Orthotics can be very helpful in treating problems in specific muscles or joints. Different types of orthotics can be used to restrict movement, reduce the weight bearing on a certain joint, help in movement, restore proper function and prevent injury of a part of the musculoskeletal system such as the neck or knee. The most common types of orthotics are those fitted on the feet to help in running and walking, reduce pain and treat conditions such as flat feet and poorly formed arches.
Here’s what to expect when getting fitted for orthotics so you can be better prepared for your appointment:
- A detailed analysis of your medical and lifestyle history. A review of your medical history will reveal any diseases you may have had affecting your musculoskeletal system (muscles, joints, cartilage and ligaments) as well as any past injuries. An analysis of your lifestyle helps establish what activities you do most which in turn helps design the best orthotics for you.
- A biomechanical examination. This is a detailed exam of your of your feet and ankles and how they relate to the rest of the body. The doctor may observe how you walk and stand.
- Impressions. To create the perfect orthotic for your foot, an impression of your feet is taken.
- Ensuring a shoe fit. After the fitting, orthotics take just a few weeks to be designed. Your doctor may recommend that you bring two or three pairs of your usual shoes for testing. If any problems arise, modifications are made and monitored over the course of the next several weeks.