Foot orthotics are a common treatment used for many different types of foot problems. A range of different types of health professionals use them with various degrees of success. Some health professionals just use one type for everyone whereas other use a range of different types depending on the needs of the individual. Even better clinicians will use a wide range of different types of foot orthotics and also have the skills and ability to modify and adjust them so that they work best for the individual. The challenge is to determine the characteristics of the foot of the patients that needs foot orthotics and then match that to the correct design or modification of a foot orthotic. After a period of use it is often necessary that the foot orthotic be modified to make it fit better or help alleviate the symptoms better. It is this skill that distinguishes the good expert clinician from the rest.
The sort of modifications that may be needed include using a grinder to file bits of the foot orthotic to make it more comfortable or gluing bits onto the foot orthotic to make the affects of the foot orthotic more effective. It takes years of training to develop the skills to be able to do this well. Not all of those health professionals that use foot orthotics have these skills, let alone the facilities to use them properly. In an episode of the Podiatry related livestream on Facebook, PodChatLive, the hosts talked with Toronto based practitioner, Peter Guy about his 33 years experience to talk us through his matrix of common foot orthotic modifications for conditions such as peroneal tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis, plantar plate and neuroma. He also gives us some of his tips for dealing with comfort/tolerance issues and orthoses for high heels. This episode gave a much greater insight into foot orthotic modifications.