What Are Foot Orthotics?
Foot orthotics refer to personalized devices created to provide foot support, alignment, and relief from discomfort while addressing various foot-related issues.
These specialized inserts are positioned within shoes and are customized to cater to the specific requirements of each individual.
Custom foot orthotics are commonly prescribed to individuals that suffer from any type of foot pain that is not responding to conservative therapy.
How Do Orthopaedic Insoles Work?
Orthopedic insoles or custom foot orthotics are built to suit your individual need and to fill in any gaps that your body may be compensating for. Sometimes, patients suffer from recurrent or ongoing issues with their feet due to compensatory mechanisms, previous foot injuries or fractures or poor control in foot pronation or supination.
Others spend prolonged periods of the day standing on their feet that creates fatigue in the intrinsic foot muscles causing them to become hypertonic and painful.
Custom foot orthotics are like shoe inserts or heel inserts. These custom insoles fit in the shoe of your choice to help with stabilizing of your joints, muscles and to correct gait when needed. They impact the biomechanics of walking by enhancing it to reduce the strain on tendons and ligaments.
Do I Need Custom Foot Orthotics?
To determine if custom foot orthotics are the right choice for you, it is highly recommended that you book an initial assessment with one of our chiropractors or physiotherapists for a full functional assessment of your posture, your foot mobility and observation of your gait.
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Common Conditions Treated with Custom Made Orthotics
Following symptoms could be treated using custom orthotics and shoe insoles:
This is one of the most common conditions that affects the bottom of the heel. Plantar Fasciitis is a condition affecting the plantar fascia, a layer of fibrous connective tissue that sits at the bottom of the foot.
Many people are affected by this condition annually and pain is usually described as a sharp stabbing pain, worse with the first few steps in the morning or anytime they have been sitting for a longer period of time. Pain is most commonly in the heel but can also present in the arch as well.
Another common condition of heel pain is Achilles tendonitis. This condition arises from repetitive strain and overuse injuries such as jumping and running. The pain presents in the back of the heel, where the achilles tendon inserts. Achilles tendinitis also commonly affects marathon runners and can be a debilitating condition.
Classically described as the feeling of “walking on a marble”, this condition affects the small nerves that are present between the bones of the foot, commonly the metatarsals. Also known as interdigital neuroma, a Morton’s neuroma is benign (non cancerous) and although the exact cause is unknown, researchers believe that compressive shoes or tight fitting toe boxes are a contributing cause to this condition.
This condition is often associated with sharp pain in the painful, specially during weight bearing activities and rarely at rest.
Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
Arthritis and osteoarthritis describes an inflammatory process affecting one or more joints of the body. There are many types of arthritis. Those affecting the feet can make it very difficult to walk and to stay active.
Symptoms of arthritis include pain with motion, pain that increases with more physical activity, joint swelling or redness and tenderness with touch.
There are treatment options available to slow the progression of arthritis and to help with pain management. Physical therapy through specific exercises can help with pain management and slowing of progression. Use of assistive devices and orthotics may also help with pain management of the condition.
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Hammer Toes – Claw Toes
Hammer toe affects toes number 2-4 most commonly where the toe gets stuck in a bent position at the proximal interphalangeal joint. Initially, this condition is reversible and can be corrected through simple exercise and assistive devices, however, if left untreated, it may be more difficult to fix and may require surgery.
The cause for this condition can be attributed to wearing improper fitting shoes, narrow toe box shoes that push the toes together. Hammer toe is painful and can present with swelling and redness, stiff joint that is unable to be straightened out, difficult with walking and formation of corn or callus on the top of the middle joint.
A bony bump that starts forming on the inside of the big toe is called a bunion. Bunions form slowly and over time and the normal position of the bone, ligaments and tendons change, resulting in formation of the deformity.
Causes can be attributed to poor fitting shoes, tight toe boxes and improper forces through the feet from repetitive activities and poor gait. If treated early, the progression can be slowed down or even stopped but if left alone, the bunion can become extremely painful, making it difficult to walk and may require surgery.
One of the most common sport injury, an ankle sprain can be either an inversion (affecting outside of the ankle) sprain or eversion sprain (affecting the inside of the ankle). An inversion sprain is much more common and happens frequently in ball sports such as soccer and basketball.
Inflammation and swelling is a normal part of an ankle sprain recovery. The body sends blood to the area to help heal the injured tissue. In the initial phase of the injury, alternating between an ice bath and warm bath is recommended to facilitate blood flow.
Use of bracing, kinesiology tape and oral pain medications can also help with pain reduction Seek care if the pain is unbearable to put any weight on, and you can not take a step, seek immediate care.
This describes pain on the inner side of the shin bone also known as the tibia. Shin splints are essentially a strain of the muscle that runs in the front of the leg and the most common cause is repetitive overuse.
This condition happens most commonly in individuals that are just starting their fitness journey or are getting back into it after a period of time. The muscle may not be used to the extra load that is being demanded of it and can strain from sudden overuse.
Two factors increase the risk of developing shin splints. One is having flat feet and the other is exercising or running using improper running shoes or worn out shoes.
Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)
Also known as Jumper’s knee, this is a condition that most commonly affects jumping athletes.
This condition arises from overuse and repetitive strain of the superior quadriceps tendon, where it attaches to the knee cap. It presents as pain right over or right above the knee cap and can be mistaken as knee pain that is derived from a knee structural dysfunction such as ligaments, meniscus or cartilage.
Luckily, this condition is relatively easy to treat with the correct diagnosis. If gait is an issue, orthotics can be used to correct for gait that may be putting extra stress on the structures of the lower body.
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How Should I Get Custom Foot Orthotics?
If after your treatment, it is indicated that foot orthotics are a good option for you, the clinicians will take a cast of your foot that will be sent to the lab for manufacturing. You will be asked to return when the orthotics arrive for a fitting appointment at no charge to you. This is to ensure correct use of the orthotics and to ensure they feel right for you.
You can order your custom orthotics in three easy steps as follows:
When you book your initial assessment for custom orthotics, our chiropractor will ask you a few questions to understand your need and issues that are causing you pain. An assessment of your posture, feet placement and foot arches is conducted to better understand your biomechanics.
A gait assessment will further reveal areas where your foot may be needing extra support. If our chiropractor finds that you are a suitable candidate for custom orthotics, she will recommend the type of orthotics that will benefit you the most.
Casting is done during the same visit. Our chiropractors will take a foam cast of both your feet and will ship the cast to our laboratory for the creation of the custom orthotics.
Fitting and Follow Up Sessions
The manufacturing process usually takes 2-4 weeks. When your orthotics arrive, our office will give you a call. You will be booked for a complimentary fitting session where our chiropractors will ensure the orthotics fit your shoes correctly and teach you the appropriate way of using your orthotics.
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Why Choose Fulcrum Therapy Foot Orthotics?
At Fulcrum Clinic, we stand behind our products and recommendations. A thorough and detailed assessment goes into the decision making process of ordering you the appropriate orthotics that will suit your need.
If the orthotics do not work for you, we have a fantastic relationship with the lab and can send them back for adjusting if need be.