What Are Orthotics?
Orthotics, also known as orthoses, are devices inserted into shoes to correct an abnormal or irregular, walking pattern. They range from felt pads to custom-made shoe inserts which allow people to stand, walk, and run more efficiently and more comfortably. While over-the counter orthotics are widely available and may help with mild symptoms, they normally cannot correct the wide range of symptoms that prescription foot orthoses can since they are not custom made to fit an individual’s unique foot structure.
How Can Orthotics Affect Knees and Hips?
Your knees and hips are the largest joints in your body which support your weight as you stand and walk. The way your foot strikes the ground impacts those joints so even if your feet don’t hurt, they may be contributing to other body pains or aches.
The knee is designed to bend only in one direction – facing straight forward. However, when the foot over-pronates (you roll over your ankles/ have flat feet), the leg rotates inward towards the opposite leg. This may cause the hip to become unaligned too. Image below illustrates the misaligned posture with and without orthotics. The difference is striking. Note the stress on the ankles, knees and hips. The misalignment will also be present in the lower back and may even cause neck pains and headaches.
Orthotics are designed to alter the angle at which your foot contacts the ground so that your body can be in proper alignment. By cushioning and helping support the foot, they can help reduce problems associated with bunions, plantar fasciitis, and some other foot conditions. They can also make foot motion more efficient and correct structural imbalances that cause pain in the knees and hips, and they are good shock absorbers when you exercise.
3D Printed Orthotics
At South Dublin Podiatry, we use the latest technology to produce your orthotics. The IScan 3D allows us to prescribe devices, with a 0.5 mm precision, to the structure and pathology of the foot, considering the footwear and lifestyle of our patients.
Following your gait assessment, all you need to do is sit back, put your feet up and relax for 5 minutes while we take a 3D scan of the soles of your feet. The scan is then sent to the lab which uses the latest 3D printing technology to produce your devices. This technology holds great potential for creating custom devices that interface with the human body. It offers high quality and durable products allowing us to tailor special and sophisticated treatments depending on our patients’ needs.
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