Foot orthoses are shoe inserts designed by podiatrists to support, align, or improve the function of the foot.
There are many different kinds of orthotics. Those recommended by your podiatrist are often prescription devices, custom-made to suit your individual needs and biomechanics (the way your body moves). However depending on your situation, non-prescription prefabricated or semi-customised devices may be adequate.
People of all ages with a variety of foot or related lower leg or back problems wear orthotics. Sports people are often prescribed orthotics to help maximise their performance, as well as to address mechanical problems. Children may also be given orthotics to improve foot posture whilst their skeleton develops. Anyone suffering from a chronic foot or lower limb condition, which is limiting their mobility or independence, may benefit from wearing orthoses.
Your podiatrist may prescribe orthotics for your particular foot problem after a comprehensive assessment, taking into account your own biomechanics, footwear, and occupational and lifestyle factors.
Orthotics provide valuable long-term solutions in the treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of acute and chronic foot conditions such as heel pain, tendon and muscle pain, recurrent ankle sprain and foot and ankle stress fractures, by providing consistent postural control. Orthotics may also help reduce the occurence of corns, callous and ulceration by redistributing the pressure of the body’s weight on the feet.