Foot orthoses are external devices which are fitted into shoes and can be various lengths. They can be customised to an individual or they can be prefabricated which are a standard structure.
Foot orthoses have various uses. Some of these uses are to limit or control the movement of a joint in the ankle or foot, to restrict particular movements in a specified direction, reduce weight bearing forces on a particular structure (such as joint, muscle, tendon or ligament), they can help with the recovery after a fracture has occurred and they also help to correct any biomechanical discrepancies. A podiatrist is able to assess the biomechanics and the gait cycle of an individual and determine if foot orthoses are required to assist with the structure or function of the foot and lower limb.
Foot orthoses can be used to treat hip, knee and foot deformities, plantar fasciitis, individuals with flat feet and even individuals with diabetes. The reasons can vary but they are a very useful device for the biomechanics of the human body.
Podiatrists are trained in biomechanics and the alignment of the human body. When there is a biomechanical discrepancy they have the knowledge and expertise to adjust and modify footwear and foot orthoses to minimise the discrepancies. They also have the experience and are qualified to assess and prescribe an individual orthotics if they are required. They are qualified to treat a range of podiatric issues that foot orthoses may be able to assist with.
If you have private health insurance and you are covered for extras including podiatry, most likely the answer is yes. You need to contact you private health insurance fund to confirm that they are covered under your current policy.
As you can imagine, your feet change as your body does. When you grow in height or your weight changes, different pressures are exerted in different areas of the foot and varying with force. That is why it is important to see your podiatrist every 12 months for a check-up.