What is an orthotic?
An orthotic is a custom made insole designed to support and control the motions of your foot. Through control of the foot, orthotics can also affect the knee, hip, pelvis and back by promoting proper leg and hip mechanics. The orthotic is made from a variety of materials based on the needs of the patient. A firmer device will deliver control and support while a softer device will provide shock absorption and comfort.
Who would use an orthotic?
Orthotics can be useful for a wide range of individuals including:
- Individuals / athletes with knee pain.
- Workers required to be on their feet with arch pain.
- Individuals experiencing hip pain or knee pain associated with walking or standing.
- Individuals with plantar fascitis, heel/arch pain, metatarsal pain, or shin pain.
- Individuals with bunions or prior bunionectomy.
Pain in your foot, ankle, knee, hip, or back may be a symptom of improper lower extremity movement patterns. Orthotics may decrease symptoms in these areas through controlling lower extremity alignment by controlling the foot.
Once deemed as a possible treatment approach, the physical therapist will perform an evaluation and discuss your choice of footwear and desired activities. From this evaluation and discussion, the physical therapist will determine the objectives of the orthotic specifically for you.
At this point the physical therapist will analyze your movement patterns, take measurements and make a cast impression of your foot. Obtaining this information allows the orthotic to be custom made for your foot assuring the best possible fit. The cast and related measurements will then be sent to be custom made.
Once received, the orthotic will be fit to you and your shoe. The physical therapist will reassess your movement patterns after the orthotic is inserted to ensure proper function. Orthotics are effective when utilized in concert with other physical therapy procedures in achieving the best possible outcome for you.