Orthotics in Guelph – A Guide

Sore feet? Or maybe it’s your knees, hip, or back. You probably need orthotics, right?

No. Not everyone needs orthotics. In fact most people don’t.

Take 90 seconds, watch the video, and see if orthotics are right for you…

At Clear Path we’re happy to offer a free consultation to find out if you are a good candidate for orthotics. Please contact us or book online today. We look forward to helping you find the right fit.

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Below you’ll find some more detailed information and Q & A on some common questions about orthotics.

Q: Do you need orthotics?

A: Probably not.

Q: What do you mean probably not?

A: Not everyone needs orthotics. In fact most people don’t. Your body, including your feet, is strong, resilient, and designed to adapt to the demands of your everyday life. And when foot (or other) aches and pains arise, some foot strengthening exercises, or a brief trial of manual therapy can be all that’s needed to calm things down. As well, depending on the activity, it may be as simple as finding different footwear that offers more comfort.

Certainly for those who do need orthotics it can make a world of difference in comfort, pain relief, and performance – not just for your feet, but for your entire body. And we are happy to offer our orthotics service to all those in the Guelph area for whom orthotics may be of benefit.

Q: What are good reasons to get orthotics?

A: You have a medical condition causing foot/ankle/knee/back pain that might be improved by applying support to your foot (plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, recurrent ankle sprains, arthritis, tendonitis, chronic/recurrent back pain etc.) Maybe you’ve already tried a combination of manual and exercise therapy and it hasn’t helped – you could be a good candidate. Or perhaps your schedule just won’t allow for you try other therapies at this time, then orthotics might also be right for you.

Q: Are there bad reasons to get orthotics?

A: You bet. Here are some terrible reasons…

  • Just for fun.
  • You have health insurance coverage for orthotics and thought “What the heck?”.
  • Your colleagues are getting them and you don’t want to feel left out.
  • Your best friend dared you to. Even double and triple-dog-dares.

Q: What is the process to get a pair of orthotics?

A: First we start with a history of any current complaints you have, as well as an overview of your general health. Next we move on with a physical exam, looking at your feet and other related structures. Finally we arrive at a diagnosis, and determine if orthotics are right for you. If orthotics are indicated we then cast your feet using a compressible foam (this is fun and feels kind of neat). From there, your foot castings are sent to the manufacturer to be made into your custom orthotics.

Q: What kind of orthotics should you get?

A: There are many different kinds of orthotics to choose from. The style best for you is often determined by the predominant activity you’ll be using them for and/or the style of shoe you’ll be wearing them in.

  • Standard orthotic – for day-to-day use in most shoes. This is the kind of orthotic that is best for most people.
  • Dress orthotic – for use in low profile dress shoes (often women’s shoe styles)
  • Sport orthotic – for use in specific sport shoes. They offer increased stiffness with some higher impact activities.

There are also different kinds of top covers to consider (the top cover is the part of the orthotic that the bottom of your foot will actually be contacting). Top cover materials commonly include:

  • Neoprene – a spongy material similar to the lining of many running shoes. It’s quite comfortable.
  • Vinyl – a thin, smooth leather-like layer. Often good for lower profile dress orthotics.
  • Leather – for when you want to spend more for leather.

Q: Is there a particular shoe that works best with orthotics?

A: Orthotics can be used in most any shoe. However, it’s best if the insole of the shoe is easily removable so that the orthotic can fit comfortably inside without pushing your foot too high up. Many casual and running shoes have an easily removeable insole. And although many dress shoes’ insoles do not come out easily, they are often thin enough that it doesn’t matter. Still, you should have a good idea of the shoe you want the orthotic in, and the limitations which may apply.

Finally, there is the length of the top cover to consider.

  • Full length top covers are continuous with the full length of your foot. These are best if you’re going to be using the orthotic in a dedicated pair of shoes as you can trim the tips of the top cover to the fit of that shoe.
  • Partial length top covers reach to just under the balls of your feet. Because they’re not as long they are more versatile and can be accommodated by almost any pair of shoes. The challenge, however, is that because they’re not as long as your foot you may feel the transition from the orthotic to the shoe. And similarly, you may feel what’s under the original insole after you have taken it out.

Q: How do you know if orthotics are covered by your health insurance plan?

A: If you are using coverage from your health insurance plan be sure to read up on your specific plan details regarding orthotics. Each plan is different in the amount that is covered, prescriptions required, and who is allowed to prescribe the orthotics. If a prescription is required by your medical doctor, be sure to get that before the orthotics are made as some insurance providers prefer those events in chronological order. If your plan allows for a prescription by a chiropractor, that can be provided as part of the service at the same time as casting.

Q: You currently have orthotics but would like a new pair. Will they feel the same?

A: If you’ve had a pair of orthotics made through us before, and all you require is a new pair of exactly the same casting, then yes, they will feel the same.

If you are getting a new casting done through us then they may feel different. First, we may be using a different manufacturing company from where your previous orthotics were made. Second, your feet and the activities that you do may have changed, causing a different feel.

Q: Can you use the same pair of orthotics in different shoes?

A: Yes you can. But… check out the section above on top cover lengths.

Q: How long does it take to get a pair of orthotics?

A: The turnaround time is approximately three weeks (often it’s shorter) from the time we send the cast to the manufacturer to the time they come back to our clinic. From then it’s just a matter of getting them into your hands. And onto your feet.

This is by no means a full and complete list of considerations for orthotics, however, it covers most of issues you may need to deal with.

If you’re in Guelph, and would like more information on orthotics, please contact us or book online for a free 15-minute Meet the Doctor consultation – we’re always happy to chat and help you find what’s right for you.