What Is A Custom Orthotic?

A custom orthotic is a device designed to align the foot and ankle into the most anatomically efficient position. They look like insoles, but are bio-mechanical medical appliances that are custom made to correct your specific foot imbalance. Custom orthotics work on your feet much like glasses work on your eyes – they reduce stress and strain on your body by bringing your feet back into proper alignment. The plastic body of the custom orthotic helps to re-align the foot by redirecting and reducing certain motion that takes place during the gait cycle. Custom orthotics fit into your shoes as comfortably as an insole – and they have the advantage of having been made from precise imprints of your feet

Who Needs Custom Orthotics?

The symptoms of poor foot mechanics can include any one of the following:

  • Localized foot pain
  • Bunions, hammer toes
  • Arch/heel pain
  • Leg/knee pain
  • Hip or back pain – even neck pain

How Can I get Custom Orthotics?

An appointment with a skilled chiropractor will be booked in order to perform a biomechanical gait analysis, and assessment of foot mechanics. The chiropractor will also conduct a health history and evaluate your needs from the orthotic and spend time recommending the type of orthotic that would be most suitable for your lifestyle and activities you engage in. The casting is done in a foam mould at the end of the appointment and is sent to a lab where the custom orthotic is created. The typical turn around time is 4 weeks.

Insurance companies can vary from one to the other and even within the same company. Therefore, it is recommended that patients verify the requirements they must satisfy for proper reimbursement. Most often, insurance companies require a prescription from a medical doctor, a chiropodist or a podiatrist. Some may also dictate which practitioners are allowable to cast the mould for the custom orthotic. Finally, some may also require the practitioner who is fitting the orthotic to provide a biomechanical assessment. So when calling your insurance company regarding your coverage such medical devices, the following questions can help guide and clarify what your necessary requirements are for coverage:

“Do I need a prescription? If so, who can write the prescription?”

“Who can cast the orthotic?”

From time to time, the type of practitioner the insurance company lists as “acceptable” is not available at the clinic. Should such a scenario arise, your chiropractor can refer you to a trusted practitioner outside the clinic. 

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