Types of Orthotics and Orthotic Technology

Over-the-counter insoles come in various flexible materials like foam, rubber, gel, and plastic, but all of them are soft and flexible to provide maximum comfort. You can either place an orthotic insert over your shoe insole or just replace the insole with the orthotic one.

As mentioned earlier, you can find over-the-counter (OTC) inserts that target specific areas of the feet. You have heel pads and heel liners that provide heel support. Arch insoles provide support to fallen arches or flat feet. Foot cushions provide padding to avoid friction or excess wear and tear on the feet. Toe pads offer special layering only for the toes to prevent corn or bunions. All these heel pads, heel cups, heel cushions, heel liners, toe pads, etc can be bought over the counter for general pain relief.

If you suffer from a chronic foot condition that requires medical treatment, it’s important to consult a pedorthist in Calgary and use the custom orthotics prescribed by the foot specialist in Calgary.

Prescription Orthotics

A foot doctor or a podiatrist prescribes special shoe inserts to treat foot health issues. That is why they are called prescription orthotics or functional orthotics. Unlike over-the-counter orthotics, they cannot be obtained over the counter without a prescription.

Prescription orthotics are usually semi-flexible, rigid, or semi-rigid but not fully flexible like OTC ones. They are usually made of hard plastic, graphite, or carbon fibers. They are firm and rigid as they are meant to conform to your foot contour and support your foot structure in specific areas.

A foot specialist or physical therapist will first note your height and weight and learn about your daily activity and lifestyle. They then conduct a foot examination to assess your foot condition and pain. They will sometimes conduct an X-ray to evaluate the foot position.

Functional orthotics are usually worn inside closed-toe shoes with short heels. You can wear them inside sneakers, flats, or walking shoes.

Functional inserts are meant to address foot problems like joint pain or muscular weakness. They are typically recommended by a licensed medical practitioner to act as medical devices. These therapeutic inserts by foot experts in Calgary can cure tendonitis, arthritis, or even foot conditions like flat feet. 

Functional orthotics and accommodative orthotics

Functional orthotics are intended to correct foot alignment problems and abnormal foot defects. They can correct muscular structures and reduce muscle stiffness in patients.

Accommodative orthotics are used to correct the foot’s position. They can alter arch heights and improve hip flexion.

Built-in orthotics

Built-in orthotics are shoe inserts that are fitted to orthopedic footwear. Instead of being removable, these inserts are embedded into the therapeutic footwear.

Patients with knee-ankle-foot orthosis benefit most from these types of orthotics.

Specialized foot orthotic inserts and devices

Patients with major muscle or spinal alignment issues or unwanted knee flexion might need an orthotic device to improve their knee joint or hip joint function. Individuals with poor gait responses need orthotic soles to improve their natural gait patterns. Custom-made orthotic insoles are a must for those with a knee injury or biomechanical deformities who need knee braces. Paralyzed patients can improve their degree of paralysis by using orthotic devices.

For athletes with rigorous athletic activities, orthotics are a must. They also help in the care of patients with physiological mobility goals.

Orthotic devices and orthopedic footwear are an integral part of physical therapy. The use of custom shoe inserts is inevitable in the orthotic management of patients with paralysis. Advanced technology has made custom-made products with orthotic functions much more accessible and easy to access for people who need them.

Visit our pedorthic foot clinic in Calgary and meet a Canadian Certified Pedorthist in Calgary for your custom-made foot orthotics and live life a better way.