FOOT PAIN &
FOOT PAIN -
WHAT ARE FOOT ORTHOTICS?
a podiatry standpoint, foot orthotics are used to treat foot
pain and certain foot problems caused by the incorrect positioning
of the foot while standing, walking and/or running. The functional
orthotic is designed to hold the foot straight with the leg with
your foot is on the ground and the other foot is passing by during
walking and running. This position is called the neutral position
and it is the same position that that Podiatrist should cast
you in making the orthotic.
Podiatric doctors must
spend considerable amounts of time while studying to become foot
specialists on biomechanics of the foot and specifically how
to realign the foot using a foot orthotic. For the patient, not
only does most insurance companies cover the cost of a foot orthotic,
if medically necessary, but also almost 90% of the time the devices
require no further adjustment by the doctor. If you need to get
foot orthotics, go to a Podiatrist first and not last. In getting
foot orthotics from a Podiatrist, make sure you ask the doctor
about follow-up. The answer you should hear from the doctor is
that follow-up is included and the device will be replaced with
a new one if it turns out to be not working correctly after repeated
adjustments. In addition, make sure that the doctor examines
your feet from a biomechanical standpoint so the best orthotic
can be made for you based on your unique anatomical design.
In getting a foot orthotic
made, only get a device made from the Podiatrist and not a back
office assistant or by the guy in the white coat at the county
fair. The orthotic should be made by a slipper cast of each foot
that is taken with the patient sitting and the foot correctly
set in place by the doctor. If the doctor wants you to place
your foot into a foam mold, tell the doctor you only what the
cast taken of your foot or you do not want foot orthotics made
by the doctor. Placing the feet into foam boxes produces a very
inaccurate device and you probably will end up going to another
Podiatrist unhappy and your feet still not improved.
As a patient you must
understand that there is no regulation of foot orthotics and
any one can say they are an expert and sell insoles trying to
make out the devices are the same as the devises you get from
a Podiatrist. The fact is that unless the device is a functional
device from a cast of your foot, the usual outcome will be that
you purchased an expensive pad for your shoe when a pair of $8
silicone insoles from the drug store would have worked just the
TO DRESS TYPE FOOT ORTHOTICS:
An athletic device is designed to provide maximal support. A
dress shoe device is fabricated to fit into a dress shoe that
has minimal room inside and to accommodate a one and a half inch
heel. In considering orthotics for athletic and dress types,
there are many to choose from in each category. There are different
covers that go on top of the hard shell of the device and different
extensions that extend beyond the end of the orthotic. The most
successful method is to end the top cover where the device ends
and to use a separate pad to cushion the ball of the foot. This
way, the device can be moved from shoe to shoe and the toe box
can be of different sizes and the devices will still drop in
effortlessly. For a new athletic shoe, cut the pad that is removable
about a half inch in front of where the heel part of the orthotic
ends. This will allow the device to rest on the bottom of the
shoe and will help the device to work more effectively. The concept
is that the device keeps the inside of the foot from rolling
to the ground and thus preventing the foot from flattening out
and the knee turning inward.
Lady's dress foot orthotics
are much thinner and narrower than athletic devices and as such,
do not have the same amount of support of an athletic orthotic.
However, dress shoe orthotics are helpful enough that they are
worth using if dress shoes have to be used most of the time for
long periods of walking and standing. Generally, dress devices
are only used when the patient plans to use the devices more
than just the occasional night our or going to church on Sundays.
Dress orthotics typically are too narrow for athletic shoes and
the athletic devices are usually too wide and high for dress
shoes. Before deciding which type of devices is best for your
situation, discuss the activity you plan to use the device for
and your job description with the Podiatrist prior to having
the doctor casting you for orthotics.
© 1999 PLACENTIA-LINDA FOOT AND ANKLE GROUP PODIATRY ASSOCIATES.
All rights reserved.
1275 North Rose Drive Suite 136, Placentia
51280 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda
North Orange County Cities of Yorba Linda (92886, 92887), Anaheim Hills (92807, 92808),
Fullerton (92831, 92832,92833, 92834, 92834, 92835, 92836) and
Brea (92821, 92822, 92823).