Orthotics: What Are They Used For And How Do They Work?

Orthotics How Do They Work

Orthotics: What Are They Used For And How Do They Work?

Do you experience pain or discomfort when walking or even just standing? Have you tried medicine and the pain just seems to persist? If so, you should visit a podiatrist and ask them about orthotics. 

What are orthotics? An orthotic is a medical device that is inserted inside your shoe to prevent the bones of your feet from abnormal pressure. Here is a quick guide on how they work:

How Do Orthotics Work?

After having foot problems like fallen arches, the structure of your feet could change. This could result in abnormal motion, or rolling of your feel. As such, when you move, the feet and ground pressure cause pain in these areas. 

That’s where orthotics come in. Orthotics reposition the structures in the foot to help them move properly. Not just that, but they also spread the body weight evenly on your foot thereby giving relief from heel pain, foot, hip, lower back pain, and ankle fracture pain. 

Where can you find them? They can be purchased over the counter at your nearest pharmacy. However, it is important to note that sometimes over-the-counter orthotics don’t work well. At this point, you will need to visit a podiatrist who will custom-make the shoe inserts for you. Such a shoe will be tailor-made for your exact foot problem. 

Different Types of Orthotics and What They Are Used For

There are three different major types of orthotics and they are all meant for different functions. Some are aimed at optimizing the functionality of the feet,  others are for protection, and lastly a combination of control, protection, and optimization of the feet.

1). Rigid Orthotics

These are usually used to control movements in the joints below the ankle. They are tough and barely wear out or lose shape. They cover the foot from the toes to the heels.

What Are Rigid Orthotics Used For?

They control joint movements. They are frequently made of sturdy materials like carbon fibre or plastic. The podiatrist takes an image of the feet using a plaster cast, then creates the rigid orthotics from a mould. This way, they control motion in 2 or more foot joints lying below the ankle joint. 

Orthotics How Do They Work

2). Semirigid Orthotics

These are made with layers of soft material reinforced with more rigid materials. They are mostly used by sportspeople. They offer support during movements 

What Are Semi-rigid Orthotics Used For?

Semi-rigid orthotics give your feet balance while you walk or play sports. Children are frequently given semi-rigid orthotics to treat flatfeet and in-toeing or out-toeing issues.

3). Soft Orthotics

These are made from soft compression materials and are sometimes known as “accommodative orthotics.” They offer padding on the feet to relieve pressure from painful or uncomfortable areas caused by ailments like plantar fasciitis or diabetic foot ulcers. You might need to wear soft orthotics with your prescribed footwear due to their bulk

What Are Soft Orthotics Used For?

These are used for the treatment of various foot diseases like arthritis, diabetic foot, and deformed feet. Their function is to relieve pressure or help sores heal faster. Your shoes must have extra space for them to fit in so that they can protect against shock and pressure.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, orthotics do one of 2 things: Either support the abnormal movement of your feet by aligning and promoting normal foot movement (rigid orthotics). Or, on the other hand, they cushion and provide comfort that your regular insoles that come with your shoes can’t. 

Podiatry Practice Camberwell

Foot pain isn’t normal! If you’re having any issues with balance, pain, posture, or alignment, Podiatry in Camberwell is just what you need. Talk to the podiatrists at Upwell Health Collective: We are a 7X award-winning company. 

Please get in touch with us on (03) 8849 9096 or book an appointment today.

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