Orthotic Options, Which One Is Right For Me?

When it comes to orthotics not all are created equal. So when trying to decide which option is best for your particular needs, here is a brief summary of the available options. 

Off The Shelf Innersoles/Orthotics

The entry level option is the over-the-counter or store purchased inserts/orthotics can add some cushioning and support. For some patients who are just looking for a little extra cushioning or to compliment an existing pair of footwear, these can be all that is needed. The limitation of these devices is they don’t address the individual need of each patient’s foot shape, biomechanics and are not designed to be pathology specific. 

Custom Orthotics

As the name suggests, these are completely customized to each individual, anatomy, biomechanics, activities, pathologies and footwear requirements. 

After conducting a thorough physical assessment including gait analysis, the orthotics are created by taking a 3D digital image of your foot using a 3D scanner. 

From there, your podiatrist will then design your custom devices in CAD software and then send them away for 3D printing. 

So Who Would Benefit From Custom Foot Orthotics?

Custom foot orthotics are used to treat many foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, ankle pain, arthritis, bunions, swelling, limb length discrepancy, and heel pain. 

In addition to lasting much longer then off the shelf innersoles, custom foot orthotics prescribed by your podiatrist are also eligible for a private health fund rebate, meaning the out of pocket cost may be quite minimal. 

Before you decide on purchasing an insole from the chemist or other retailer, book in for a biomechanical assessment for us to evaluate your feet. Not everyone requires a custom made device and many people do not require any device at all! In fact, some people will find store bought insoles actually increase their pain, not reduce it

Alan Wan

Alan Wan is the owner and principal physiotherapist at Anytime Physio. He completed his Bachelor of Physiotherapy with First Class Honours at the University of Queensland and has diverse range of experience treating sports injuries and painful conditions in the private clinic setting. He is currently enrolled as a PhD Candidate at the University of Queensland and RECOVER Injury Research Centre where his research focuses on complex spinal pain. In his clinical work, Alan has a special interest in treating chronic headaches and migraines as well as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). As one of Australia's leading physiotherapists in the field of rock climbing injuries, Alan and his wife, Joy, have a passion for assessing and treating injuries resulting from climbing. This includes finger pulley injuries, wrist pain, shoulder pain and knee pain. As a clinical leader at Anytime Physio, Alan is heavily involved in the teaching, training and mentoring of physiotherapists and podiatrists at the clinic. He enjoys sharing his clinical experience with other clinicians.

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