foot stepping on custom orthotics in Melbourne

How do orthotics work for correcting foot conditions?

If you’re considering getting custom orthotics to correct a foot or other lower limb condition such as plantar fasciitis, you might be wondering how orthotics work.

How Your Body Gets Out of Alignment

A helpful frame for thinking about orthotics is driving in your car to a specific destination along a predefined route. You’ll be following a GPS, and then suddenly you miss your turnoff. The blue line goes one way but the dot that’s you goes a different way and your GPS thinks for a second, then it recalibrates a different way of getting to the same destination.  

Your body does exactly the same thing – if there’s anything blocking movement in your foot or your knee or your hip or something like that, your body will find a different way of allowing you to keep walking, or running, or whatever movement you need to do. 

This compensation by the body can be good short-term in helping you get around, but long term can lead to chronic pain and conditions such as foot injury or ankle or knee condition.

Where Custom Orthotics Come In

Oftentimes, what we need to do is take away this thing that’s impeding your motion so you can get back to walking as normal and get symmetry back and get economy of motion back. 

But in order to do that, we have to use orthotics to change the way your foot and the ground interact. It’s quite simple when you boil it down to that. 

The other thing that orthotics do is decrease the amount of loading on your tissue so they don’t have as much to recover from. This makes it less likely that you’ll develop an overuse injury, like a stress reaction, shin splints, a stress fracture or any other sort of mechanical problem that comes from long term, low grade loading of the tissue. A little bit of what we might call too much too soon.

Do you need orthotics for your lower limb condition?

You can learn what Dr Richard Chasen answers to the question of Do I Need Orthotics For My Feet? here.

But if you’re experiencing chronic pain in your feet, ankles, or knees there’s a good chance custom orthotics can help. But the only way to know for sure is by consulting a professional podiatrist.

If you’re in the Melbourne area, you can get a Gap-Free Assessment at The Lower Limb Clinic. Simply click here or call us on 03 9532 7455 and we’ll try and fit you in this week.