What Are Custom Orthotics for your Shoes?
They are inserts for your shoes that support dysfunctional movement patterns of the foot and ankle; as well supporting less than ideal foot and ankle posture. Custom orthotics fit into your shoes as comfortably as an insole. They have the advantage of having been made from precise imprints of your feet.
Custom orthotics works because they reduce stress and strain on your feet by bringing your feet back into proper alignment.
What is your Doctor looking for?
Your doctor will be assessing the posture of your feet as well as the biomechanics of your feet. In regards to posture, your doctor will be checking whether or not your foot and ankle are in the neutral and least stressful position.
The neutral position of the foot and ankle looks like this:
In the neutral position there is no angulation of the ankle joint inwards or outwards. This is the easiest position for your foot and ankle to be in because there isn't any additional stress on muscles and joints. The additional stress on the muscles and joints over time can lead to painful foot, ankle, knee, hip and back conditions. When an ankle is observed to be out of the neutral position, it is describes to be be in either a pronated or supinated posture.
Most patients that are fitted for custom orthotics are supporting ankle that is in the pronated posture or position. If you were wondering, a pronated posture looks like, it looks like this:
You'll notice that the ankles appear to be rolling or angled inwards. The opposite of pronation is supination. Ankle supination looks like this:
You'll notice that the ankles appear to be rolling or angled outwards. Your doctor will also be checking the arches of your feet too. In the next picture you'll see the outer (lateral) and inner (medial) arches of the feet. Both the outer and inner arches extend from the back of the foot to the front knuckles of the toes.
There is also a 3rd arch for your doctor to consider. Its referred to as the transverse arch. This arch goes from the knuckle of the big toe to the knuckle of the small toe.
It's important to know that there are 26 bones on your foot. We need those bones to work well in relation to each other in order for your foot to do its intended job. Poor foot and ankle posture leads can often times lead to poor foot and ankle biomechanics.
The symptoms of poor foot posture and poor foot mechanics can include any one of the following:
- Localized foot pain
- Bunions, hammer toes
- Arch/heel pain
- Leg/knee pain
- Hip or back pain - even neck pain
Custom Orthotics Ordering and Fitting
- STEP 1 - Consultation:
- Before you are fitted for custom orthotics our doctors consult with you. Our consultation is necessary to fully understand your problem. Also, a thourough consultation will point to possible causes of your problems. Understanding possible causes allows you to consider lifestyle or habit modifications so that you can experience the maximum benefits of your orthotics.
- STEP 2 - Examination:
- Before you are fitted for your custom orthotic our doctors will perform the appropriate examine to assess your concerns. An examination is needed in order to understand the specific modifications needed for your custom orthotic.
- STEP 3 - Fitting
- Our clinic has partnered with The Orthotic Group to provide quality custom foot orthotics. Our clinic utilizes a foam casting method when gaining a impression of the your feet. Your foam cast is then laser scanned in order to manufacture your custom orthotic.