What is a foot orthotic?
A foot orthotic is an orthotic device that can be inserted into footwear to provide improvements in support, alignment and biomechanics. It may also be used to provide accommodation for a foot deformity. Proactively, a foot orthotic can be used to prevent an injury or to protect an existing injury while it heals.
What is a custom foot orthotic?
A custom foot orthotic is made from a cast of the patient’s foot, held in a corrected position to maximize function and comfort. Corrections and modifications are made to the patient’s plaster cast to address their specific diagnosis, orthotic prescription and treatment goals.
At OrthotiCare Clinics, our custom foot orthotics are made through a process that includes a full clinical and biomechanical evaluation, plaster slipper-casting with modifications, plaster-mold fabrication, production of the foot orthotics at our on-site fabrication lab, custom fitting, and an included period for follow-up care as needed.
We make our custom foot orthotics onsite to ensure that the shape of your corrected foot cast is faithfully maintained throughout our manufacturing process and delivered to you.
We carry affordable, high-quality, pre-fabricated foot orthotics too. We can custom modify, and fit into footwear, any of the high quality pre-fabricated foot orthotics that we carry. This can be a more affordable option for some of our patients. This option may be suitable for some children, when they are growing and will need additional pairs of foot orthotics in the near future.
OrthotiCare Clinics’ 7-Step Custom Foot Orthotics Process:
At this appointment, the Certified Orthotist performs a full clinical assessment of the patient. This includes an analysis of range of motion and static and dynamic foot/ankle positioning. An analysis is also done of how the patient walks and uses their feet. As needed, our Certified Orthotist consults with the referring physician or other care team members.
We make our custom foot orthotics using a precision plaster slipper-casting method. When performed by an experienced Certified Orthotist, this is a superior method for the design of custom foot orthotics. During casting, the Certified Orthotist marks the adjustments needed to achieve the biomechanically correct position of each foot. Elements to incorporate for cushioning, accommodation, and support are all planned for during this stage.
Plaster is poured into the plaster slipper-casts of the patient’s feet. Once dry, the slipper-casts are removed leaving 3-D plaster impressions of the patient’s feet – with all of the necessary markings on them for any modifications or additions needed. The Certified Orthotist modifies these plaster molds to the custom measurements and specifications set out in the clinical assessment and custom plaster slipper-casting appointment.
At our on-site fabrication lab in Nanaimo, our highly skilled Orthotic Technician uses the modified plaster molds, and the materials appropriate for the planned treatment, to vacuum-form and manufacture the custom foot orthotics for the patient. Various material options are used to achieve the treatment results required. The foot orthotics are trimmed and then smoothed on a grinder to achieve a high-quality finish.
At this appointment, the Certified Orthotist may further trim and grind the custom foot orthotics in order to fit the foot orthotics smoothly into the patient’s footwear. Quality, supportive footwear (such as an athletic or walking shoe) is recommended to provide a base for the foot orthotic to sit on. The Certified Orthotist performs another clinical evaluation to ensure that all treatment goals have been met and that the best function, fit and comfort are achieved. Initial patient feedback is critical to make any fine adjustments needed to fully finish the custom foot orthotics.
Some patients will feel comfortable wearing their custom foot orthotics right away and other patients may require an adjustment period. Patients should begin by wearing their foot orthotics for as long as is comfortable. If they become uncomfortable, the foot orthotics should be removed from the footwear for a couple of hours and then re-tried. Initially, minor aches or tired feet are normal, but this should lessen over time. After one week of wearing the foot orthotics, if there is any discomfort then the patient should contact OrthotiCare Clinics to book a follow-up appointment for an adjustment.
If a patient requires further adjustments to their custom foot orthotics, a period of follow-up care is included, following the date the custom foot orthotics are dispensed. If a patient’s feet are not comfortable at any time, we want to know. Please contact our main clinic in Nanaimo.
What are some of the many Foot Orthotic treatments that we provide?
Custom, Prescription Foot Orthotics for adults and children
Custom and Pre-fabricated Sports Foot Orthotics (for running, walking, soccer, skiing, tennis, hockey, golf and more)
Custom designed and made ballet PointeParts for pointe shoes
Carbon Plate Foot Orthotics
Custom Heel Orthotics, Cups and Lifts
Hallux Valgus, Bunion splints
Inter-digital toe inserts
Silicone Toe Sleeves
Prescription Custom Orthopaedic Shoes and Boots