Foot Problems and Orthotics
Our feet and their alignment with the ground can be be a source or pain and misery. However, much can be done to relieve foot pain.
Our feet can also contribute to metatarsalgia, ankle aching, shin- splints, knee, hip and even low back pain. Nature designed our feet to have long inner arches and an arch across the base of the toes. These arches provide shock absorption up through the legs and if they are not functioning correctly pain or overuse injury can result, especially in sport.
The shape of our limbs, e.g. squinting patellae, knock knees or bow legs can alter the way we walk and contribute to injury over time. Some times flat feet which may not cause a problem in youth can become a source of bother as we get older. Controlling our weight can be an important factor in managing foot pain.
Orthotics can be anything from simple additions to the insole of your shoe to a custom made device manufactured from an imprint or scan of your foot. Orthotics can also be of the "Off the Shelf' variety with many types available.
The orthotics provides support for the feet, which by improving alignment and controlling motion, reduces or eliminates pain in the feet, ankles, shins, knees, hips and lower back.
In combination with stretching and strengthening exercises, orthotics correct alignment in gait and prevent the developement of strain or pain. The style of orthotic that the physiotherapist will select is dependent on your injury, your foot type, lifestyle and footwear and these are prescribed following a full biomechanical assessment.
A Biomechanical examination involves:
- Examination of feet, legs, hips and lower spine
- Complete history and analysis
- Range of motion testing
- Alignment tests
- Gait analysis
- Foot wear assessment
- Recommendation of orthotic type considering your budget and preferred option
- Taking an imprint and fitting of appropriate orthotics.
Costs of Orthotics
Simple devices provided at the clinic cost from 20 to 50 Euro.
The cost of "Off the shelf devices" provided in your shoe size is dependent on type. It can vary from 35 to 100 Euro. Many of these simple devices are sufficient to resolve your problem.
Custom devices are made to a 'Neutral' imprint of your foot, either by Foam Box impression or plaster of Paris cast. The cost will be approx 300 Euro. This includes assessment, impression taking, provision and fitting. Custom made devices are sturdy, have a longer life and can be refurbished even after years of wear.
The Sandymount Clinic does not use the commonly seen force plate impression as this does not align the foot to neutral and from our experience is not the preferred option.
Properly designed and fitted footwear are essential to the function of your orthotics. At the end of the assessment, shoe recommendations are given. However, it is usually recommended to wait until you receive the orthotics before you shop, just to ensure the most ideal fit.