Custom Foot Orthotics
What is a foot orthotic?
By definition, a custom made foot orthotic is a medical device made to control the way your foot functions. There is a significant amount of literature that can scientifically detail what a foot orthotic should be, how they should be diagnosed, and how they should be manufactured. At the end of the day, you, as the patient, have only one thing in mind--making your feet and overall body feel better.
A properly prescribed and manufactured foot orthotic inserted into your shoes will correct abnormalities in your biomechanical function (the way your body moves), thus reducing pain, providing support, and preventing these deformities from progressing with age. Keep in mind that foot orthotics not only alleviate foot pain but are a result of these mal-alignments in your lower body. You should strongly note that the wrong orthotic can actually worsen your condition or create problems that previously did not exist.
How will my practitioner determine if I need orthotics?
The first thing your practitioner will do is review medical history and conduct a very thorough "biomechanical evaluation". This evaluation will include a series of detailed measurements, not only on your feet but on your lower body as well. These measurements are critical in the design of your orthotic and cannot be underemphasized. Many practitioners will videotape your gait cycle on a treadmill for further analysis that can assist them in determining the right orthotic for you.
You will find that there are various methods used by practitioners to cast or, mold, your feet. Some practitioners utilize seemingly sophisticated, high tech digital scanning systems; some will have you step in a foam box; some will try and sell you something off the shelf without casting you at all. Don't be misled. Many of these methods do nothing more than tell the orthotic manufacturer what size foot you have! We strongly recommend your practitioner make a plaster mold of your feet taken in a non-weight bearing position. Once this plaster cast is completed it is sent off to the chosen orthotic lab with the biomechanical evaluation and relevant patient medical information for manufacturing. Typical delivery time of a finished custom orthotic is 7-10 days.