Our Ottawa foot clinic, has been providing High Quality Custom Foot Orthotics to patients in Ottawa & Nepean for over 30 years. Our Ottawa Foot Clinic has been making 1000’s of patients happy with high quality Foot Care and custom Orthotics since 1989!
Methods of actually producing custom made orthotics vary widely. Many methods work satisfactorily, but the key to success is having a wide range of techniques and materials to manage the variety of conditions and individual needs we are challenged with every day. There are over thirty-five steps in manufacturing one pair of orthotics, and every step counts from the Pedorthic assessment to the final dispensing of the devices to the patient.
Custom Orthotics come various shapes, sizes, and materials and fall into three categories: orthotics to change foot function, orthotics to protect the foot, and orthotics that combine functional control and protection.
Rigid orthotic devices are designed to control function and are used primarily for walking or dress shoes. They are often composed of a firm material, such as plastic or carbon fiber. Rigid orthotics are made from a mold after a pedorthist takes a plaster cast or other kind of image of the foot. Rigid orthotics control motion in the two major foot joints that lie directly below the ankle joint and may improve or eliminate strains, aches, and pains in the legs, thighs, and lower back.
Soft orthotics are generally used to absorb shock, increase balance, and take pressure off uncomfortable or sore spots. They are usually effective for diabetic, arthritic, and deformed feet. Soft orthotics are typically made up of soft, cushioned materials so that they can be worn against the sole of the foot, extending from the heel past the ball of the foot, including the toes.
Semi-rigid orthotics provide foot balance for walking or participating in sports. The typical semi-rigid orthotic is made up of layers of soft material, reinforced with more rigid materials. Semi-rigid orthotics are often prescribed for children to treat flatfoot and in-toeing or out-toeing disorders. These orthotics are also used to help athletes mitigate pain while they train and compete.
CWG Footcare is proud to be associated with one of the finest orthotics laboratories in North America, Paris Orthotics, Vancouver, a PFOLA member. We feel that if your orthotics are made by PFOLA standards then you are receiving the correct medical devices your referring practitioner expected you to receive.
Orthotics manufacturing is divided into two components, the casting of the foot itself and the manufacture of the actual custom made supports.
While several methods exist for making orthotics, including some that are computer generated, the majority of foot care professionals consider the plaster slipper cast taken with the foot in a non weight bearing position, to be the gold standard. However a poorly taken slipper cast is not superior to a well taken cast of other means.
Advantages of slipper casting in non-weight bearing are:
1. The non-weight bearing foot does not capture its structural defects; for example if the arch flattens excessively (hyperpronation, pes planus) then this occurs when the weight is on the foot. This is why most of us believe that our arches are fine – we look at them when there is very little weight on them, for example when we are sitting.
2. Precise positioning of the foot; the pedorthist can hold the joints including the ankle, subtalar (below the ankle), midtarsal (bones in the middle portion) and the forefoot. Positioning the forefoot up or down can increase or decrease the height of the arch and the overall correction of the foot. Most other casting methods cannot provide this degree of flexibility of ” intrinsic ” cast correction.
The use of multiple lasers to create an electronic 3-dimensional image is evolving and will likely be capable of equaling the flexibility of slipper casting in the coming years. Any casting method can be satisfactory in skilled hands however, and alternative casting techniques are often superior in specific conditions.