What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are medical, orthopedic devices, that are used to alter or modify foot function. They are designed to treat, adjust, and support various biomechanical foot disorders.  Orthotics are inserts, placed in the patient’s shoe, to support the foot and eliminate abnormal foot biomechanics by keeping the foot properly aligned. Depending on the patient’s needs, the orthotic may have padding added to cushion the foot and make it more comfortable.

What specific conditions may be helped by orthotics?

Your feet are the foundation of every step you take.  A minor problem here can become a major problem higher up in the body.  Often times, there is no pain in the feet at all, but when there is dysfunction at our base, the result can be pain and dysfunction in the knees, hips and even the spine.

Arch pain, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, shin splints, calluses, corns, bunions or hammer toes, cramping, aching or tired legs are all common conditions that can be caused by improper foot arches.  A properly fit pair of orthotics may help provide relief from these uncomfortable conditions.  If you have a neuroma, a geriatric, or a diabetic foot problem, orthotics can provide you with the needed protection and comfort for your feet.

Who would benefit from an Orthotic Assessment?

Anyone with foot pain or discomfort would benefit from an orthotic assessment.  Some problems are obvious, such as “flat feet” (fallen arches), bow legs, knock knees, pigeon-toes, “duck feet” or high-arched feet. However, many foot abnormalities are subtle, and are not detected until symptoms occur.

People who must walk or stand excessively at their work might also benefit from the comfort of orthotics.

Orthotics will often help to increase endurance, performance and strength of those active in competitive or leisure sports.

For overweight individuals, orthotics will help to counteract the extra stress on the feet. Small problems are often magnified due to the increased weight.

People with special needs, such as diabetics or the elderly might find relief from the additional accommodation or increased cushioning in an orthotic.  Orthotics can work in a preventative manner to avoid the development of future foot problems, such as skin ulcerations.

Orthotic Assessment / Gaitscan™

At Associate Chiropractic Centre, we take the feet very seriously!  We understand that our environment is not always suited to what is best for our feet.  Our goal is to offer a solution to help you obtain a better quality of life.  If we feel that you would benefit from an Orthotic Assessment we will recommend one to you – always free of charge.


The Orthotic Assessment appointment begins with a brief discussion of your health history and includes a thorough examination of your feet, both seated and weight-bearing.  Our clinic uses TOG’s Gaitscan™ technology to then assess the biomechanical function of your feet while walking.  The information we learn from the 2D and 3D pressure data provided by the Gaitscan, allows our practitioner to determine what is happening in the foot with each step. You will be provided with a colour print-out of the scans and an orthotic prescription designed specifically for your needs.

If we establish that your feet require the additional support that orthotics provide, we will discuss the various options available to you.


How Much Do Orthotics Cost?

Custom made orthotics are covered by most insurance plans and are often available for no out-of-pocket expense for the patient.  Our orthotics start at $400 for one pair, but because different types of orthotics have different pricing, actual costs can’t be determined until after an assessment of a patient’s condition and needs has been done. We have a high satisfaction rate and are committed to making sure that your orthotics suit you well.  We will make modifications when necessary to achieve optimum results.

For more information on the cost of orthotics, please contact our office.

Wondering if a simple store bought arch support will work as well? 

Arch supports merely push against the arch when you are standing, and are not designed with the dynamic needs of your foot in mind. Although a $15 arch support can be of some help, they are very limited, and are manufactured in bulk to fit an “average foot.” What is an “average foot”? Just like eyeglasses work better when designed to meet the specific needs of your eyes, orthotics work better when designed to treat the unique requirements of your feet.

A study was done that compared orthotics designed by Computerized Force Plate Technology versus Static Foam Molds. Specifically, the study looked at the effectiveness, overall comfort, overall successful wearing time and overall patient preference.

The Results: Patient Preference: 60% preferred the computerized system Effectiveness & Comfort: 80% preferred the computerized system The Fit of the Orthotics: 98% rated the computerized fit as Excellent or Good Conclusion: This study determined that the foot orthotics produced with the new force plate computer system are clinically as helpful (or better) in treating foot and leg complaints as the standard neutral mold orthotics that have been used for over 25 years.