Custom Orthotic Therapy
Gladesville Healthcare has the capacity to deliver customised foot orthotics within an hour, a process that normally takes 2-3 weeks! Custom orthotic devices help maintain sound foot posture when walking, standing and playing sport. The type and delivery of orthotic therapy differs considerably from clinic to clinic. At Gladesville Healthcare our ambition is to provide the very latest in technology and scientific thinking in the delivery of our healthcare services. We aim to educate our clients and ensure that we become and integral component in their health management. If your clinical need requires, you are reading this because you have been prescribed custom orthotic therapy as part of your treatment regime. We are excited to have been the first clinic in NSW and second in Australia to be utilizing the new ORTHEMA technology in the delivery of our custom orthotic therapy.
What is Custom Orthotic Therapy?
Custom orthotic therapy is an integral component in the management of many general musculoskeletal and specific foot complaints. Essentially, Custom Orthotic Therapy involves the prescription of a custom designed insole that achieves changes in foot posture and function reducing biomechanical overload and injury. The most important concept to grasp with orthotic therapy is that it MUST involve adjunctive treatment. This may take the form of prescribed exercises, stretching icing and heating advice, exercise modification, footwear prescription and manual therapy.
What can I expect during my assessment for Custom Orthotic Therapy?
Generally, you would have presented to our clinic for assessment of an injury, symptoms, or biomechanical concerns. During this initial assessment of your case we will hope to achieve a diagnosis through manual testing, investigations such as x-rays, observations and asking you about your concerns. If Custom Orthotic therapy is indicated we will make an Orthotic Assessment appointment. This appointment takes about 1.5 hours. You will need to bring your footwear, loose clothing (shorts if possible) and any investigations we may have requested. During this assessment session, you will be assessed walking, standing and with a plantar pressure device. Your feet will be scanned and a 3D image of your feet will be computer generated. We will then adjust the necessary components to suit your clinical need. Your custom Orthotics devices are made in house and take about 30 minutes to make. There is no waiting 2 weeks for casts to be returned. While we are making your custom Orthotic devices we will run through any exercises or ‘homework’ we need you to do to help your condition. Once completed we will fit your devices into the shoes you require and advise you regarding the wear-in process.
How often will I need to wear my orthotic devices?
If you present with symptoms, we recommend you wear your custom orthotic devices as much as possible, until your symptoms abate. Once this occurs, or if you are pain free to begin with, we advise that you wear your devices during your main activities. Playing sport and during work are usually essential, particularly if you are standing up all day. Generally, if you can manage to wear your devices 60-70% of the time, your clinical benefit will be achieved. (This may be longer for some cases). Don’t be too concerned if you have dress shoes you wear on occasion that do not fit your devices, you will be able to cope without them if you are diligent during the most active parts of your day.
How long will my orthotic devices last and when do I get reviewed?
Generally speaking, Custom Orthotic Devices have a life span of about 5 years. This can vary on the materials used, changes in your condition or foot type and the way you care for them. After issuing you with your new Custom Orthotic devices, we will review with you after 2 weeks. This is to check they are comfortable and not causing any issues. We would not necessarily expect your symptoms to be resolved in this time. Moving forward we will send you a letter to check up on your Custom Orthotic devices every 18 months for adults and every 12 months for children.
IF YOU START TO EXPERIENCE NEW SYMPTOMS OR YOUR OLD ONES RETURN, BE SURE TO LET US KNOW ASAP! Also, if there are any concerns with your devices, please let us know as they can often be adjusted easily and most problems solved.
What type of material are my orthothic devices made from?
At Gladesville Healthcare we specialize in Customised EVA orthotic devices. These are generally the softer and more comfortable of the custom orthotic devices you would know of. Whilst we can do rigid polypropylene and carbon fibre devices, these are done only when indicated, as they are often limiting in their comfort and wearability. The density of the EVA materials we use ensure a life span similar to the rigid materials. Surprisingly we are able to provide greater support and features in EVA devices compared to rigid devices.
