What is a custom orthotic and what does it do?
A custom made orthotic is a medical device made of a variety of materials depending on the person’s condition, activity levels, weight, and alignment as well as multiple other factors. It looks like the insole that comes out of your shoe. The goal of a custom made orthotic is to correct a person’s gait to the most efficient movement possible in order to reduce stress and disperse forces throughout their feet, ankles, knees, hips and back. One pair of custom orthotics typically lasts about 3-5 years and it should be able to fit into a variety of footwear.
What makes a custom orthotic custom?
Some companies claim that they are selling you a custom insole or custom orthotic just by standing on a pressure mat or giving your shoe size. These insoles only consider 2 dimensional measurements (length of your foot and width of your foot). What makes an orthotic custom is considering all 3 dimensions of your foot: the length, width and height of your foot and arch. In order to do that, a mould of your foot must be taken. There are many ways of doing this, including plaster slipper, wax or foam box casting. Once the mould is taken, it is filled with plaster of paris and left to dry so that we are left with a positive cast of your feet which the orthotics are actually built on, using a combination of heat moldable materials. We then end up with a pair of custom orthotics that will only be comfortable for you!
What takes place during an assessment?
During an assessment Laura will look at a variety of things: the range of motion in your feet and ankles, your alignment when standing, and she will watch you walk. Laura is looking for areas that have too much movement, or not enough movement, that is potentially causing discomfort in your feet, ankles, knees or lower back and hips. She will discuss with you possible treatment options which may include: custom orthotics, a change in footwear, compression socks, a stretching regime, etc. Any necessary casts or measurements will be taken at this appointment.
**Most extended health care plans have full or partial coverage for custom made orthotics**