17 Feb Custom Orthotics
Next time you put on your favourite shoes, take a moment to check out the insoles. Often times, you’ll find there’s not a lot in there! Manufacturers typically use thin liners or generic foam insoles that do not provide any support to the arches of your feet. When you purchase insoles from a pharmacy or department store, chances are very high that they are not a perfect match for your feet. Although there are some products that claim to be “custom fit,” this is not the same as custom made. Continue reading to learn more about custom orthotics.
How do Custom Orthotics Work?
Custom orthotics are contoured insoles placed inside your shoes. They are made with features that can provide additional arch support for flat feet, metatarsal support (for pain on the ball of the foot), and heel cups for sore heels. Excessive motion in these joints can cause the following symptoms:
- Muscular aches
- Sore feet
- Sore shins
- Achy knees
- Tight hips & lower back pain
If any one of these symptoms is present, poor mechanics of the feet and lower legs can be the cause. Custom orthotics can control excessive motion in the joints of the feet and ankles to prevent these problems.
The Soul of Custom Orthotics
Orthotics can be fabricated from a variety of materials to provide varying levels of support. At BioPed, we custom fabricate all orthotics at our on-site labs to ensure a highly customized solution – specific to each individual’s needs. Generally – there are 3 types of orthotics:
Soft Orthotics: Constructed of soft, compressible materials that help to absorb shock, increase balance and relieve pressure spots. They are easily adaptable to changing weight-bearing forces and are particularly effective for arthritic and deformed feet as well as in the care of the diabetic foot.
Semi-Rigid Orthotics: Constructed from materials such as flexible plastics, high-density rubber and other thermoformable materials. These orthotics are generally used when controlling excessive motion is the primary goal – such as for flat feet, weak ankles, high arches, heel pain, shin splints, knee pain, hip pain and lower back pain.
Rigid Orthotics: Constructed from a firm material such as a thermoplastic, these orthotics are designed to control excessive motion in heavier people or when footwear will not allow a thicker orthotic e.g. dress shoes, dance shoes, cleats and other slim fitting footwear.
How Can Custom Orthotics Increase Comfort in Your Favourite Footwear?
One the most important elements in custom orthotics is matching the shape of the insole to the individual’s foot to create the closest match. Custom orthotics must adhere to certain criteria to be considered truly custom. Your custom orthotics must be crafted with a 3-dimensional (3D) cast/impression of your foot. Standing on a flat platform is not a 3D casting technique and will not give you the benefits of a custom-made product.
BioPed Canadian Certified Pedorthists are specialists in assessing the need for custom orthotics and manufacturing them. Your Pedorthist will complete a thorough biomechanical assessment of your foot structure, gait biomechanics, lifestyle activities and footwear to determine what type of orthotic would be best for you. With our on-site lab facilities and tools, our Canadian Certified Pedorthists will hand-craft or adjust any aspect of your orthotic.
Whatever your personal or work lifestyle, think about what’s in your shoes and how a little customization could take you a long way to greater comfort, pain alleviation and injury prevention.