Orthosis, Orthoses, and Orthotics
An orthosis is a device that provides correction, support or protection to a part of the body. Foot orthoses, also referred to as orthotics, can be classified by the material they are made from and can be divided into functional foot orthoses and accommodative foot orthoses.
Functional Foot Orthotic
A functional foot orthotic controls joint movement by a series of levers known as posts or wedges placed on the base surface of the orthosis shell. The goal here is to reinstate normal gait patterns by deviating ground reactive forces through altered and ideally neutral positions of joints. "Pedors Beats" are a functional foot orthotic system designed as an affordable off the shelf alternative to expensive custom molded orthotics that often cost several hundred dollars per pair.
Accommodative Foot Orthotic
Accommodative foot orthoses do not attempt to reinstate normal gait patterns but instead address foot symptoms by decreasing areas of peak pressure and reducing dynamic friction on the foot surface. "Pedors 3P Inserts" are accommodative inserts that provide comfort and pressure relief.
The term “shoe insole” is often misused as describing the shoe liner or insert that often comes with a shoe. The insole is what is seen when the insert or liner is taken out. The shoe insole is actually is the backbone of the shoe holding the upper to the sole. It provides the rigidity or flexibility and the place where, in the absence of a shoe liner, the plantar surface of the foot contacts the shoe. Traditionally, the shoe insole has been made of leather which conforms well to the shape of the plantar surface of the foot, absorbs moisture, breathes well and is very durable. But because leather is heavy and relatively expensive, it is not the insole of choice for all shoes because of the expense and the weight. Leather is not machine-washable either. Today, high grade pressed paper and other materials with similar functionality are used because of the reduced weight and cost and they are durable enough to maintain the shape and function of the shoe and easy to clean.
The role of the shoe insert in the shoe usually dictates what materials are used to ensure the insert meets the needs of the person wearing the shoe. If the insert is to be functional or dynamic it’s usually called an orthotic.
Custom orthotics are made on a foot by foot basis after taking a cast or making a mold of the patient’s foot. Pre-fabricated orthotic systems are also available with either a neutral or posted heel and either with or without a metatarsal pad.
If the insert is intended to be used to accommodate the foot to reduce pressure points on the plantar surface of the foot, the insert can either be custom molded from a cast or mold or heat molded with the patients foot in situ. Some pre-fabricated inserts use the latest material technology so that the insert molds to the patients foot over a short period of time after the insert is fitted to the shoe.
Diabetic shoe inserts are accommodative in design. Peripheral neuropathy in the diabetic foot makes the foot insensate, so that the diabetic foot is at risk for ulceration that can lead to amputation. Accommodative diabetic inserts reduce the incidence of ulceration by minimizing the risks of trauma. By ensuring 100% contact with the plantar surface of the foot, weight is evenly distributed eliminating pressure points. Sheer forces are also reduced as the foot is cradled by the insert.