Member of Prescription Foot Orthotic Laboratory Association (PFOLA)
Member of Pedorthic Association of Canada (PAC)

Orthotics FAQ               

Q: What is an orthotic?
A: Orthotics are orthopedic devices that are used to alter or modify foot function and are designed to treat, adjust, and support various biomechanical foot disorders. The most effective orthotics are custom-made devices that are crafted to meet the specific needs of a particular individual. Custom orthotics are created using an impression of the foot called a cast, which duplicates any misalignments in foot structure. Using the cast and computer technology, technicians in an orthotic laboratory design a device that balances out deformities and corrects misalignments. It is important to remember that your feet are the foundation of your body. How your feet perform can affect how your skeletal body feels and performs. The stability and efficiency of the foot and ankle promote better foot health and overall body.



Q: Are orthotics the same as an insole?
A: No. Most store bought inserts (also called insoles) are fabricated from nothing more than different density cellular sponge and/or foam rubber materials. They may provide some shock absorption, but little (if any) biomechanical/functional control or support. If you can bend an insert in half, it is nothing more than an insole. Woodbridge Orthotics Lab manufactures true orthotics, not flimsy rubber insoles.



Q: How do I know if I need orthotics change slightly.
A: In most cases pain or excessive foot fatigue will alert you that you may have a foot problem. In the "normal" foot, moderate levels of activity do not cause sore or tired feet. Although overuse may cause foot fatigue, it rarely causes pain. If your foot problem persists after you have rested, consult your doctor. Putting even a normal foot into inappropriate shoes may cause foot problems. Painful corns, calluses and bunions may result from improper shoes. Our Clinicians can usually make you comfortable and educate you about proper footwear. Infants and youngsters may have foot problems that cause little or no pain. These are often first noticed by alert parents who see some abnormality of gait or foot structure. Early intervention may correct the problem or prevent it from progressing.



Q: How often should I be wearing my orthotics?
A: Your orthotics should be worn every time you are on your feet — during work, at home and play. Orthotics are like eyeglasses, they work when they are worn. As soon as you take your orthotics out of your shoes or take your shoes off your feet, the stress and discomfort you experienced before wearing your orthotics is likely to return.



Q: Will orthotics cure my foot problems?
A: Orthotics are not cure-all for all foot and related conditions. They are a conservative (non-invasive) treatment. They help your feet to function more efficiently, allowing healing to occur. If worn regularly they should help relieve pain and prevent the development of additional foot and related problems.