When do you need to use custom insoles?
Have you used orthotics
before? You may know them as insoles specifically designed for your feet, but how do you know if you need them? Custom insoles are prescribed by podiatrists for a wide range of reasons, here’s a quick summary to help you assess if you may benefit from them!
What are Orthotics?
Custom insoles are specially shaped insoles that aim to correct foot posture abnormalities. They are designed to position your feet in an ideal ‘neutral’ position and evenly distribute ground forces, making standing, walking and running more comfortable and efficient. The goal of custom insoles will change for each person and each condition, which is why a proper assessment and diagnosis will be essential to the design of an orthotic.
What are the different types of orthotics?
There are two main types of orthotics you may get from your podiatrist: custom orthotics or prefabricated (off-the-shelf) orthotics. Here are some of the main differences in their ability to help manage foot problems and biomechanical abnormalities:
- Prefabricated orthotics: Non-customised devices aimed at providing a small amount of support to better spread the weight evenly across your foot. Many people can benefit from these devices, although the design won’t be specifically tailored to your foot.
- There will be a reduced chance given the individual nature of bunions, prefabricated orthotics will generally not be as effective in managing your big toe.
- Custom-made orthotics: orthotics that are individually designed to the exact shape of your feet. These will help stabilise, correct abnormal motion and put your entire lower body in better alignment. They will allow your big toe to function more efficiently and reduce the likelihood of your bunion progressively worsening
What can custom insoles help with?
Orthotics have a number of functions and can assist with many conditions. The use of the custom insoles will be individual and should be first assessed by your podiatrists. Possible uses may include:
How do we assess which orthotic is right for you?
There are a number of methods your podiatrist may use to assess if an orthotic is right for you:
- History taking: A discussion of your injury history, footwear and daily/weekly activities
- Gait analysis: A thorough observation of your walking (and, when appropriate, running) style. All biomechanical information will be recorded, which will allow us to assess how you move and what may be contributing to your bunion.
- Manual assessments: To assess the amount of movement and strength in your feet.
What are the important features of a well made orthotic?
- Properly contour the natural curves of the feet
- Provide adequate correction to keep your feet in a neutral position – this will be different for everyone
- They should be comfortable!
If you have further questions or think you may benefit from an orthotic prescription, book an appointment today with The Movement Centre. Our podiatrists are experts at managing foot & lower leg dysfunctions, and would be happy to help you get back on your feet!