A lot of patients come into our West Auckland physio clinic and tell us they’re suffering from tired and sore legs and feet. It’s a complaint common to many of us, particularly after a long and busy day but we don’t always look to physiotherapy as a long term fix for the problem. Instead, we might suggest orthotics as the way to alleviate leg and foot pain.
Orthotics are modified inserts that sit inside your shoes. They have the ability to greatly reduce foot pain while improving foot function. Plus, to the great relief of many of our patients, they optimise muscle function which helps to relieve that common achy and tired feeling in feet and legs.
So, how do orthotics work? Basically, they change things up by altering the centre of pressure, ground force reaction and biomechanics of your feet – biomechanics refers to the way your bones, muscles, joints and soft tissues function and move through your gait. By helping your feet make these adjustments, they can take the pressure off a sore or damaged area, stop the bones of your feet rubbing against a swollen nerve, and support muscles in your foot that are overused during the course of the day which leads to that nagging feeling of soreness and fatigue.
You might have tried orthotics before and they might not have worked. We think that’s because you have used ones purchased from a pharmacy. This off-the-shelf type of product is very much a one size fits all solution – and isn’t much of a solution at all! On the other hand, our orthotics are made just for you. They’re tailored to give you the precise support and control you need, with other factors like the materials they’re made from and the way they fit inside your shoe coming into the equation as well. So, if you have tried store-bought orthotics but with no success, we recommend you contact us and discuss the benefits of using ones designed and made especially for you.
Here’s how we’ll do it. Our podiatrists will carry out a thorough biomechanical assessment and gait analysis, and send your orthotic prescription alongside casts of your feet to the country’s leading orthotics laboratory. At that point, your orthotics will be expertly designed using a 3D CAD/CAM system. From there, they’re hand finished according to our exact specifications and we fit them to your footwear. We’ll ensure they function accurately and achieve everything we want them to. This is followed up by monitoring and reviewing your progress to ensure we’re getting the best possible results. When you see how comprehensive the process is, you’ll also see how much better our orthotics are than anything you grab off the shelf at your neighbourhood pharmacy.