Foot orthoses are shoe inserts designed to support, align or improve the function of the foot. They are also often commonly referred to as orthotics.
There are many different kinds of orthoses. The orthoses recommended by your podiatrist are prescription devices, custom-made to suit your individual needs and biomechanics.
People of all ages with a variety of foot or leg problems wear orthoses. Sports people are often prescribed orthoses by their podiatrist to help maximise their performance, as well as to address mechanical problems.
Anyone suffering from a chronic foot or lower limb condition which is limiting their mobility or independence may benefit from wearing orthoses.
Your podiatrist may prescribe orthoses for your particular foot problem after a comprehensive assessment, taking into consideration your own biomechanics, footwear, occupational and lifestyle factors.
Orthoses may be beneficial in the management of acute and chronic foot conditions such as tendonitis, recurrent ankle sprain and stress fractures by providing consistent postural control.
If orthoses are recommended, your podiatrist will design a care plan. This plan will outline your diagnosis, the type of orthoses you have been prescribed, proposed footwear to wear with your orthoses, lifestyle changes you may need to make, as well as any additional treatment which may be required.
Podiatrists are the primary health care practitioners for disorders of the foot and lower leg, dealing not only with diagnosis and treatment, but also prevention and rehabilitation. When prescribing orthoses, your podiatrist will provide a comprehensive service to ensure effective foot care including:
- clinical assessment of your foot problem prior to prescription
- prescription of orthoses tailored to individual needs
- advice regarding exercises, footwear and training modifications
- control over prescribing, fabrication and fitting of your orthoses
- comprehensive follow-up and adjustments as required