, may not tolerate rigid functional orthotics. Under these circumstances, the podiatrist will prescribe an orthotic made from softer materials with special accommodations for painful areas. Many different materials can be utilized, such as rubber, cork, leather, and soft synthetic plastics. Custom orthotics that are prescribed by the podiatrist are made for your feet. Over the counter orthotics are made to a standard mould and do not fit the contours of your feet. Over the counter orthotics may help the occasional patient with minor arch discomfort, but they frequently fail because they do not properly control foot function. The consumer should beware of individuals with no or inadequate training. Unfortunately orthotics can be as useful as what they are dangerous. Orthotics should only be fitted by a qualified Podiatrist.
Not all shoes will accommodate an orthotic. Dressy shoes with a shallow heel counter (i.e the rear part of the shoe that wraps around the heel) may pose to be difficult. Women have more fitting problems than men, due to shoe fashion. There are specific elegant shoes that are constructed to accommodate orthotics, the styles may be limited though. Discuss your options with your podiatrist. Speciality footwear stores are usually very helpful in finding you the correct shoes.
There are many types of orthotics for various activities. Generally it is the most cost effective option to have an all purpose orthotic. This is not always possible as it is dependent on the activity and footwear. Kids orthotics must be prescribed, manufactured and fitted by an experienced Podiatrist. Should there be an incorrect correction made by the use of an orthotic it will follow you for life. “Our feet are our foundation”.
Orthoheel thongs are your compromise to wearing your orthotic 100% of the time. It is certainly not a replacement, however is better than barefeet.
They are available in a range of colours.
There are different types of orthoheels thongs and generally will fit most foot types. There are sizes to fit children as well as adults.
The sandal is available in a brown colour. These offer stability and arch support.
Sandals and thongs are available from Gait Way Podiatry and Brendale Pharmacy.
A range of socks and stockings are available from Gait Way Podiatry and Brendale Pharmacy. The compression stockings need to be professionally fitted once measurements have been taken. The socks are available in a range of colours and lengths.