You may have pain and discomfort as a result of improper alignment of the feet and legs, orthotics may be required to help distribute this force better and making the foot work more efficiently.
Orthotics can only form part of the treatment plan with changes to activity and footwear and strengthening exercises often required.
A biomechanics assessment will determine if you may benefit from the use of orthotics.
See our answers on frequently asked questions on orthotics below or contact Swan Podiatry and Orthotics in Darwin for more information and an appointment.
Our full-custom orthotics in Darwin use the latest in 3D scanning technology to produce a digital ‘footprint’ that will allow exact manufacturing of custom orthotics.
Utilising a dedicated orthotics laboratory, the orthotics can be made using a state-of-the-art 3D printer meaning lighter orthotics with faster rebound rates compared to older plastic/polypropylene devices.
Without having to use messy Plaster of Paris to take the casts of the feet, the digital image can be used in future if you require an exact replacement. 3D printing ensures less material waste (95+%) and is extremely environmentally friendly.
A custom orthotic is a specially made device to go within your shoe to improve function of your foot and ankle. The orthotic is designed to alter the current mechanics and alignment to relieve excess stress and strain on the lower leg and foot. The orthotic is ‘custom-made’ as the shape of the orthotic is made to the precise measurements of your foot with the use of a 3D scanner and exact correction added for exactly what each of your feet need.
Mostly we use either semi-custom or full-custom ‘functional’ orthotics. The semi-custom orthotics are tailored to your feet and are great for growing kids or adults who need only a mild amount of correction or support. Full-custom orthotics are made to the exact measurements of your feet using the 3D scanner and are great for people who require a larger amount of control to their feet or have a specific area that needs offloading. Both are made from a semi-rigid 3D printed material shell.
Mainly used in a hospital setting, soft ‘accommodative’ custom orthotics can be used to deflect pressure and spread load away from high pressure areas or wounds.
The more you are in them, the more they will help you; wearing them more at the beginning when your pain is improving is recommended. You should wear your orthotics as much as possible and should always wear them during the activities that were causing pain in the first place, ie. work or sport. That said, you do not necessarily have to wear them 100% of the time.
Your orthotics should never cause you pain, although they may feel uncomfortable to begin with. During the initial two weeks of wearing the orthotics there will be a small transition period where your feet aren’t used to them and they are not yet comfortable, this is why we encourage wearing them in gradually. After this, you should not really notice them in your shoes.
Usually five-plus years for a semi-rigid orthotic, but maybe only one to two years if made of a softer EVA. This does however depend on a few factors such as how much the orthotic is used, what material is it made of and how much force or stress the person is putting through the orthotic. Children may outgrow the orthotics after approximately twelve-eighteen months. It is best to have your orthotics checked yearly to ensure they are still fitting correctly and are still providing adequate correction.