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Frequently Asked Questions

What are foot orthoses?
Foot orthoses are inserts for your shoes that are designed to support, align, or improve the function of the foot. They are also commonly referred to as ‘orthotics’. Orthoses fit comfortably inside your shoes. There are many different types of orthoses. There are preform orthoses that are ‘off the shelf’, but we recommend prescription orthoses, that are custom-made to suit your individual needs.

How do orthoses work?
The main purpose of an orthoses is to improve our foot function and for most people orthoses will reduce pain and will help prevent future problems and injury. Orthoses do a lot more than just supporting your arches. They stabilise the foot and ankle, re-align the feet and restore faulty foot function. Additionally, orthoses provide an even weight distribution and take the pressure of sore spots from heels, ball of the foot, corns and between toes, and bunions. Orthoses also support the transversal arch of the foot. I.e. the arch that runs across the forefoot, formed by the metatarsal bones. As a result of excess pronation, the forefoot structure tends to collapses, which means the metatarsal bones drop, causing problems in the ball of the foot.

What type of orthoses?
There are two main types of orthoses: off –the-shelf(generic) devices such as those sold in shoe shops, chemists and some podiatry clinics, and custom made devices (both soft and firm) which are far more complex and are made specifically for your feet. These are available in a variety of shapes and styles to suit your lifestyle and footwear.

Custom made orthoses versus off the shelf orthoses?
Custom made orthoses are the result of your relevant history, a biomechanical assessment of your gait and plaster casts or scans of your feet. The shell of our custom made orthoses are created from polypropylene or carbon fibre, materials which are harder wearing and last at least 3-5 years for adults, usually longer with normal wear. Because these devices are custom made they will accommodate your lifestyle and level of physical activity. Custom made orthoses can also be adjusted as required, usually after 12 to 18 months of use.
Off-the-shelf (pre-form) devices are of a generic design and are sized from small to extra large. These devices generally have a shorter life than custom made orthoses. Whilst perform orthoses do not offer the same level of specificity of function they can offer quick and short term pain relief. We offer a range of orthotics at the Narelle Montgomery Podiatry, dependent upon the nature of the problem being treated, the cause of the problem and the lifestyle of our patient. A thorough biomechanical assessment of the patient is always essential before a decision on the most appropriate style of orthoses can be made.

Who wears Orthoses?
People of all ages with a variety of problems of the feet or lower leg wear orthoses. Sports people are often prescribed orthoses by their podiatrist to correct their gait pattern, to help maximize their performance and to help their recovery from injury. Anyone suffering from chronic foot pain such as heel pain or a lower limb condition which is limiting their mobility or independence, may benefit from wearing orthotics.

When are Orthoses used?
Our podiatrists may prescribe orthotics for your particular foot problem after a comprehensive assessment. They will consider the way your body moves (your biomechanics), your footwear, and your occupational and lifestyle environment. Orthoses provide long-term solutions in the treatment and prevention of corns, calluses and ulceration by redistributing the pressure of the body’s weight on the feet. Orthoses also help with the rehabilitation of acute and chronic foot conditions such as tendinosis, recurrent ankle sprains and stress fractures, by providing consistent postural control.

We have HICAPS available in our clinic, which means that our patients can claim from their private health fund straight away

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Contact Us

Shop 2/17-19 East Parade
Sutherland, NSW 2232

Tel: 02 9542 3491
Email: info@sutherlandpodiatry.com.au