What are orthotics?
Foot orthotics are specially formulated medical shoe inserts designed to reduce/alter the forces acting on the tissues of the foot and lower limb.
It is a common misconception that the principle aim of a foot orthotic is to ‘hold’ the foot in the corrected position. Firstly, a foot orthotic (an inert material) cannot possibly hold the foot and there is no evidence to suggest this. Secondly, there is no one correct position of the foot to function in and no evidence to suggest any different.
What is known and understood is that human tissue (muscle,tendon,ligaments, fascia, bone) has the ability to withstand load and strain only up to a certain point before the tissue becomes injured. Take for example the plantar fascia (a tough band of tissue running the course of the arch) The role of the plantar fascia is essentially to support the arch of the foot, tying the front of the foot to the rear of the foot. If excessive elongation of the arch occurs, the plantar fascia is put under extra strain. If this strain is more that the tissue can tolerate it will become damaged and symptoms will follow.
A correctly designed foot orthotic should act to reduce the stress on the injured tissue by altering the forces acting upon it. In the case of the plantar fascia strain, the elongation of the arch should be reduced.
This is achieved orthotic wise by reducing how much the foot rolls in the way(pronates) and by having a correctly shaped arch profile.
When the excessive stress to the tissue is reduced it should allow the body to repair the tissue and thus symptoms will resolve.
We frequently design and prescribe foot orthotics for various foot and lower limb condition, here are the most common ones:
- Pain in the balls of the feet – Metatarsalgia /sesamoiditis /capsulitis /bursitis
- Pain in the arch or heel- Plantar fasciitis/ flexor hallucis brevis tendinitis/abductor hallucis tendinitis
- Fallen arches/adult acquired flat foot- Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction.
- Pain at the back of the heel bone- Achilles tendinosis/ Achilles bursitis
- Shin splints- Medial tibial stress syndrome
- Front of knee Pain- Chondromalacia patella syndrome.
- Outer knee/hip pain- Iliotibial band friction syndrome.
At the clinic we conduct a thorough assessment and analysis of the standing posture and walking/running gait. We look at the joint range and quality of motion and the muscle strength. If we deem your symptoms to be caused by increased stress on a particular structure or tissue we will likely recommend that you wear foot orthotics.
We prescribe either prefabricated foot orthotics or custom made foot orthotics depending on the objective and severity of the condition.
Orthotics are available for all ages and walks of life. They can be designed to fit a wide variety of shoes and address a number of conditions. For more information on our custom design process see the ‘process section’
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I booked an appointment with the podiatrist as I picked up a bad ankle injury playing football and was unable to walk. This turned out to be a torn tendon of my ankle.
Scott was very clear and concise as he explained my treatment over several sessions of mobilisation ,massage and functional exercises and I began to see improvement as each week went by. I'm very happy to say after 3 months of treatment I am now able to walk and participate in sport again.
Absolutely top notch service, a friendlier practice you will not find! Everyone is so pleasant and patient, they really listen to you and address your concerns like the true professionals they are. Very knowledgable and the results were fantastic. Highly recommend The Shand Practice!
Central location with on street parking outside. Great service and flexible appointments. I have been to the practice for various injuries and pains such as 'shin splints' and plantar plate issues. Treatment included; massage, acupuncture, review on how I was running (treadmill) and I was also given exercises to do at home and lots information and tips to stop the problem reoccurring. I would like to thank Scott as it never has!
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