Humans were designed to walk on natural soft accomodating surfaces such as sand and grass that accomodated to the shape of the foot. The foot and lower limb problems commenced when humans began to walk on hard surfaces which do not accomodate the foot and hence have a detrimental effect on the foot structure throughout gait. Such effects are treated by Podiatrists with the use of orthotic therapy.
Orthotics are insoles that have been customised to suit the specific patients foot. It is a mechanical realigning device that basically changes the ground to suit the foot. The aim of an orthotic is to maintain the foot in it's optimal corrective functioning position throught weight bearing activity hence reducing the stress and strain caused by structural problems on the feet and lower legs.
Orthotics are used by Podiatrists to treat a range of conditions such as flatfeet, heel pain and knee pain. Most common foot and knee biomechanical conditions may be treated using orthotic devices. The key to the correct prescription of an orthotic is dependent on a biomechanical assessment prior to the fitting. The biomechanical assessment provides the Podiatrist with the data and angles required to rectify the patient's gait problem.