What are Orthotics?
Foot orthotics take various forms and are constructed of various materials. All have the goal of improving foot function and minimizing stress forces that could ultimately cause foot deformity and pain. There are three broad categories of orthotics: those that primarily attempt to change foot function, those that are mainly protective or accommodative in nature, and those that combine functional control and accommodation.
How do they work?
Foot orthotics allow the muscles, tendons and bones of the feet and lower legs to function at their highest potential. When appropriately prescribed, orthotics can decrease pain, not only in the foot, but in other parts of the body such as the knee, hip and lower back. They can also increase stability in an unstable joint, prevent a deformed foot from developing additional problems, and improve overall quality of life.
- They are prescribed to:
- Reduce the symptoms associated with many foot related pathologies.
- Provide support
- Accommodate foot deformity
- Provide better positioning
- Relieve pressure on a certain area of the foot
- Improve the overall biomechanical function of the foot and lower extremity
Soft orthotic devices help to attenuate shock, improve balance and take pressure off uncomfortable or sore spots. They are usually made of soft, compressible materials. This type of orthotic is effective for arthritis or deformities where there is a loss of protective fatty tissue on the side of the foot. They are also helpful for people with diabetes.
Semirigid orthotic devices are often used to treat athletes. It allows for dynamic balance of the foot while running or participating in sports. By guiding the foot through proper functions, it allows the muscles and tendons to perform more efficiently. It is constructed of layers of soft materials, reinforced with more rigid materials.
Our pedorthist will provide a thorough subjective and objective examination combined with a Static Weight Bearing Evaluation to determine the present joint positioning, range of motion and strength/stability assessment of all joints of the feet, lower limbs and spine. This examination is followed with a gait analysis of the patient to determine the best possible design for a custom-fabricated product. helps to manage the patients present complaints, but also prevents further injuries and deterioration in future.
At the end of the assessment, the pedorthist will use foam box impression techniques or casting techniques to capture a 3-D negative impression of the patient’s feet and lower legs. This provides a positive and accurate replica of the patient’s feet which is then used to create the custom-fabricated orthotic.
Custom Orthotic Fabrication
Our Pedorthist manufactures the orthotics himself, using the highest quality materials. The materials chosen are specific to suit every patient’s condition and lifestyle. The pedorthist will then follow-up with each patient, as needed, to ensure the orthotics are providing appropriate corrections and desired effects. Modifications to orthotics are done right at the clinic.
Cost and Insurance Coverage
The charge for custom orthotics is $450 and are tax exempt.
Most insurance companies require a referral from your physician, so check with your insurance company before making an appointment. If this is not possible, PhysioNorth will communicate with your physician during all treatment processes and facilitate this referral process for you. The Pedorthist will provide a description of methods used to create the orthotics, as well as the gait analysis, which are typical documents required by insurance companies.