Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

If you think you might need specialised or orthopedic shoes, click here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What Are Orhotics?

Orthotics, or orthopedic devices, are medical devices designed to alter, protect, or correct abnormalities of the foot. Orthotics are a noninvasive treatment method for a variety of foot ailments. Orthotics can be used to correct foot misalignments. The root of the word is “ortho” which means “to straighten.”

Orthotics can either be purchased over the counter or be custom-made by a physician. A physician is likely to use a cast of the foot to create the orthotic device. The orthotics are made to specifically treat the disorder. The creation of the orthotics may involve the use of computer technology and orthotic laboratory technicians.

Orthotics are categorized as being either accommodative or functional. Accommodative orthotics are usually comprised of a soft, cushioning material. They are used to provide comfort and alleviate mild foot pain. Accommodative orthotics are used to correct minor foot ailments. They also include splints, night bars, and gait plates. Night bars are used to correct the position of children’s feet while they sleep.

Functional orthotics are placed in the shoe and worn to correct abnormal foot biomechanics. Functional orthotics can help prevent or be used to treat flatfoot. They can be used to reduce impact. They can be used to prevent overuse injuries.

There are signs that someone can benefit from the use of orthotics. Uneven wear on shoes can indicate that the feet could have a misalignment issue. Bunions, flatfeet or falling arches, or foot pain may be treated with orthotics. Gait abnormalities can often be corrected with orthotic devices. The use of orthotics can help alleviate pain in the shin, lower back, knee, or hip. Orthotics may be one part of the treatment for some diseases, such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy, or stroke. Orthotics can be used to keep a foot deformity from developing additional problems.


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