Orthotics are a continuously developing field regarding knowledge of foot function in relation with the rest of the body but also regarding evolving technology and methods.
Orthotics insoles – custom-made inserts, are being made by foot forward since 1969. Throughout the years, firstly Lenia and then Diamanto used the available techniques at the time which have surely been evolved. In 1999 we have introduced the 2D plantar pressure measurements, in 2001 we have introduced the CAD CAM manufacturing. Soon after we have added the 3D measurements together with the 2D pressure data and in the summer of 2020, we are introducing the 3D printing technology. A revolutionary technology.
At the same time, we have in stock inserts which are semi-custom inserts made and designed for very frequent foot problems and can be easily adapted to the patient immediately provided that the footwear is also there. These are the Vasily (American company) insoles and the Shein insoles (German company)
900-950 miles per year!
A person can walk for about a 900-950 miles per year on an average. It is estimated that in a life time a person walks around the earth three times. The foot must carry a good deal load from just walking and when running and sports are added, then feet really must perform superb.
Feet differ. There are is a wide range of types of feet, which are mainly hereditary but also other factors do play a very important role. The use and abuse, footwear, activities and various diseases can alter the shape and function of the feet. Pain, symptoms and pathologies generally have their explanation of being there.
Foot forward is acknowledging that every individual’s feet and surely needs are different. The daily activity, the footwear, the pain, the clinical evaluation and the technology analysis, the symptoms, often without pain in case of diabetes and the family history is also taken in consideration. In severe cases, custom-made shoes along with orthotics, are made to contain foot abnormalities. For these reasons Foot forward has a wide range of solutions for people. From a very simple insole for a high heel shoe to the most complicated deformed foot that needs also medical shoes.
The custom-made orthotics are designed by the podiatrist professional of our team, they are based on their clinical evaluation and on data given by plantar pressure measurements but we also do the custom-made insoles based on additionally three dimensional measurements (3D custom made insoles) they are made here in our premises and always the footwear in which they will be used is discussed with the patients upfront. They are made to improve the biomechanics of the foot and the lower limb. They help the natural supportive tissues to perform at their best. In both cases they help the symptoms but do not alter the anatomy. They help the function of the lower limbs. Orthotics let the body fix any excessive damage with the intention that the tissues are fit all over again. Without using some type of extra support, it is to a certain extent likely that the symptoms will return. This does not imply that somebody must wear custom orthotics for life, however it is to be expected that some extra support will be needed to keep the feet in good physical shape depending on the primary cause of problems.
There is a wide range of uses, for example for biomechanical abnormalities i.e. flat feet, high arched feet, feet with various abnormal functions e.g. hallux valgus, hallux limitus, ankle equinus etc., as well as combination of problems. It is often that other structural problems exist and need to be evaluated together such as scoliosis and leg length discrepancies. Insoles can also be made after accidents or trauma to help in the rehabilitation process. They have an extremely important role in diabetes as they help prevent ulceration in high-risk feet, help in healing along with other treatments for would managements and most importantly prevent re-ulceration. For more information on this matter see our service of the diabetic foot clinic. High-risk feet are identified by a simple clinical examination. Accommodative insoles are also made for people with arthropathies, e.g. rheumatoid arthritis foot deformities, in order to cushion any deformities present and offload the painful joints.
When used in sports, they can improve foot function to the maximum and therefore provide the best outcome for the athlete’s performance. Different types of materials are available according to the needs of each individual patient ranging from soft densities to hard densities. Foot forward has a very wide range of orthotics, in order to be able to accommodate all needs. Apart from custom-made but also the semi-custom-made insoles. We have the brands VASILY and SCHEIN which are internationally known. Our team is well trained to be able to choose if a person can solve its problem with an adapted semi-custom made or he/she needs something custom made.