There are many instances where custom made orthotics or orthopedic shoes may be indicated to assist in the rehab and maintenance of proper function and form. Like our teeth, our feet take physical abuse from the many stresses throughout the day. Whether you are the average 9 to 5 office worker, do physical labour, or the weekend warrior training for marathons, your feet take a pounding. Many problems in the knee, hips, low back, and even the neck are directly related to underlying problems found in the feet.
Your body is a closed kinetic chain, therefore what happens in 1 area can and will often affect another area. Your health professional is trained in the proper assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of foot related problems. Using special orthopedic tests and correlating information taken from a computerized dynamic gait scanner, a custom made orthotic or orthopedic shoe can be fabricated specific to YOUR feet to restore balance, alleviate restrictions, and most of all to regain normal function.
These devices are made of a polymer of plastic and/or graphite that assist in restoring normal biomechanical functioning of all parameters of the foot. They are always fabricated from raw materials in a lab by a certified pedorthist and are covered by most extended health insurances. Oftentimes, you may qualify for 1 every year!
Here at CIHC, we are proud to employ the Footmaxx Metascan Dynamic Scanner. This scanner reads your feet and gait cycle at 150 frames/sec and the information is gathered, analyzed, and interpreted. There are orthotics to fit casual shoes, basic runners, cross trainers, hikers, boots, special footwear such as soccer cleats, skates, and ski boots. There are even sandal orthotics for all you sun lovers!
Please keep in mind that NOT all orthotics and orthopedic shoes are built the same. Without proper correction of the foot, adjustments of fixations in the joints, or treatment of scar tissue of the fascia and muscle spasm, you may be getting fitted for a great orthotic to a dysfunctional foot. The very best scenario is a correctly assessed and treated foot, which is then supported by a great orthotic.
1. Why do some orthotics cause more pain after wearing them?
Many of you have heard of the stories of friends and family saying that they "felt more pain after getting orthotics". Generally, these orthotics fail due to the poor assessment protocols or no assessment protocols at all. Orthotics are not the magic bullet nor are they cure all of foot problems. Often times, great orthotic modules are fabricated to an un-corrected foot which basically further provocates the issue. Our clinicians have a thorough understanding of foot biomechanics and will always do a thorough foot and gait assessment first, recommend treatment if necessary to correct any dysfunction, then order the orthotic module to hold that correction. Thus you fabricate the right orthotic to a corrected foot.
2. How long do I have to wear them for?
Orthotics, like orthodontics, are designed to mechanically change and alter the current foot position to bring it to a more optimal and functional position. The patient is recommeded to wear them for a period so as long the dysfuntion is corrected and the pain is gone. Some patients wear them in all their foot wear for many years, others only for a few years.
3. How much do they cost and does insurance reimburse for them?
Our health centre fees for orthotics are on par with the recommended fees set out by the Association and College and most insurance companies will have coverage for them. Some may require and medical doctors note while others such as Pacific Blue Cross will accept a prescription from Physiotherapists and Chiropractors.
4. How do I know I need orthotics?
If you have foot, ankle, knee, hip, or low back pain, this is an indication that there may be something wrong with the lower kinetic chain that starts at your foot. A proper assessment and evaluation of foot biomechanics will determine if orthotics are the proper treatment.
Talk to your health professional today and take your first step to better health and wellness!