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  What is an orthotic?

An orthotic is an insole designed for the inside of a shoe in an attempt to improve foot/lower limb function, shock absorption and relieve symptoms. There are many different types of orthotics available today.

A custom-made orthotic is individually-made for your foot. Katriona would take a plaster-of-Paris impression of the foot, and along with the measurements taken during the hands-on assessment, would write a specific prescription. This device will provide you with a specific and personalised orthotic.  The style can vary, and you may require a sports specific pair of orthotics.  Orthotics for football boots, for example have to be a  different style than orthotics for a running shoe due to the room available in the shoe itself and the different foot mechanics involved.  Some ladies may even require an orthotic for smart, heeled shoes.  The custom-made orthotic, therefore, caters to your needs allowing for differences in  size, shape, material,  padding, and even the colour, but most importantly the control within the device is bespoke to your individual requirements/injury. A custom-made orthotic will cost substantially more than the prefabricated devices. The higher cost is due to the increased time and clinical skill it takes to make these devices. There is often a separate charge for the casting appointment. It is advisable to clarify all costs with the individual clinic concerned in advance.

Alternatively, over-the-counter orthotics can be bought in many pharmacies. These offer generic, minimal support and are often sufficient to resolve simple conditions. Clinicians can also prescribe stronger, prefabricated orthotics, which can be adapted to give more or less control on either foot.

How long does it take to get a pair of custom-made orthotics?

Once the cast and measurements have been taken, results are sent to an external laboratory where the device is manufactured. The whole process normally takes about 4 weeks - a small wait for a potential lifetime of comfort!

Please note, insurers will not pay for orthotic devices.