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Custom Orthotics – Accommodative or Corrective?

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Dubai Podiatry Centre is the Middle East’s foremost leg and foot health experts. Specializing in biomechanics, utilizing the latest and most innovative custom orthotics amongst their array of advanced foot and leg therapies.
Prescription foot orthotics are discrete, in-shoe ‘braces’ which are designed to correct abnormal foot and leg function (including the foot, ankle, leg, knee, thigh and hip). In correcting abnormal foot and leg function, the prescription foot orthotics reduce the strain on injured structures in the foot, ankle, leg knee or hip, allowing them to heal and become non-painful. Gone are the days of ‘special shoes’ or chunky insoles.
In addition, prescription foot orthotics help prevent future problems from occurring by reducing abnormal forces on the foot and lower extremity. Custom made prescription orthotics are similar to orthodontic braces for the teeth – changing alignment, not just for cosmetic reasons but importantly to improve function, alignment, efficiency and alleviate pain. Comfort insoles bought over-the-counter from a shop or pharmacy do not correct any foot or leg malalignment but may provide some short term comfort and cushioning. Foot or leg pain should be assessed and diagnosed by a qualified Podiatrist, who complete a 4 year degree of specific medical training in the feet and legs at University (as a minimum) plus at least 2 years’ post-graduate clinical training.

Podiatrists prescribe two main types of prescription foot orthotics for their patients: accommodative orthotics and functional/corrective foot orthotics. Both types of prescription foot orthotics are used to correct the foot posture and gait of the patient so that the pain in their foot or lower extremity will improve so that normal activities can be resumed without pain.
Custom orthotics are prescribed as a pair to allow more normal function of both feet (similar to having both the left and right wheels of a car realigned in a front end alignment).
Accommodative Foot Orthotics
Accommodative foot orthotics are used to cushion, pad or relieve pressure from a painful or injured area on the bottom of the foot. They may also be designed to try to control abnormal function of the foot. Accommodative orthotics are fabricated from a three dimensional model of the foot made by taking a plaster mold of the foot, following a thorough lower limb biomechanical assessment.
Accommodative orthotics are useful in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcerations and extensive arthritis, leg length difference and other conditions requiring offloading from certain areas of the foot. Accommodative orthotics are relatively cushioned compared to corrective orthotics. Dubai Podiatry Centre has worked to develop much more advanced accommodative orthotics than have previously been standard in healthcare, in that they are durable and much more slim fitting for many types of shoes.
Corrective Foot Orthotics
Functional, or corrective custom foot orthotics are used to correct abnormal foot and leg function and alignment. Custom corrective orthotics are used to address a wide range of foot, ankle and leg issues, including:
• Over-pronation of the sub-talar joints
• Supination
• Hallux valgus (both conservatively and post bunion surgery)
• Plantar fasciitis
• Runner’s knee
• ITB syndrome
• Ingrown toenails caused by internally rotated hallux
• Shin splints
Each pair of custom orthotics is unique and made to the patient’s individual prescription – whether to correct an ankle rolling in or out, stabilization, off-loading, raising arches, tightening the forefoot or taking strain off of the heel or plantar fascia.
The custom orthotics developed by Chief Podiatrist Michelle Champlin at Dubai Podiatry Centre are extremely slimline and easily fit into most types of shoes, including the designer dress shoes favoured at DIFC, in airline cabin shoes, ski boots, football cleats or school shoes. The advanced custom sports orthotics used by professional and amateur athletes, from cricketers to cyclists and ultra marathoners. They are fabricated from a three-dimensional model of the foot in the clinic. Almost all clinics take a mold of the patient’s foot and then outsource this off to a factory, usually in another country such as the USA, whereby these are manufactured and sent back. Dubai Podiatry Centre is unique in the Middle East in providing an end-to-end service to its patients from initial consultation through to the Podiatrist hand making the patient’s orthotics in their in-house laboratory, then fitting the orthotics to the patient. The in-house lab allows for minute adjustments within seconds to achieve very precise adjustments to within 1 degree, whilst the patient is present, saving the patient precious time.
As foot posture improves with orthotic usage, much like braces for the teeth, these can be adjusted to keep improving foot posture until foot posture goals have been achieved. Without an in-house lab, these instant changes, at the Podiatrist’s own hands would not be possible. The clinic offers a unique, bespoke and highly specialized biomechanics service to discerning patients who expect, and receive, the best results possible within the shortest timescales.

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