Custom foot orthoses are specially made shoe inserts whose goal is to support the feet and at the same time improve the posture of the foot. If you have a chronic leg or foot problem that interferes with the functioning and health of the foot, your podiatrist may recommend the orthoses. For instance, if you are prone to calluses, a custom-fitted shoe can be used to redistribute the pressure of your body weight. Orthoses are also won by athletes as a way of correcting their foot problems that could prevent them from performing well.
The internal foot gadgets are made from various raw materials and with the 3 dimension images of the foot. The goal of the custom foot orthotics is to accommodate various types of body deformities and alter the movement patterns of the foot as well as the lower limb.
Custom foot orthosis can be categorized into two types.
- Accommodative foot orthosis
This device is used by podiatrists to redistribute forces in a more even manner throughout the foot plantar aspect. The top cover and the shell used to absorb shock are usually constructed using some softer materials which are used to absorb shock. Since the orthotics don’t have a higher control level, they aren’t used when changing the lower limb and foot movement patterns.
- Functional foot orthoses
Podiatrists use these types of foot orthoses to change the foot and lower limb movement pattern. The shell of this type of orthoses is constructed using semi-rigid plastics. The top cover is made using softer material to ensure that the device remains comfortable. The good thing about these kind of devices is that they have higher levels of comfort.
Conditions treated using orthoses
There are various problems of the lower limb and foot that can be successfully treated using orthoses. These include
- Foot ulceration
- Corns & calluses
- Heel pain
- Recurrent ankle sprains
- Fractures of the leg bones and foot that keeps on recurring
- Pain at the front of the knee
- Some pains of the hip as well as lower back pain
There is need for orthotics to be individually designed. This is because each of the gadgets should aim to address the particular foot problem of the user.
During the stage of prescribing orthoses, the podiatrist will consider a wide range of factors such as:
- Any existing foot problem like calluses and corns
- Function and structure of the foot
- Biochemical considerations like walking patterns and posture
- The kind of footwear that the person commonly wears
- (the podiatrist will consider whether your jobs requires you to remain standing up for a long period of time.
- Lifestyle factor like your preferred sports
Orthotics foot assessment
Where foot orthoses are necessary, there is need for you to get a good understanding of the function of your foot. The podiatrist may start by examining your foot and a factor such as the foot joint’s range of motion, the strength of the foot muscles and where the bones are positioned in the feet. The medical practitioner will perform a detailed assessment of your foot.