The term "orthotic" can refer to almost any device, which is worn inside a shoe. A molded shoe insert is properly called "foot orthoses".
Why you might need orthotics
Foot pain is the most obvious need for orthotics. Foot pain is usually the result of a faulty relationship between the bones and muscles of the foot. Even the slightest misalignment can result if there is significant discomfort. This abnormal function can result in problems such as bunions, hammer toes, arch and heel pain, corns, knee pain, and even back pain.
How do they work?
As your foot walks a ross the orthotic, it is gently and consistently directed into the correct position for walking, running and even standing. As your foot continues to function properly, the pain of muscle strain and pressure joints are relieved and the progression of deformities are stopped or slowed.
WHAT IS A PEDORTHIST?
A Pedorthist is simply a foot specialist, trained in manufacturing, fitting and modification of foot appliances and footwear for the purposes of alleviating painful or debilitating conditions and providing assistance for abnormalities or limited actions of the lower limbs.
The Pedorthist provides devices and / or footwear to assist in:
Accommodation of foot deformities
Improvement in balance
Control of biomechanical function
Accommodations of circulatory problems
PEDORTHIC SERVICES involve skills in the following area:
Assessment through observation of surface anatomy and gait
Assessment through palpitation of the limb
Gait / biomechanical analysis
WHAT ABOUT YOUR SHOES?
Proper footwear is very important for preventing serious foot problems. Athletic or walking shoes made of canvas or (soft) leather are good for daily wear. They support your feet and allow them to "breathe."
Never wear vinyl or plastic shoes, because they don't stretch or breathe.
When buying new shoes, choose shoes made of soft leather and that they are comfortable from the start and have enough room for your toes. Don't buy shoes with pointed toes or high heels. They put too much pressure on your toes. Try on shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are a little swollen, to get the best fit.
Break in new shoes slowly and carefully. Have a least two pairs of shoes so you can wear each pair every other day.
Look inside your shoes every day for things like gravel or torn linings. Thesed things could damage your foot.