Whether you call them foot orthotics, orthoses or insoles, these devices can help treat many lower limb problems, improve lower limb function, and help alleviate painful symptoms. Unfortunately, every so often, we come across patients that previously had orthotics that didn’t help them as they’d hoped. It’s disheartening – and patients often begin to believe that orthotics just don’t work for them, without understanding why. Today, we’re sharing why orthotics may not have helped you previously, why you shouldn’t lose hope in them, and how our orthotics are created differently.
Why do some people get great results with orthotics, while others don’t?
Just like how ‘glasses’ can mean anything from those you purchase at the supermarket to ones that are prescribed by your optometrist, the word ‘orthotic’ can also mean anything from the pre-made one-size-fits-all orthotics, to the 3D-scanned and custom-prescribed devices that we offer here at My FootDr. When thinking about orthotics, we must consider where and who you’re getting them from, the assessment and diagnostic tools they use and have access to, how they create and control the quality of the orthotics, and their experience, knowledge and understanding of what you need.
For orthotics to have the best chance of success, they need to be made for the specific problems of the patient’s feet. This makes the chance of successfully treating foot pain less likely with off-the-shelf orthotics like those in a packet from the pharmacy. Similar results may be expected for heat-moulded orthotics – those created by heating the device, placing it in a shoe, and having you stand in it. While the heat-moulding may help them feel more comfortable in your shoe, they are unlikely to have any problem-specific features and benefits.
When it comes to custom orthotics, even these may not achieve ideal results if a diagnosis has not been confidently confirmed or all of the causes addressed. Despite being made specifically for a foot, custom orthotics that are created to treat pain at a person’s big toe will look very different to those designed to treat pain coming from just behind the big toe – and having the wrong features can mean that you don’t see any relief in your symptoms. This is why it’s important to receive orthotics from practitioners that are experienced and confident with orthotic prescription, diagnosis and treatment.
How are the orthotics at My FootDr different?
All the orthotics created at My FootDr are done following a comprehensive assessment and video gait analysis by a qualified podiatrist. This means that your orthotics aren’t just made for specific pain, but all of the individual characteristics of your feet and legs, including any movement restrictions, muscle weakness and more. There’s no guesswork about the size of your foot or where your pain is – we 3D-scan every patient that is receiving orthotics to maintain accuracy.
Our podiatrists then monitor your progress to ensure you’re getting the results and relief you want, and can adjust and make changes to the orthotics to help your progress, too. Your orthotics can often be moved from shoe to shoe, though many prefer to get multiple pairs made to keep in the different pairs of shoes they wear most often. This is often very affordable, with many private health funds offering a rebate for a new pair of orthotics every year and our low-gap custom billing.
Are you ready to see what professional orthotics can do?
If you’ve tried orthotics that haven’t worked for you before, we highly recommend coming in for a consultation with our My FootDr podiatry team. We’ll perform a comprehensive assessment to diagnose your problem and the likely causes, and see if orthotics could be a good treatment option for your feet and legs. We’re happy to look at your previous orthotics and discuss these with you, too.
If you’re entitled to a health fund rebate for orthotics, make sure to get in before the end of the month when many health funds tick over and you lose any unclaimed rebates. You can book online here or call us on 1800 FOOTDR.