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What are Orthotics?

What are Orthotics?


Orthotics combine extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology in the fabrication of and use of orthoses, more commonly called orthotics ; devices which are corrective, assistive or supportive.  In essence, an orthotic is something that provides external support or assists weak joints or muscle groups. Usually these take the form of a splint, brace or an insole in your footwear. Following a biomechanical assessment, your chartered physiotherapist will have a plan to manage any lower limb problems you may have.

Most people are familiar with insoles which are placed in a shoe to cushion and support the foot and so prevent pain in the foot and leg.  Placed in your footwear, they can give a lot of support to painful tissues. They also act as shock absorbers.  They can help with posture and function along with correcting alignment problems where needed. They can also support your forefoot, particularly in the case of pain under the ball of your foot, or metatarsalagia.

Who Benefits from this Kind of Treatment?

Orthotic devices can help people who suffer from a wide range of conditions such as:

  • Flat feet
  • Arch pain
  • Bunions
  • Heel pain
  • Traumatic injury
  • Sports injuries
  • Gait abnormalities

The treatment helps a range of people who may have congenital factors or degenerative disease.  Victims of stroke may also use orthotics in their recovery. It is clear that there is a diverse range of patients and conditions that benefit from this treatment.

 At Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic we have experienced and qualified orthotic prescribers, who work closely with you to determine your need.

Some clients may be able to use off-the-shelf insoles.  In some cases it is necessary to design and order a customised device.  An orthotic can be a very good temporary aid to someone until a specific weakness or injury is overcome.  Some clients may need permanent aids to cope with impaired function.

Physiotherapy combined with insoles can greatly reduce pain in patients. Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic have experts in functional screening and in casting who can provide you with a service specific to your needs.  In fact, the most expensive insole is not necessarily the most effective. You may be able to purchase one which is readymade or perhaps opt for one designed for you in particular.  Your chartered physiotherapist will be able to advise which is the best option for you.


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