Orthotics are custom-made medical appliances that can help correct or compensate for problems related to a patient’s abnormal movement. By changing unusual movements, chronic back, leg, or hip pain can be effectively thwarted.
What are Orthotics?
Orthotics are special shoe inserts that are prescribed by your doctor to treat problems related to your legs, back, or foot. Orthotics are generally relatively flimsy and can easily fit inside of your favourite pair of shoes. It is often possible to transfer your orthotics in between shoes, in order to get the most out of your orthotics.
Can I Buy Orthotics Over-the-Counter?
No — orthotics are different from the regular insoles that you buy at the pharmacy. They are a custom-made medical device that are superior at correcting your step in ways that over-the-counter appliances cannot. A doctor will often prescribe orthotics for somebody if over-the-counter treatments are not effective for them.
What are Orthotics Used to Treat?
Not everyone who is prescribed orthotics is suffering from similar problems. In fact, orthotics are rather dynamic devices that can be used to treat a number of maladies, including:
- Correcting deformities of the foot or ankle
- Helping correct the movement of the foot or ankle
- To provide an arch for flat footedness
How are Orthotics Made?
In order for an orthotic to be made, the first step will be for a cast of your foot to be taken. This is a special type of three-dimensional imprint of your foot that will capture the minute characteristics that are unique to you.
Once the model of your foot has been taken, the correct materials will be determined depending on the type of orthotic that you will need. Most orthotics are made from a hard material made from carbon fibres, which will then be covered with fabric before they are handed off to you.
Once your orthotic is made, you will be asked to come in for a fitting session, in which it will be determined whether or not your appliance is fitting you effectively. You will then be directed on the best way to introduce your orthotics into your day-to-day life.
Are Orthotics Uncomfortable to Wear?
Orthotics are not intended to be uncomfortable. However, as with many pieces of footwear, it will be essential that you break in your orthotics. Depending on your situation, it may take up to four weeks before your orthotics feel comfortably comfortable. At your fitting, you will be instructed on the best of course of action for you in order to break in your orthotics.
What to Expect From an Orthotics Appointment
In order to obtain a pair of custom orthotics, you may need to have a prescription from a doctor, especially if you are planning on claiming your orthotics on your health insurance. Once you have a prescription, you will be able to make a preliminary appointment which will involve taking a cast of your foot and a gait analysis.
From this cast, your orthotics will be made. This can take a number of weeks. After this, it will be integral that you come in for a fitting appointment to determine whether or not any changes must be made.