Custom molded Orthotic devices like these are frequently used to treat various conditions of the foot and ankle. They are
often very effective in relieving common lower extremity complaints.
Orthotic devices may be recommended for several reasons, including:
•aligning and supporting the foot or ankle
•preventing, correcting or accommodating foot deformities
•improving the overall function of the foot or ankle
For example, a wedge inserted into the inner (medial) side of the sole of a shoe can be used to help support a flatfoot,
thus reducing the risk of tendinitis. An ankle-foot brace can help relieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis in the heel or
ankle. A heel flare can be used to increase support and help prevent ankle sprains. Heel cushions can help absorb impact
and relieve stress on the heel and ankle when you walk or run. The type of orthosis recommended by your doctor will depend
on your symptoms, the underlying cause for those symptoms, and the shape of your feet. In some cases, your doctor may
prescribe an insert or pad; in other cases, modifications to your shoes may be necessary.
Custom versus off the shelf Orthotics
Although custom orthoses are considerably more expensive than off-the-shelf devices, they last much longer and provide more
support or correction. In some cases, however, an over-the-counter device can be just as effective, particularly when
combined with a stretching and exercise program. In the past, plaster molds of the foot were used to construct the custom-
made orthosis. Now, computerized foot analysis is often used to develop orthoses that more accurately reflect the dynamics
of your gait.
The info below shows which orthotic devices are commonly recommended for various foot conditions. Consult your
physiotherapist before buying or using an orthotic device on your own; if you select the wrong type of device, you could
change the mechanics of your gait and cause problems instead of curing them.
Diagnosis Recommended Orthotic Device