Orthoses are a type of shoe insert that control or correct structural abnormality within the foot. They may be used to treat many conditions such as heel pain, knee pain and sports-related problems. There are a number of different types of orthoses, with varying degrees of control. Orthoses are suitable for all age ranges, from children to the elderly.
Types of Orthoses
There are two main types of orthoses, these are:
- Casted Orthoses
- Non – Casted Orthoses
These are made specifically to fit the individual’s feet and requirements. An impression of your foot is taken, this involves placing your foot into a box in a position guided by the podiatrist. The impression is then sent to a specialist company who produce a cast of your foot, which they then use to make the orthotic, based on the cast. The podiatrist gives details as to the requirements of the orthotic, for example, a heel raise may be needed on one side.
There are various types of materials that can be used to make orthotics, including plastics and carbon fibre. The material used is determined by the individual’s need, for example, some people need a very firm insole if they are wearing it for high impact sports, whereas an elderly person with arthritis may require something softer. The podiatrist will decide on what you require after a full assessment of your condition and needs.
Non – Casted Orthoses
These are made on a large scale and are not made for an individual, they are ‘ready made’. These may be suitable for certain people and are often a good starting point if a person has not worn orthotics before. They are also cheaper than having ones casted. However, for an athlete or person with certain medical conditions, one tailored to your own feet may be preferred.
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