Orthotics are a well-known treatment option by most people for various problems. There are various types available which include insoles that you can buy from a sports store or chemist, prefabricated orthotics and custom orthotics.
Orthotic therapy can be used to treat a variety of issues including:
- Offloading areas of high pressure which may be susceptible to callus, corns or wounds.
- Injury prevention and management by supporting the affected structures.
- Assisting with the alignment of the back, hips, knees, ankles and feet.
At Watsonia Podiatry, we offer both prefabricated orthotics (DOLA orthotics) and custom orthotics to meet your needs.
Prior to the prescription of orthotics, we will tape the affected structures in a way that mimics orthotic therapy as closely as possible. Orthotics are also never prescribed in isolation – we always try to tackle the problem from a number of angles to achieve the best outcome. This may include the use of shockwave therapy, trigger point dry needling, foot mobilisation therapy and strengthening programs.
Prefabricated orthotics are also commonly referred to as semi-custom orthotics, as they can be modified to a certain point. At Watsonia Podiatry, we have had great success with the DOLA orthotic range as our prefabricated option. Whilst a prefabricated is not initially customised to your feet, the DOLA range is able to be modified quite extensively to provide support.
These prefabricated orthotics offer a significantly larger amount of support and cushioning than insoles or orthotics that can be bought at a chemist or sports store. We offer both full length and ¾ length orthotics.
Custom orthotics are essentially ‘personalised’ orthotics that are made using an impression of your feet. This means that the orthotics are modelled and built to your feet and your feet only. Not every patient that we see will require custom orthotics, however, they are often the option that will provide the best outcomes, simply because of the fact that they are made specifically for your feet. We use a company called CadCam orthotics who are based in Adelaide SA for our custom orthotics.
I Need Orthotics – What Is The Plan?
Once we have decided that orthotic therapy would be the best option to help reduce your pain, we will then discuss whether prefabricated or custom orthotics will be better. A thorough biomechanical assessment is conducted when prescribing either prefabricated or custom orthotics to assess how your body moves and what we need to change. We assess everything from your shoulder and hip position, to your knee, ankle and foot function. We will also conduct a range of tests to determine what areas require work.
Prefabricated Orthotics – We have all sizes available on site and are able to fit them for you during your appointment. We ask that you bring in the shoes that you wear most of the time so that we can fit them appropriately, such as school shoes or runners. We have facilities on site including a grinding machine, which we use to adjust the orthotics or add support if needed so that they fit your feet and your shoes properly. A review appointment is then booked for 2 weeks after you have received your prefabricated orthotics to track your progress and make any adjustments as necessary.
Custom Orthotics – If we decide that custom orthotics are the best option for you moving forward, you will have 3 appointments booked for you:
- BIOMECHANICAL ASSESSMENT AND SCANNING: After we have conducted a thorough biomechanical assessment and relevant tests, we use the CadCam laser scanner to take an impression of your feet to generate an orthotic prescription, which is extremely detailed and extensive. You will be lying on your stomach and we will mark various spots on your feet that help with our prescription. The scans and prescription are then sent to the lab and the orthotics are produced.
- ORTHOTIC FITTING (2 weeks later): Once the orthotics arrive in the clinic, we fit the orthotics to your shoes and ensure that they are providing you with the support you need. We commonly use orthotics made out of EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) which allow us to modify them in the clinic. We make any necessary adjustments based on how they fit to your feet and how they feel to you. They may be a little uncomfortable to begin with, as your feet will be supported in a position that they are not used to, meaning that all of the structures must adjust to this.
- REVIEW (5 weeks later): At this appointment, we assess how you are going with your orthotics and make any adjustments that are necessary. However, if you are experiencing any new pain or pain that is above a 5/10, we can bring this appointment forward and fix this sooner.