What exactly is an 'orthotic'?

An 'orthotic', sometimes called "custom insert" is a device designed to improve foot function. Many 'biomechanical' (walking) complaints such as heel pain, knee pain and lower back pain are caused by poor foot function. Orthotics re-align the foot and ankle bones to a more efficient position, thereby optimizing your foot function. In turn this can help to alleviate stresses on other parts of the body. Depending on the patient's needs, the design of the orthotic can be either functional/corrective (ie improve alignment) or accommodative (ie provide gentle support) in nature.

At York Foot & Ankle Clinic, you will be sure to receive a thorough biomechanical assessment including a gait analysis to determine whether orthotics are recommended for you. We will work with you to determine the best intervention to meet your biomechanical needs.

Before an orthotic can be made, a cast or mould of the foot must be obtained. There are several methods that can be used to capture the shape and the reality is that some work much better than others. Unfortunately not all practitioners use the methods that have been shown to be most effective. The most important criteria is the experience, knowledge, and skill of the practitioner. Regardless, there are some techniques that have been shown to be much more effective than others. According to the standards of practice set by the College of Chiropodists of Ontario, all practitioners are required to manufacture orthotics based on three-dimensional (volumetric) non-weight bearing casts or images of both feet. The most common technique uses plaster of Paris, but newer technology such as polyester casting socks and optical scanners are also acceptable. At York Foot & Ankle Clinic, we always use volumetric non-weight bearing casting techniques to manufacture your orthotics.

Foot Facts

The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps in a day. Over a normal lifetime this adds up to more than 184,000 kilometres.
The skin on your feet is 20 times thicker than on any other part of your body!
See more facts

Please contact us at:

Aurora Clinic

42 Wellington Street East
Aurora, ON L4G1H5
(905) 713-2546
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Markham Family Medical Centre

3000 Hwy 7 East, Suite A202
Markham, ON L3R 6E1
(905) 480-1050
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