Our Brisbane podiatrists excel in the field of custom orthotics, using years of knowledge and experience to prescribe foot orthotics that help to relieve the pain of various foot and leg conditions.
Often referred to as insoles and footbeds, custom foot orthotics are specialised shoe inserts that podiatrists prescribe
to help treat your foot and leg problems, as part of your overall lower leg management plan. Think of their role for your feet like the role
of prescription glasses for your eyes, except that you don’t necessarily have to wear them forever - they can be used as short, medium
or long-term treatment options depending on the severity and nature of your injury or condition.
The simplest answer is that custom foot orthotics work in whichever way your podiatrist prescribes to alter the way your foot sits and moves, in line with whatever goal your podiatrist is trying to help your orthotics achieve for you. This may look like:
Using the glasses analogy again, your orthotics work best when you're wearing them in your shoes for the purpose that they were intended for. Once your condition has settled down and you're pain free, then it is usually fine to wear the orthotics for 80% of time, particularly at times where you will be on your feet for prolonged periods of time like during work, sport, or running around doing errands.
Factors that are individual to you, like the nature of your injury, ultimately determine your long-term relationship with the orthotics. There are certain alternative shoe options with in-built arch support, like Birkenstock sandals or Archies, that compliment orthotic therapy for that 20% of the time that you're not in your orthotics.
To make custom orthotics, our podiatrists start by capturing a 3D digital cast of your foot, which is extremely accurate and precise (no
more messy plaster casting!). We then perform a comprehensive assessment and get all the information we need - from the muscle strength in
your feet and legs to any restrictions in the joints of your feet, to aspects of your foot posture. We capture your gait on our video gait
analysis software, and also complete an in-shoe pressure assessment. This gives us a complete picture of exactly what is going on with your
feet and legs in the context of your pain or injury.
Your podiatrist will then take all of this information to prescribe and design your orthotic using a computerised modelling program. We have control over everything, including selecting the best materials and design modifications that will help you get the best results from your orthotics. This design is sent to our orthotic laboratory where your custom made orthotic is either 3D printed using a nylon material, or milled out of EVA.
We always try to do our best for the environment, which is why we love that our 3D-printed orthotics are manufactured using a plant-based material (PA11) that eliminates 99% of the plastic waste generated by traditional orthotic manufacturing processes.
Once your orthotics are completed and returned to us, you then come in for a fitting consultation to ensure the device fits your feet and your shoes well. Any fine-tuning adjustments to make sure they are comfortable will be completed here, though we can also make changes over time as you start to wear them more. Given the orthotics are made for your feet they should be comfortable. If they aren't comfortable after a gradual wearing in process then this can be fixed by your podiatrist.
Our podiatrists are in control of modelling your orthotic device every step of the way so we ensure you get the best possible outcomes. We back every foot orthotic as we stand behind our clinical skills and will continue to work with you if you have any concerns regarding your orthotics.
Our team can even manufacture your orthotics into thongs — an essential for a hot, Brisbane summer.
The only way to truly know is through an appointment with your podiatrist. Orthotics can be incredibly valuable and helpful as part of a
treatment plan for many conditions and circumstances, but they are not needed by everyone. Here’s a list of common conditions that
often benefit from the use of orthotics:
Ankle equinus (commonly known as footballer's ankle)
Ankle instability and ligament strains
Balance and falls prevention
Calluses and corns
Fat pad atrophy
Iliotibial band syndrome
Limb length difference
Lower back pain
Medial tibial stress syndrome (commonly known as shin splints)
Tibialis posterior tendon dysfunction
If you are experiencing any kind of foot or lower limb pain or discomfort, give our support team a call, and book in for a consultation with one of our Brisbane podiatrists.