I have recently begun working in partnership with Foothealth UK to provide bespoke orthotics. This post aims to describe why a bespoke orthotic is a better choice than standard “off the shelf” versions.
Every Body Is Unique
Every now and again during a sports massage treatment, a client will bring along a pair of orthotics to show and discuss with me. Often when they get them out they announce “I don’t know if these are right for me!”
We can liken orthotics to glasses. A person with poor eyesight could buy a pair of standard reading glasses off the shelf. This may be enough to allow them to read, but the text would likely still be a little blurry! Similarly, in some cases, off-the-shelf orthotics may provide enough support to help the person to become pain free, but the fit might not be exactly right for them. Whilst the symptoms of poor foot biomechanics are alleviated, the joints may still suffer excessive wear and tear where they are not positioned correctly.
The Unstable Table
There was nothing worse at school than being sat at the wonky table during an exam! Imagine a table with 3 legs of equal length and one leg slightly shorter. The foundation is unstable, and as a result the structure (table) will be too. In order to correct the problem we could slide a block of wood under the shorter leg. However, if the wood block is too thick or too thin the table will remain unstable!
Accuracy and precision is important in DIY and just as important in biomechanics. Prescription orthotics are designed to fit and support your feet to allow them to function and interact with the ground in the most effective way.
The Proof is in the Making
Unlike off-the-shelf versions, prescription orthotics guarantee that they are right for you. The design process includes taking a cast of the feet. The casts are scanned in to the computer and a program is used to create the contours to the exact degree to suit each foot. This design is then sent directly to a 3D printer, which produces the orthotic.
A range of materials and colours are available, so the client has a say in the aesthetic and feel of the orthotic. It is possible to create a supportive orthotic device that fits unseen into slim high heeled shoes, or a comfortable one that remains hygienic in regularly worn running trainers! In contrast, premade orthotics tend to come in a small range of colours and shapes.
In summary, bespoke orthotics tend to be a better choice than standard versions. They are made specifically for one person’s unique feet and can be customised to suit their every day needs. You can read more about prescription orthotics here or click here to book a consultation.