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At Feet By Pody, we make, fit and review prescription orthotics for our patients. You might be aware that orthotic inserts can help reduce pain and discomfort for people suffering from a variety of problems. But what are they, and how do they actually work?

Here’s our guide to prescription orthotics.

What Are Prescription Orthotics?

Prescription orthotics are specially made insoles for your footwear that support the real shape of your feet. Unlike shop-bought ‘one size fits all’ insoles that can provide some softening underfoot or help shoes that are too big feel snug, prescription orthotics are measured and made to fit your feet exactly.

The College of Podiatry has made an excellent video with further explanation of what orthotics are, when they may be used, and what you should expect from your podiatrist throughout the process.

What Are Prescription Orthotics Made From?

At Feet By Pody, we use carbon fibre, EVA or polypropylene to make the orthotics we fit.

EVA, or ethylene-vinyl acetate, is an extremely tough plastic foam-type material, with a rubber-like feel, which means it’s sturdy but malleable. EVA orthotics tend to provide maximum support and can be fairly bulky, depending on your needs.

Carbon fibre and polypropylene usually make for a thinner, firmer orthotic and can be extremely lightweight, which means they’re popular for athletes suffering from sports injury, as they will not interfere with sporting performance.

When Might We Prescribe Orthotics?

As part of our podiatry service, we may ask you to undertake something called a biomechanical assessment, which gives us a chance to study the moving parts of your body – your joints, bones and muscles. This may also involve a gait analysis, which is where we assess your standing and walking posture – your gait.

If you notice that you always wear out shoes unevenly, or have knee or hip problems, then there may be a reason stemming from your gait. Poor posture or uneven leg lengths can lead to a number of foot health issues due to the additional stress placed on your feet. People who could benefit from having prescription orthotics include those suffering from:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Recurring sports injuries
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis

Orthotics are also sometimes prescribed to children to help with their development and support any weaknesses.

How Quickly Should Orthotics Work?

After having prescription orthotics fitted, many people will feel a reduction in discomfort or symptoms after 2-3 weeks. For athletes, it can take a while to get used to completing sporting activities while wearing new orthotics – maybe even a month or two before feeling confident running or competing again. Prescription orthotics are a long-term solution, so will be worth the short-term struggle.

It is important that the orthotics fit and support you properly, so we offer a follow-up review service to ensure they are working effectively for you. We will make any necessary adjustments within the first month to ensure you get the most benefit out of your new orthotics.

If you’re suffering from foot or heel pain, joint pain or have a medical condition such as diabetes or arthritis and you need help to reduce your foot discomfort, contact one of our London clinics today to make an appointment to see one of our podiatrists. Custom prescription orthotics might be just what you need!