Orthotics are specially designed devices worn inside the shoe to help realign the foot, protecting areas of concern and preventing injury. Mint Foot Care offers customised orthotics which are prescribed following a Biomechanical and Video Gait Analysis. Our custom orthotics support, cushion the feet and correct any imbalances, reducing lower limb pain. Our customised orthotics are specifically crafted and precisely matched to fit the contour of your foot.
Who Requires Orthotics
The use of orthotics is often indicated in patients with lower limb pain or discomfort due to abnormal lower limb alignment and biomechanics. Imbalances of the foot can result in abnormal foot motion. This can impair foot function which can result in abnormal rotation of the feet, and sometimes affect the knees, hips or back. Some imbalances are obvious, such as flat feet, excessive pronation, bow legs, knock knees, pigeon-toes or high-arched feet. However, many foot deformities are subtle, and are not detected until symptoms occur.
We recommend orthotics if you have recurring or chronic symptoms related to standing, walking or running. The most common reasons people use orthotics are for shin splints, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, knee pain, bunions, corns and calluses and leg, knee and postural complaints.
How do I wear Orthotics
Orthotics are to be worn inside shoes. However, they are not meant to fit in all shoes. Orthotics requires stable shoes to maximise their effectiveness. Features that you must look for in an orthotic friendly shoe include:
- Deep heel counter (often collars can be added to existing shoes to provide the depth required).
- Removable insoles.
- Stability and cushioning.
- Features like laces, elastic upper, T-bars and straps will help keep your foot inside the shoe.
- Try on new shoes with your orthotics prior to purchasing them.
Mint Foot Care stocks the Dr. Comfort Footwear range that is orthotic friendly.
Orthotics should be introduced into your daily routine gradually to avoid any discomfort issues. We recommend wearing the orthotics on the first day for one hour of periodic standing or gentle walking and increase the wearing time by 1 hour each day. This means that in 7 days you should be able to wear your orthotics for 7 hours. It generally takes 1-2 weeks for most people to become fully accustomed to their new orthotics.
You may experience aching in the lower limbs during the initial wearing in period. In most cases, the muscles and joints of the feet are simply getting used to your new biomechanics (the way you move).
We advise to refrain from sports until you are completely comfortable in wearing your orthotics all day for a week.
Regularly wearing your orthotics will provide you with long lasting results. We recommend wearing them from 9am to 5pm for best results.
How long must I wear orthotics?
Orthotics will be needed to be worn indefinitely. This is because foot orthotics are similar to eye glasses or false teeth… they only work while you are wearing them.
As you get older foot posture can improve with continual wear of your orthotics. Orthotics should be checked for accuracy and excessive ‘wear and tear’ every six to twelve months.
Video Gait Analysis
Using our state of the art gait assessment technology, we record your walking or running pattern on a treadmill. This assists us in diagnosing biomechanical abnormalities resulting in pathology of the foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back associated with walking, running or sport.
Our integrated software allows us to break down the phases of gait to further analyse joint angles, range of motion and foot position in order to prescribe orthotics. These images are printed for you to take home. All videos and still-frame images are saved securely for reference and review purposes. Upon orthotic dispense we will record your gait again when wearing the orthotic devices to compare changes in your gait and biomechanics.
Biomechanical assessment analyses the way in which our joint and muscles move together as we walk and run. This examination checks for mal-alignment of the lower limbs and involves testing joint range-of-motion and muscle strength. Poor biomechanics can manifest as joint and muscle pain in the foot, leg, knee, hip and lower back, toe deformities and a range of other conditions. Biomechanical assessment may be targeted at a particular problem or aimed at prevention. Therefore early recognition is imperative in order to prevent injury. Our podiatrists can prescribe custom orthotics to provide support, improve your foot position and reduce the symptoms associated with your foot related problems.
Plantar Pressure Analysis
Plantar pressure analysis provides a visual image of the plantar surface (sole) of the foot and a representation of pressure distribution. Data obtained from a plantar pressure assessment provides valuable insight on a variety of biomechanical, integumentary and neurological disorders, as well as aiding in treatment and prevention of wounds caused by high foot pressure.