Custom Orthotics and Bracing
Just like the foundation of a house, the feet support the weight of your body. The three arches of your feet are subjected to significant strain with each step that you take. Over time, this can cause pain and discomfort, especially if there is misalignment or loss of structural flexibility. If left unchecked, this can lead to strain in other parts of the body such as the knees, pelvis and even the lower back.
Custom orthotics can help bear your weight and encourage proper walking mechanics to reduce the pain. At PhysioCore we offer a full-service rehab facility for the evaluation and fitting of custom orthotics. We will ensure that you get the correct orthotics that will address the biomechanical abnormalities of your feet.
What are Custom Orthotics?
Custom foot orthotics are medical appliances that are specifically designed and crafted to correct and control acquired or congenital conditions associated with imbalance or misalignment. They are based on mechanical assessment and are fabricated from a plaster cast of your feet.
Placed inside your shoe, either on top or in place of the original insole, custom orthotics fit comfortably and are generally concealed from view. They are meant to correct weight distribution and provide adequate support to the arches of your feet.
Note that custom-made orthotics are different from the off-the-shelf inserts, as those are not customized to your specific needs. Although off-the-shelf inserts provide structural support, there are cases that they do more harm than good.
Fully customized foot orthotics are made by certified experts who meticulously evaluate the mechanics of your feet, your gait, as well as the anatomy and biomechanics of your lower extremities. This gives them the information needed to fabricate your custom orthotics and come up with the appropriate treatment protocol.
How Do Custom Orthotics Work?
Orthotics work by supporting high-pressure areas, cushioning your feet, and stabilizing alignment. They correct abnormalities or imbalances by providing support precisely where it is needed. For example, if you have a flattened or pronated arch, a custom orthotic will be made to support the weakened or fallen arch. This will correct forefoot and heel alignment, thereby reducing stress in these areas.
After aligning the feet properly, you’ll feel the benefits through the entire musculoskeletal system, particularly in the ankle, knee, pelvis, and the lower back, if these areas were compensating for poor feet alignment.
Conditions That Can Be Treated Using Custom Orthotics
Foot orthotics can help with a wide range of conditions including the following:
- Heel spurs
- Bunion pain
- High arches
- Shin splints
- Plantar fasciitis
- Hammer/claw toes
- Achilles tendonitis
- Morton’s neuroma
- The discrepancy in leg length
- Flat feet or adult-acquired flat feet
- Excessive pronation or supination
- Compensatory joint and muscle pain (knees, hips, back)
What to Expect During Your First Visit
At PhysioCore, our orthotic services are rendered by registered chiropodists (foot specialists). They know how any abnormality or misalignment of the feet can affect the rest of your body. They are qualified to decide if your symptoms will benefit from the use of custom orthotics.
We will conduct an initial evaluation which includes taking a brief medical history, physical examination of your feet, lower extremity scan, and a functional assessment of balance and gait. If our chiropodist believes an orthotic will be beneficial, a cast of your foot will be made. It will be sent to our orthotics lab along with the information obtained during the initial evaluation.
You will be asked to return after a week for fit assessment so we can ensure that the orthotics fit properly. We recommend that you bring the shoes that you regularly wear, along with a pair of shorts.
How Will the Orthotics Feel at First?
You can rest assured that we will do our best to make your orthotics feel as comfortable as possible. When you wear your orthotics for the first time, it is normal for them to feel strange, but properly fitting orthotics must not cause any pain, redness or blistering. If any of these occur, take off the orthotics and schedule an appointment for an adjustment.
Bear in mind that symptomatic relief won’t occur overnight, but consistently wearing your orthotics will realign your feet and allow faster healing to occur.
If you have any questions, or if you wish to know if custom orthotics are right for you, please contact us at 905-882-1908. Our clinic is located at 9200 Bathurst St. Unit 27B Thornhill, ON. We look forward to helping in alleviating your pain and get you in tip-top shape as soon as possible!