Orthotics or Orthoses are an in shoe device that supports or influences the foot in order to alter foot function. With so many different styles of orthoses it can be very difficult for the general public to know what their specific needs are when deciding on an orthotic.
Soft vs Hard, full length vs ¾ length, Custom made vs off the shelf; These are the many parameters that must be taken into account when deciding on the correct device to fix your lower limb complaint.
Read our blog on different type of orthotics – https://hunterpodiatry.com.au/which-orthotic/
The podiatrist’s at Hunter Podiatry Services follow a structured framework to ensure you are fitted with the correct device for your complaint all of the time.
What are orthotics
Orthoses are a weapon in the arsenal of load management.
As podiatrists, the most common injuries we see are overuse or chronic in nature. That is, they occur gradually over a long period of time. This can be a result of many factors including;
- Training error: intensity, duration, frequency
- Poor footwear
- Previous injury
- Poor mechanics/technique
Can orthotics reverse the fact you hit 5 hectic boot camp sessions the first week following a huge Christmas and no exercise for 3 months??? Nope!
Can they change the way your big toe loads and reduce the pressure irritating your little sesamoid bones under the joint?? Yep!
Orthotics work so well because they CHANGE LOAD
- Nearly every injury of the foot/ankle involves a change in LOAD for the worse; whether that be a direct force like that is the case in a car crash, or gradual OVERLOAD as a result of poor foot mechanics.
What orthotics do well is CHANGE LOAD to encourage efficiency and UNLOAD damaged structures (muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage and bone).
In some cases, this is only necessary for weeks or months and an orthotic can be used sparingly.
For others, structural deformities (Bunions), chronic forces (standing occupation) or global inefficiencies (hypermobility) require more regular use to manage and/or prevent injury.
We treat you as a whole. We always use Orthotics in conjunction with adjunctive therapies (taping, dry needling, mobilisations) and we recommend complimenting them with strengthening exercises for best results. We understand LOAD and how to adjust it to keep you active, whilst speeding your recovery.
In combination with training and lifestyle modifications, changes to footwear and structured rehabilitation, orthotics can prove the difference when managing lower-limb injury.
Orthotics may be an important piece of the puzzle if you have lower-limb pain, injury or deformity. Not sure if that’s you? Ask us!