What are orthotics?
Orthotics are external applied devices of the body designed to control and correct malalignment of body segments and/or reduce pain or deformity.
What are Custom Foot Orthotics?
Custom Foot Orthotics (CFO’s) are prescribed medical devices made from non-weight bearing molds of your feet. They are designed to control alignment and function of the foot in order to treat or prevent injury-causing motions such as pronation (rolling-in) and supination (rolling-out). They also act to make activities such as running, walking – even standing – more efficient. They can act to redistribute pressure on the bottom of the foot to relieve pain from excessive pressure.
Are all orthotics the same?
No. There are many designs of CFO and we at LCBL are likely to have seen them all. We design our CFO’s with regard to maximal biomechanical correction but take into account every individual client’s needs and circumstances. There are hundreds of types of so-called orthotic devices on the market and most of our clients have tried an array of these. 99% of these have no more right to be called orthotics than a tent to be labelled a ‘house’! Those unfamiliar with foot technology can spend years going through the maze of orthotics offered by Podiatrists/Chiropodists, Chiropractors, Physiotherapists etc. . Over the years we have become familiar with most of these, as well as the devices sold in high street chemists and ‘foot specialist shops’. These include gels, pads and every conceivable permutation of glorified arch lifts. We have actually assembled our very own ‘rogues’ collection. Many practitioners not specialising solely in orthotics have very little knowledge of conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis and often merely make a ‘stab in the dark’.
Why do LCBL use the Orthotics Lab they use?
Putting ‘off-the-shelf’ orthotics into your shoes is akin to putting a lawn mower engine into a Rolls Royce! The problem with an ‘off-the-shelf’ orthotic is that they give unmeasured and scant support to the rear foot and arch. They are not made for you as an individual and can merely push your foot from one faulty position to another; very possibly starting a whole new list of musculoskeletal symptoms. A number of Irish and UK labs offer prescription orthotics but we have found these are too rigid or too soft, are too bulky and are made using old fashioned plaster casting etc.
We use the best suppliers in the world for our Orthotics (Believe us – we’ve seen most of what’s out there). We have built a long-term and professional relationship with our manufacturer that means we get high quality CFO’s every time.
Why do Orthotics costs differ?
The provision of Orthotics in Ireland is not regulated. There are many non-degree level trained people that have done a ‘weekend course’ in Orthotics and claim to be experts. There are also CFO manufacturer’s that use 2-dimensional platform systems to produce what they claim are ‘custom orthotic’. They are not. However, some clinicians that do not provide orthotic therapy as their main field of practice are using these ‘systems’ to provide orthotics to clients at an inflated price.
What happens at my assessment?
You will have a biomechanical history taken and then be assessed standing and walking. Sometimes we will analyse your gait and running using video analysis systems.
What does Video Gait Analysis offer me?
Sometimes a biomechanical problem is so small that it it is not obvious. We use video gait analysis to slow down your running and walking to accurately identify angle changes in the joints that are leading to biomechanical deficiencies.
Why choose LCBL?
Biomechanics is not an ‘add-on’ to our main practice. It is all we do and are trained to do.
- We have over 10 years of international clinical experience.
- We work regularly with, and for, the top foot and ankle surgeons in Ireland and the UK.
- We believe that you have unique needs and are treated as an individual client and supply CFO’s designed and made to fit only you.
- We are up to date on all new technologies and are even involved in some developments/research.
- We have supplied thousands of pairs of CFO’s.
- We use the best suppliers in the world for our Orthotics
- Our clients include children, adults, diabetes/arthritis clients, amateur sports men and women and elite international athletes, top county level GAA players from all counties, Eircom League players, top level dancers, international rugby players and even extreme sport athletes such as Arctic Marathon runners. We have seen it all.
Will orthotics correct my problem?
The extensive biomechanical assessment we carry out at LCBL is designed to identify the correct treatment protocol for your condition. If we feel that custom foot orthotics will not help you then we will refer you to the most appropriate service available. We have established links with the best physiotherapists, chiropodists and orthopaedic consultants in the country.
Will orthotics fit in all my footwear?
Custom foot orthotics are designed to be used in sports footwear and suitable ‘day’ footwear. There will be occasions that wearing the custom foot orthotics is not feasible, such as social occasions, but these should be the exception not the rule.
Are special orthotics needed for sports?
No. Custom foot orthotics are designed for your specific biomechanical problem and we take into account the type of sport you do. Orthotics should be ‘client specific’ not ‘sport specific’.
There are orthotic labs that provide ‘sport specific’ designs but this is usually a sign of a clinician that does not understand fundamental orthotic therapy techniques and is looking for an ‘easy’ way to provide orthotics.