Kitsap Physical Therapy and Sports Clinics

Orthotic Fitting

Custom foot orthotics are "shoe inserts" fabricated to compensate for specific biomechanical faults. A custom orthotic limits the mechanical stress placed on the soft tissues and joints of the lower quarter, thereby limiting pain and disability. In contrast, to "over the counter" inserts, custom orthotics are individually created to address the unique construction of a patient's foot. Custom orthotics are fabricated from a plaster or foam impression of the patient's foot and altered based on the findings of a complete physical examination and biomechanical analysis. From a mould of the plaster impression, a lab makes our recommended alterations by incorporating specific degrees of correction to the rear and/or forefoot of the orthotic.

Sometimes an individual wants a level of help but does not wish to pay for a fully custom orthotic. We can also provide fitting with an excellent semi custom orthotic known as the Vasyli orthotic. These heat malleable orthotics meet the needs of a great many people and are extremely comfortable. Designed by an Australian, they have become popular world-wide. Yet another option when cost is a challenge may be for your therapist to help you with is modifying or posting an over the counter orthotic such as Superfeet or Spenco brand orthotics.

Orthotics help improve proper foot alignment and support which is an important part of preventing injuries and also a component of treating injuries. Common injuries where orthotics help decrease and/or eliminate symptoms include:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Neuromas in the Foot
  • Hammer Toes
  • Bunions
  • Over Pronation
  • Patellofemoral Syndrome
  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB)
  • Hip Bursitis
  • Back Pain
  • General Joint Pain
  • Ankle Sprains

All the stress our body absorbs begins at the heel/foot from the second we place it on the ground. Our custom orthotic insoles are made to conform to the shape of your foot to provide customized support. After the therapist does an evaluation and gait analysis, they recommend the appropriate orthotic for your individual condition and foot. Our orthotics are biomechanically designed with supportive flexible or corrective materials that will mold to your feet.

Can foot imbalances cause leg, hip and back pain - and can orthotics help?
Yes. Poor alignment in the feet places stress on the entire body and reduces shock absorption. By improving foot function, orthotics relieve stress in the ankles, legs, knees, hips, and back.

Does being overweight or carrying excess pounds cause or aggravate foot problems?
Definitely. Additional stress to feet magnifies existing imbalances and can cause harm to joints in the feet, the lower extremities and the back.

Do orthotics help individuals with high arches?
Absolutely. If you have a foot with a high arch (known as pes cavus), a functional orthotic will provide a greater contact areas for your foot and spread the pressure over weight-bearing surfaces more evenly. This can help heal calluses in the foot and improves both control and lateral stability.

Do orthotics have any effect on my posture?
Yes. Imbalances in your feet can distort the skeletal architecture of your entire body. This makes changes at the foot translate all the way up to the spinal level and provide relief for imbalances in other areas that were secondary to foot mechanics.

How can orthotics improve sports performance?
Athletics make demands on the feet not encountered in normal daily activity. Slight imbalances in the foot not dangerous or detectable under everyday circumstances may render you vulnerable to injury with the extra stress of sports activity. By eliminating the fatigue and promoting the kind of efficient "muscle memory" that orthotics provide can be crucial to outstanding performance. By aiding your control of foot movement, custom-fitted orthotics also maximize the bio-mechanical function not only of your feet but of your legs and torso as well. The difference is often noticed almost immediately, giving you the kind of agility, balance, and sure-footed response you had not been able to attain previously.

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