What are orthotics and why might I need them?
Orthotics are insoles used for the treatment of foot and lower limb pain which is caused by poor foot mechanics. Foot type is mainly hereditary though some types can be acquired. Sometimes you would be prescribed temporary insoles or else the physiotherapist would recommend custom orthotics and this decision is made in consultation with the client. We would take into account the foot type, the site of the symptoms, how long the pain had been present, sporting activities, occupation, footwear type and cost.
What types are available?
We have a large range of off-the-shelf insoles in stock and custom insoles are usually ready two to three weeks after making the casts/moulds. We prefer to use the casting technique rather than computer scanning as scanning measures the foot in the problem position and casting captures the foot in its neutral or correct position. The chartered physiotherapist will recommend what shell strength is required. This will depend on things such as your age (less rigid as you get older), foot type, the reason for getting them and your weight.
Cost varies from €15 (basic off-the-shelf insole) to €260 + cost of making casts (full length custom insoles) depending on the type.
What conditions can be helped by orthotics?
Orthotics are used for the treatment of flat feet, tendon problems, bunions, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, metatarsalagia, anterior knee pain, hip bursitis, among others. There are always used in conjunction with a stretching and strengthening programme.