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ORTHOTICS TIPS
Overview
Orthotics are orthopedic devices that are used to alter or modify foot function
Types of Orthotics
In general, foot care specialists group orthotics into the following categories
Orthotics - Everything you need to know
The term orthotic can refer to almost any device which is worn inside a shoe
Overview

Orthotics are orthopedic devices that are used to alter or modify foot function and are designed to treat, adjust, and support various biomechanical foot disorders. Some orthotics are simple, commercially-made devices, such as cushioned heel cups or insoles for shoes that are sold over the counter in drug stores or other retail establishments.

The most effective orthotics, however, are custom-made devices that are crafted to meet the specific needs of a particular individual. Custom orthotics are created using an impression of the foot called a cast, which duplicates any misalignments in foot structure. Using the cast and computer technology, technicians in an orthotic laboratory design a device that balances out deformities and corrects misalignments.

The finished orthotic is placed in the patient`s shoe to support the foot and eliminate abnormal foot biomechanics by keeping the foot properly aligned. Depending on the patient`s needs, the orthotic may have padding to cushion the foot and make it more comfortable.

Types of Orthotics

In general, foot care specialists group orthotics into the following categories:

  • Functional orthotics are designed to support abnormal foot biomechanics. These devices, which often are made of supportive plastic polymer materials, prevent abnormal foot pronation (flattening of the arch) and reduce the impact load from the ground (shock absorption) while walking or running. Functional orthotics allow the foot to become a mobile adapter and a rigid lever. They support the rear foot or subtaylor joints, as well as the midfoot or midtarsal joints. This support stabilizes the foot and can help prevent repetitive overuse injuries. Functional orthotics are used to correct many foot deformities.
  • Accommodative orthotics typically feature a soft supportive device that is designed to relieve mild foot pain and correct minor foot problems. These devices often are used to correct biomechanical walking problems in young children. Accommodative orthotics include include splints, gait plates, and night bars (devices used to hold a child`s feet and legs at a proper angle while sleeping) that promote corrective adjustment for excessive toe-in or toe-out walking. Braces may be used in infants to correct foot, leg, or hip abnormalities (e.g., metatarsus adductus, internal or external hip rotation problems).

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