From the BSMC Blog

Do I need Orthotics?

by | Feb 24, 2021

“Hi, do I need Orthotics?”

This is one of the most common questions that we get asked as a Podiatrist. 
To answer that question, our clients will go through an extensive biomechanical assessment looking at how your foot functions during activity. We take into account injuries, strength and any restrictions to your foot’s function. 

What are orthotics used for?

Orthotics can be used for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, they are used to control the foot as we enter a weight bearing stage and make sure the body’s pressure is evenly distributed. By modifying the function of the foot we are able to reduce the risk of injury and operate in the most biomechanically efficient way.

Common conditions where orthotics can be an effective treatment
  • Plantar fasciitis 
  • Running/ sport injuries 
  • High arch feet 
  • Neuroma/ Bursa 
  • Bunion management 
  • Offloading painful corns and callus 
What is the difference between orthotics at the chemist and the ones that I can get from the Podiatrist?

When it comes to a custom fitting orthotic this is our gold standard of treatment. This orthotic is custom made for you! You can’t get better than this. We complete the extensive biomechanical assessment followed by a scan of your feet to produce a 3D image. From this image we are able to tailor make an orthotic.

Every addition can be specific to you, the orthotics can differ between left and right if needed. The design of the orthotic can be a lot slimmer than generic orthotics making it easier to fit into your everyday shoes.
If we prescribe you an orthotic we want you to be wearing this as much as possible to get the best outcome. This is why we take our time with our prescription and fitting process to make sure we get it right. We ask you to bring your footwear to the fitting appointment, such as your work shoes, casual shoes and exercise shoes. 

Orthotics that can be purchased from the chemist are ‘mass produced’. They do not take into account the specifics of your foot function, injury and pressure distribution. If not fitted correctly can increase the risk of injury.
My best advice if looking at generic arch support is to see a Podiatrist first before purchasing to make sure that this is the right choice for you.  

How often do I need to review my orthotics?

With all orthotics it is important to get them checked every 12 months. Depending on how frequently you wear them and how many kilometers you are clocking up weekly, your orthotics will compress over time, just like your shoes.
Other factors like your changing foot shape and size can also impact on your orthotics ongoing effectiveness. We want to make sure that we are accommodating your foot’s ongoing needs. 

Taking your orthotics to your footwear fitting is also very important. If you wear orthotics this needs to be taken into account when finding the right shoe for you. Make sure that you see a team that is trained in fitting orthotics to your shoes, this includes your casual and work shoes too. 

If you have any questions regarding orthotics please don’t hesitate to get in contact.
Marney Cowell – Podiatrist 

[email protected]