How Can Orthotics Improve Function?

Orthotics is an orthopedic specialty that focuses on the development and use of orthotics. An orthotic is “a non-invasive, cushioned tool used to alter the structure and functional properties of the musculoskeletal and skeletal system”. It is designed to promote optimal function of the limbs in the prevention and treatment of arthritic conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The term orthotics Adelaide is derived from the Greek words “orthos”, meaning inside, and “iatros”, meaning change or modification. 

The most common orthotics for acute pain management cushions can be placed under the heel or the toes to reduce pain. Patients with acute pain typically have various foot disorders and, most times, do not respond well to traditional orthotics. A podiatrist will usually prescribe orthotics to achieve maximum correction of the problem. For example, if there is nerve root compression causing the patient pain in the ankle, then orthotics are prescribed to correct the condition. The purpose of orthotics is to reduce discomfort and restore proper function.

orthotics-adelaideThe cause of pain and discomfort in the feet and ankles can be many different things. Often the underlying disorder is not known, but the patient usually has symptoms that have been consistent for several weeks. When a podiatrist diagnoses the problem, he or she will usually prescribe orthotics to correct the condition. Typically, orthotics are prescribed for six to twelve weeks. They are taken every day for the duration of the course of treatment. Occasionally, orthotics Adelaide are taken a few months to a year to address chronic issues that affect the structure of the feet.

If you go to your local pharmacy or over-the-counter store, you can find various inserts. At these retail stores, you can find both prescription and non-prescription orthotics. Typically, the only difference between the two is the brand name but not much else changes. However, some of these retail stores also sell walkers and shoes in addition to insoles.

People can often get great relief from orthotics Adelaide when they know the cause of their discomfort. Often, the pain and dysfunction come from a poor gait pattern. If the gait is improperly aligned, it will make the patient experience pain in the feet as the weight is not distributed properly. Once the gate has been improved, the patient will have a better overall function and walk comfortably and freely.

Podiatrists often recommend orthotics for patients who cannot wear traditional shoes due to foot arthritis or bursitis. For this type of patient, orthotics can provide the additional support needed to increase their feet’ ability to flex and extend. A podiatrist will prescribe a custom made orthotics insoles that will help with their gait and give them better support. Many physicians will tell their patients that orthotics are essential to walking and function. If you are suffering from any foot pain or deformity, make sure you speak to a podiatrist about orthotics.