What are orthoses?
Prescription foot orthosis are devices placed in the shoe, designed to correct abnormal foot and lower extremity function. Thus reducing the strain on injured structures in the foot, knee, hip and back, and therefore reducing pain in these areas. In addition, prescription foot orthoses help prevent future problems from occurring in the foot and lower extremity by reducing abnormal or pathological forces acting on the foot and leg, for example bunions and hammer toes in the foot, and genu valgum (knock knees) in the leg.
What are they made from?
Functional foot orthoses may be made of polypropylene material, or from an EVA material which while being softer will still give good functional control, and are much easier to tolerate than hard orthoses, especially in older patients. In some cases carbon fibre orthoses are prescribed.
In my practice the majority of patients (apart from children who often require and tolerate harder devices much more easily than adults) are prescribed the softer devices and they appreciate the extra comfort they afford.
Custom orthoses can be designed and fabricated for a number of different kinds of footwear including, skate shoes, running shoes, football boots, dress shoes, work boots, etc
What can orthotics treat?
Functional foot orthoses are useful in the treatment of a very wide range of painful conditions of the foot and lower extremities for example:
Arch pain Growing pains
Lower back pain Knee pain
Aching legs and feet Sports injuries
What are the advantages of prescription devices?
- Will fit exactly the shape, length and width of the individuals foot
- Minimal chance of irritation or discomfort as they fit perfectly to the arch of the foot
- Have a greater potential to effectively and permanently treat painful conditions as they are tailored specifically to the individual biomechanics of the patient
Who can benefit from custom orthoses and why?
- Children, prescription foot orthoses are used to prevent abnormal development of the foot due toflatfoot or in-toeing or out-toeing disorders
- Adults, prescription foot orthoses are used to allow normal day to day activities without pain or disability.
- Athletes, prescription foot orthoses are used to allow the athlete to continue training and competing without pain
There are 4 very easy steps to pain relief available to you in the clinic:
- Biomechanical examination
- Digital scanning
All orthoses are manufactured by Orthotech one of Australia’s leading biomechanical foot orthotic laboratories, the turnaround after having your scan taken is 2 weeks, and you will have a free visit to pick up and be fitted with your new orthoses!
Prescription foot orthoses are relatively expensive when compared to store bought over-the-counter foot inserts. However if you are covered by extras with your health benefit fund, they may refund between 50% to 85% of the cost; this really depends on your level of cover. We also offer a 15% discount for concession holders, and students for all orthoses.
Off the shelf devices are not covered by medical benefits.
As we are Medibank Private preferred providers, all medibank patients will receive a 15% discount on their 1st pair of orthoses and subsequent pairs of orthoses.
For patients in other funds we offer a 15% discount on your second pair of orthoses if they are ordered within 12 to 18 months after the original pair.
Patients always appreciate having more than one pair; this then reduces the number of times you have to change your orthoses from shoe to shoe. Most funds will cover you for one pair of orthoses each year.