Orthotics are footbeds, insoles or shoe inserts which support the foot, control the position and motion of your foot and aim to address any imbalance or instability between your left and right sides, and to improve how you move.
The benefit of custom made orthotics over ‘off-the-shelf’ products is that each foot can be corrected independently. None of us are completely symetrical, but the orthotics you buy in your pharmacy or supermarket, much as a pair of shoes, come as a matching pair. Even if you are fortunate enough to be able to get a standard orthotic that manages to correct an issue on one side you may find you create one on the other side.
Are Custom Orthotics For You?
Most of us value the freedom to be active. Existing injuries, issues with posture or doing an activity in footwear that is not suited to your body can not only be uncomfortable, but can contribute to an increased risk of injury.
But how do you know whether you are at risk? Do you need an orthotic?
One of the outcomes of your movement assessment may be a recommendation to have custom orthotics.
Custom orthotics can be part of a solution that helps address many issues such as:
- Joint pain in the ankle, hip, knee or foot and toes
- Shin splints, runners knee and pronation
- Bunions, hammer toes and flat feet
- Morton’s neuroma, Metatarsalgia and Plantar fasciitis
- How Can Orthotics Help To Keep You Active?
- How Are Drummond Orthotics Made?
- What To Bring With You
- Photo Gallery
How Can Orthotics Help To Keep You Active?
In any activity, even walking, it is imperative that the feet provide a stable base for the body to move over and a good foot and arch support is essential. The repetitive nature of walking, running and many sports mean that any instability or imbalences are replicated many times over as you move and this can lead to pain and injury. By correcting the feet, independently of each other, we can create a stable base to help keep you active and problem free.
Orthotics for Walkers
Walking has many benefits, but for numerous people it is hampered by pain. Typically footwear designed for walking does not offer much, if any foot support for a foot that has a tendency to roll inwards (pronation). The potential implications on the body are numerous – from toe/foot/ankle pain to knee/hip/back pain.
Taking into account the results an advanced gait assessment, a custom made orthotic would provide the necessary support to minimise the risk factors as indicated below.
An orthotic used for walking is designed to restore your natural foot function and offer good support through the arch and foot. Many complaints such as heel pain, knee pain and lower back pain are caused by poor foot function. Custom made Orthotics re-align the foot and ankle bones to their neutral position, thereby restoring natural foot function. There are additional benefits for using orthotics as they help to alleviate problems in other parts of the body.
Orthotics for Runners
We offer a specialist running orthotics for running shoes and trainers. With such a high impact sport such as running, where the forces are consistently placed on the same part of the body (as opposed to for example team sports where the body moves around a lot more) having a stable base to load up on is critical.
In runners, orthotics can help improve gait and therefore efficiency of running.
Orthotics for Cyclists
Custom cycling orthotics, proper bike fit and cleat alignment, play a huge role in making sure your body is in biomechanical alignment with the mechanics of the bike. Custom cycling orthotics can help re-align the foot on the pedal and assist in preventing injury down the road.
Most cycling shoes are not unlike other neutral shoes in that they are made with very little or no arch support that have a manufacturers insert in that is good for just comfort and not to address other issues such as forefoot pain, also common among cyclists. Without the necessary support the foot will rest on the bottom of the shoe, not only will it most likely be uncomfortable, but the lack of support can lead to unnecessary motion of the feet, ankles, and knees leading to an inefficient pedal stroke. The muscles that control motion of the foot and ankle may be overstressed as they try to control this motion– while also trying to keep the knees aligned.
The use of custom cycling orthotics for your cycling shoes will assist in positioning the feet in the most neutral and efficient position so that energy and power will not be wasted during pedalling, and the likelihood of overuse injuries will be minimized.
Orthotics for Ski and Snowboard Boots
One of the most important factors for successful skiing and snowboarding is that the body functions well at an optimal level of balance (proprioception). Without it skiing and boarding are clumsey and awkward often leading to fatigue and even injury.
Proprioception is the sense of position, posture and movement. Poor proprioception leads to poor balance, limits skiing and boarding performance and can lead to a frustrating lack of improvement in ability. In addition poor proprioception can switch muscles off creating joint misalignments and muscular imbalances.
When one of the joints becomes stiff, injured or out of kilter, the nerves inhibit the messages going to the surrounding muscles to avoid further injury. This weakened muscle is disasterous for skiers and boarders because a sustained muscle contraction is needed to perform at any level. To accommodate this the body’s alignment must be addressed to allow for better skiing with less effort.
Put a skiers or boarders imperfect balance right and they can move with agility, strength, carving ability and economy of motion.
The use of orthotic footbeds to return the foot into neutral must be considered as an aid to strive for skiing excellence, as the foot works integrally with the knee, hips and lower back.
Comfort is also a critical factor in ski boots, when the foot is squashed into them for many hours at a time. The more personalised a fit you can get, the better.
Orthotics for Military Personnel and Public Sector Workers
As many of our physiotherapists are from a military background, they can appreciate the physical implications that spending a lot of time on your feet in a high leg boot can have on your body.
We have tailored our assessment process to include (if required) a “loaded” assessment. This part of the assessment involves carrying a bergan/webbing etc. to simulate similar loads experienced when on exercise or deployment.
The implications of running in boots and or carrying weight have a significant consequence on the body. If the foundation (feet) or the pelvis are not functioning well the consequence of this may lead to injury to the feet, shins, knees, hips pelvis and back.
By having an advanced (loaded) gait analysis we are able to understand how your body reacts to loading. The results of which allow us to make recommendations on flexibility and strength to assist your rehabilitation process.
All of our orthotics are custom made to fulfill your needs. They are personally fitted to your boots to ensure the best fit and comfort.
How Are Drummond Custom Orthotics Made?
The method of assessment and manufacture for custom orthotics is critical to their success. To chose orthotics, even custom made ones, where a full biomechanical assessment has not been conducted, is to only look at part of the picture.
At Drummond the first step is to go through an biomechanical movement assessment to enable your therapist to assess your movement characteristics and to highlight any issues. Based on the analysis of your body and feet in the assessment your therapist will mould casts for your orthotics, on site, in our lab. In around 30 minutes he will then build you a pair of custom made orthotics. Multiple pairs can be made at the same time.
What To Bring With You
- Shorts/leggings/tracksuit trousers (so that we can see from the knees downwards – it is possible to roll the trousers up).
- For ski boot orthotics, make sure you bring your current ski boots (essential if you are experiencing issues whilst skiing)
Custom Orthotics from - £195.00
(includes Advanced Gait Assessment)