Custom orthotics correct faulty foot mechanics by normalizing motion and offering shock absorption. Orthotics are mechanical aids that fit into your shoes as comfortably as an insole - and they have the advantage of having been custom-made from precise imprints of your feet.
The feet are an individual’s contact points with the ground, so how they support the rest of the body is critical. Our feet have nearly 100 individual working parts, which all have to function together when we stand, walk, run and jump to provide proper stability and balance.
When a small problem develops in our feet, the subtle changes in the way we move can cause a chain reaction of adjustments in our posture and walking mechanics.
Some individuals may experience obvious symptoms of faulty foot mechanics which may include but are not limited to: localized foot pain, bunions or hammer toes, arch or heel pain, leg, ankle, hip, and knee pain, and back pain. Others may not have obvious symptoms of faulty foot mechanics but may still benefit from custom orthotic therapy to prevent long-term problems. This may include individuals who spend a good portion of the day standing or walking on hard surfaces, individuals with a family history of foot related problems, and individuals who participate in sports such as tennis, golf, basketball, volleyball, or running on a regular basis. Faulty foot mechanics arise for different reasons ranging from genetic predisposition, to injuries and the normal aging process where ligaments, muscles and joints fail to support our bodies like they once did.
Custom-made orthotics can relieve many different types of pain arising from faulty foot mechanics, including:
Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are the most common causes of heel pain. These problems usually occur in pronated feet (feet that roll inward). Pronation forces the heel to strike the ground abnormally, and places abnormal stress on the heel and plantar fascia that causes pain which will become progressively worse. The custom-made orthotic is constructed to allow the heel to strike the ground in the correct manner by eliminating pronation, cushioning the heel, and supporting the arch.
The usual causes of arch pain are flat feet, prolonged standing, walking and running, and the normal aging process. Custom-made orthotics gently support the arch which can help eliminate or minimize arch pain.
Pain caused by running, walking, and other athletics
Custom-made orthotics keep the feet in their most efficient alignment, allowing the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments to work at 100% efficiency. They also protect the heel, arch, and forefoot from the unnatural and increased stress that prolonged running and sports activity produce. Whether it is to prevent problems, relieve pain, or increase efficiency, many athletes can benefit from custom orthotics to improve performance.
Pain related to Diabetes
Due to a thinning of the protective fatty pad on the bottom of the foot, circulatory problems, and decreased feeling (neuropathy), diabetics encounter more severe foot problems than non-diabetics. Pressure sores, chronic painful areas, and ulcers are best treated with supportive custom-made orthotics featuring modern materials that can eliminate pain, shield and protect painful areas, and decrease the chance of ulcerations occurring.
Pain experienced by senior citizens
The aging process affects the feet and ankles just as it affects every other part of the body. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments become loose and weaker; bones lose calcium reducing their strength; and the fatty pads on the bottoms of our feet, which protect and cushion the bones, become thinner and can nearly disappear. Custom-made orthotics will gently support the bones of the feet. There are special materials used in the construction of custom orthotics that can mimic the foot's natural fatty pad and eliminate the pain of protruding bones and bone spurs. Custom-made orthotics can support the arch and keep it from falling, thus preventing other problems and pains. Custom-made orthotics can also keep the foot from turning and twisting while walking, making each step secure and pain-free.
Ankle, Leg, Knee, Hip, and Low Back Pain
If your feet are not giving your body a balanced and efficient base of support, mechanical stress will be transferred to joints away from the feet resulting in painful conditions such as achilles tendonitis, shin splints, knee pain, hip pain, and low back pain.
While simple, commercially made devices such as heel cushions, or shock absorbing insoles for shoes can be purchased over-the-counter in drug stores or other retail establishments, they are made for the general public and may not be addressing the specific needs of your feet. The most effective orthotics are custom-designed devices specifically crafted to meet the needs of the particular individual. Mechanical dysfunction in our feet has the ability to put undue stress on other parts of the body, predisposing us to wear and tear and injury. Prevention and correction is key!
To help determine whether or not an individual is a suitable candidate for custom orthotic therapy, the following steps are taken at our centre.
An Advanced Computer Gait and Orthotic Analysis is performed. During this procedure, a computer scan is done of your feet on our foot-plate. The foot-plate has over 4000 sensors that can accurately detect what your feet are doing at every part of the gait (walking) cycle in terms of time spent in different parts of the cycle and pressure points. The static (standing) and dynamic (walking) scans give the doctor information about the mechanical functioning of your feet and how it may be causing undue stress on different parts of your body.
A History and Physical Examination is performed. A history of occupational, recreational or sporting activity is recorded. In addition, any pain symptoms are noted and then investigated through a physical examination involving muscular assessment and ranges of motion. A postural exam will also be performed to assess your overall alignment. Critical information gathered from the Computer Gait Analysis, history and physical examination, gives the doctor a good idea as to the suitability of a candidate for orthotic therapy.
Those suitable for orthotic therapy and wishing to have custom orthotics constructed for them will then have a foam impression of their feet taken. The foam impression is the final step involving the patient, and allows the orthotic lab to have additional information about an individual's arch and heel specifications. The foam impression is shipped to the lab along with the order sheet, which has any specific modifications or additions made by the doctor for a particular individual. The computerized gait analysis is also e-filed to the lab to complete the order.
This specialized and comprehensive process allows for the construction of an orthotic that is unique to the individual. It has been our experience that this standardized and systematic approach to custom orthotic prescription yields excellent results and high consumer satisfaction.
An individual choosing custom orthotics has the choice of selecting from different types of inserts. It is strongly encouraged that the individual choose a style of orthotic that will give them the most versatility and use in everyday activities. Shipping time is usually two to four weeks.
Many extended health care insurance policies fully or partially cover individuals for custom orthotics. You do not need a referral to be tested and examined for orthotics. However, you may need a medical referral in order to receive re-imbursement for orthotics from your insurance company. Our centre provides detailed estimate letters that explain: diagnosis, description of examination and manufacturing process, including raw materials used, lab information and credentials. Additional information such as the Biomechanical Examination and Proof of Manufacturing can also be provided if required. It is strongly encouraged that individuals examine the details of their coverage and be aware of any other criteria that must be fulfilled for reimbursement. Our chiropractic doctors are trained to prescribe and dispense custom orthotics.
Many people have experienced the benefits of custom orthotics. Let us help you to stay active, mobile, and healthy. If you think custom orthotics may be of benefit to you, book your Advanced Computer Gait and Orthotic Analysis today!