Custom orthotic devices for children?
This is often an ethical debate and there are often several options for children. Obviously, at Gladesville Healthcare we only issue Orthotic therapy to children if clinically required. We will always explore the most effective way to ensure the normal growth and development of your child’s foot. One of the complaints associated with Custom Orthotic therapy for children is the cost of having to replace them yearly as your child’s foot grows. This is NOT the case. When delivering a custom orthotic device to children using EVA devices, we are able to accommodate arch and foot growth up to about 3 shoe sizes, almost 3 years in most cases.
Why not buy an insole over the counter?
The insoles you can purchase over the counter in pharmacies and sports stores are very different to custom orthotic devices. The materials used in over the counter devices have a very short life span and often last only 6 months at the most. Secondly, the ‘clinical’ correction offered by over the counter devices is negligible and often will not provide lasting relief for your symptoms. Most importantly, with custom orthotic therapy you are INVESTING in professional advice and diagnosis, the ability to- modify your devices as your condition/footwear changes and the unbiased advice of ethical professionals.
Custom Orthotics Casting techniques - Plaster vs computer?
At Gladesville Healthcare we see ourselves as pioneers in our professions. As such we like to provide our clientele with the very latest in scientific process and thinking. We prefer to use computer aided design and manufacture in the prescription of our orthotic devices. We find the benefits are numerous; which in- elude the more accurate weight bearing casting process compared with non-weight bearing plaster casting., the quick turn around time, less than an hour, the ability to store and relate back to previous device prescriptions and finally the ease of modification and the ability to ‘re-grind’ devices that cause irritation or to achieve greater clinical benefit.
Is Custom Orthotic Therapy a CURE for my condition?
We KNOW that custom orthotic devices will not change your anatomy. If you have flat feet, you will always have flat feet! What Custom orthotic therapy does, is whilst wearing them, they provide a physical means of influencing your particular foot type mechanics to aid in the treatment of your injury or symptoms. We KNOW that after a few months of wear, your feet adjust to the devices and this provides a ‘neurological’ change in function for a few days. This is why, once your symptoms have abated you are able to reduce (Not STOP) the time spent in your devices. Your clinician will create an appropriate wearing procedure for your particular case.
Will Custom Orthotic Therapy affect my foot-wear choices?
One of the benefits of making our custom devices ‘in-house’ is that we can tailor them to any particular shoe. Of course, there are some shoes that will never work, but we will advise you regarding this. Often people are prescribed several devices to fit into different types of shoes. Generally, we can create an orthotic device that will be accommodated in all your shoes, requiring only one device to be issued.
How Much Does Custom Orthotic Therapy Cost?
At Gladesville Healthcare we aim to provide the very latest in healthcare whilst ensuring fair and equitable access to all. Our fees for our custom orthotic therapy sit below our associations gazetted rates. All our custom orthotic therapy fees are ALL INCLUSIVE of :
Your Orthotic Assessment
Your Review Appointment
Any Adjustments that are required
(If seeking quotes for orthotic therapy from other clinics, please ensure you ascertain the costs for reviews and any additional appointments etc)
Am I covered for any of the costs through my private health fund?
Custom orthotic therapy is covered under extras cover in private health funds. Generally speaking, most health funds rebate between $250 and $350 on your custom orthotic therapy. Naturally, our interest is in ensuring you have timely access to healthcare. So if you foresee any difficulty in meeting the financial obligations noted above, we will be happy to arrange a payment plan for you. What ifI need more than I pair? Occasionally there may be a need for subsequent devices for vastly different footwear or for ease of use. In these circumstances we charge half price for the second and subsequent pairs if issued within 18 months of the first pair. Custom orthotic devices are also particularly beneficial for those who do a lot of ‘stationary standing’ such as working in retail and hospitality industries.
Call 9816 3071 and organise an ‘orthotic appointment’. Your appointment will take about 1 hour, and you will be able to take your CUSTOM devices home with you. Remember to bring your work and sporting shoes.