Orthotics refers to the use of specially fitted inserts to change the position or biomechanics of a person’s foot. The orthotic is worn in the shoe/boot on a day to day basis to alter potentially harmful and painful movements. They will provide support for the structures of the foot, including the arch, while standing, walking and running.
Orthotics can be provided in several different forms. Standardised, over the counter inserts are often used while there are also more personalised and advanced options available for more specific correction. At DUBLIN.PHYSIO we are qualified in prescribing personalised, specific, insoles based on a biomechanical assessment of your lower limb and foot.
Orthotics will alter the position of your foot and help to improve your biomechanics, which can contribute to a number of injuries in the foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back. Slight changes in these movements can have an overall significant impact on your body, especially in sports with repetitive movement patterns such as running.
For example, recent research published in 2014 (Sinclair et al.) found that using an orthotic while running, significantly decreases the amount of load and pressure going through the Achilles tendon, thus reducing the risk of strains and tendonitis.
Modern day shoes can often offer poor support to the natural arches in your foot. Years of wearing poorly supporting footwear can change the positioning of your foot and allow bad habits to be formed, causing pain and injury. Insoles will correct these habits, reducing your risk of injury. It is usually best to start wearing the orthotics for short periods at a time before gradually increasing this. The eventual aim is to be comfortable wearing your insoles for the entire day. This allows the foot to adapt to the new support without the risk of causing discomfort.
Your Chartered Physiotherapist with provide you with a programme of corrective exercises to help solidify any change made through orthotics. Therefore it is important to contact a Chartered Physiotherapist if you are having any pain that you feel may be related to your footwear.