Custom Foot Orthotics or Custom Insoles

The principle of a custom foot orthotic in most cases rests on improving the biomechanics of the foot and the kinetic chain of the lower extremity. The kinetic chain is the mechanical interrelationship between connected limbs in the body. Each segment of the chain affects the other segments in the chain. It is for this reason that orthotics can be used to treat conditions in the knee hip and back – several joints away from the orthotic or insole. Precisely for this reason, it is important that the whole kinetic chain be taken into account when making orthotics or custom insoles. Changes on how the foot lands on the ground can potentially cause problems further up the leg or into the back depending on any pre-existing faults or lack of flexibility.

Custom orthotics are insoles or arch supports which are custom fitted to a patient's feet. Orthotics can used in most settings ranging from routine day to day wear and in various sports.

Foot conditions for which custom made orthotics or arch supports are helpful include:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • heel spur
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Metatarsalgia (pain under the ball of the foot)
  • Chronic arch strain
  • Bunions,
  • Hammer toes, claw toes,
  • Calluses
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Peroneal or tibialis posterior tendonitis
  • Support for previously injured feet and ankles
  • Osteoarthritis of the foot or ankle
  • Diabetes with peripheral neuropathy
  • Runner with hyperpronation

Conditions above the foot for which custom orthotics or arch supports are helpful in treating include:

  • Shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome
  • Stress fractures of the shins
  • Patellofemoral syndrome or runner’s knee
  • Patellar tendonitis (jumper’s knee)
  • Osteoarthritis and other types of arthritis of the knee
  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Hip girdle dysfunction
  • Mechanical back pain and postural abnormalities

Generally, the closer the location of the condition is to the foot, the more predictable the success of the custom foot orthotic prescription will be in controlling it. Conditions such as metatarsalgia can be easily addressed with a properly fitted custom insole and may not need any further treatment.

Conditions such as knee pain, back or hip pain are usually multifactorial. Successful treatment in these cases usually involves other modalities such as exercises, physiotherapy and custom or over the counter braces etc. It is not uncommon for custom foot orthotic prescribers to prescribe and dispense a custom foot orthotic for patients for such conditions without examining the entire kinetic chain or mentioning to their clients that the custom foot orthotic is only a partial solution. This typically leads to an increased failure rate of the custom foot orthotic with respect to controlling the condition at hand. New problems can be created without a proper examination of all the segments in the kinetic chain which will be impacted by a custom insole support or foot orthotic. For example, someone with tight soft tissues may experience onset of knee pain or back pain after being prescribed custom foot orthotics for a simple foot condition. Another potential problem is aggravation of osteoarthritis of the knee due to a standard custom orthotic prescription which has not been adjusted to accommodate for the osteoarthritis.

When you are seeking custom orthotics in Toronto, you can rest assured that the specialists at our Toronto sports medicine clinic are here to help you. In addition to providing standard sports therapy in Toronto, the team at the Toronto Centre for Sports Medicine assists with custom foot orthotics or insoles supports. Orthotics are prescribed and dispensed only after a complete medical and orthopedic history and physical exam is performed by Dr. Jack Hakoun MD., MCFP (SEM), Dip. Sport Med. (CASM).

Dr. Hakoun has over 33 years of experience including not only orthotic dispensing but in orthopedics and sports therapy in Toronto. Orthotics are usually prescribed after a detailed history and biomechanical assessment of the patient. While most orthotics are made using one technique for measurement of the foot, we use a combination of the latest techniques to perform our analysis, including foam casts, laser 3D scans (Orthogenic Laboratories) of the foot, and force plate analysis (The Orthotic Group) as necessary.   An analysis of running technique and shoe wear if applicable are also performed.  If necessary, other conditions interfering with the effectiveness of the orthotics are dealt with as well including lack of flexibility or weakness in the body parts which will be affected by the custom insoles. Adjunctive knee braces are sometimes necessary as well. The good news is that all of these necessary interventions are available at our centre.

Our orthotics are made out of various materials to best suit the patient, the condition, and the shoe wear in which they will be used. Materials range from hard plastic to semi-rigid and softer materials such as EVA. Additionally, we may use a combination of these materials as necessary to produce the most effective custom orthotic for your condition.

Due to the comprehensive nature of the custom orthotic assessment and treatment at our Toronto sports medicine clinic, success rates are generally very high – approaching 100%. We are so confident in our orthotics that we offer a money back guarantee if the orthotic does not perform as it should. 

There is no doubt that the procedure for custom arch supports and foot orthotics at The Toronto Centre for Sports Medicine provides a comprehensive, accurate, efficient and very effective system of orthotic prescription and treatment. When you know you need assistance with your feet, knees hips or back, you can rest assured that we will provide you with high-end orthotics in Toronto and the surrounding community.