Orthotic Therapy

Custom Orthotics in Vancouver

Custom foot orthotics are prescription medical devices made from non-weight bearing casts of your feet. They are designed to realign the foot and correct abnormal or irregular walking patterns. Orthotics accomplish this by making alterations in how the foot strikes the ground and supporting the foot through each step.
Custom orthotics are made and prescribed specifically for the individual based on podiatric examination of the feet, taking into account things such as foot type, mechanics, joint range of motion, muscle balance, deformity, and the use intended for.  A cast is taken of the feet in the correct position and this cast is sent to a lab for fabrication with a prescription.  The prescription is for type of orthotics, type of material, modification to accommodate and protect from deformity, and necessary corrections to the cast to facilitate efficient foot function and reduce stress on the feet while standing, walking, or running. Custom foot orthoses are not arch supports.

How do Custom Foot Orthotics work?

Many musculoskeletal issues are due to a misalignment between joints and their components: bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and fasciae. If one recognizes the foot as the foundation of the body then its dysfunction can result not only in foot problems such as bunions, hammer toes, arch and heel pain, corns but also in ankle, knee, hip or even back pain. Orthotics realign the structures of the foot and leg to reduce or prevent joint mal-alignment and relieve undue stress and fatigue on the related muscles, tendons, and ligaments. With improved function, pain is relieved, and the progression of deformities is stopped or slowed.

Production of Custom Orthotics

Proper production of custom orthotics is an exacting process and determines whether or not you receive quality devices that will best treat your condition. The ability of an orthotic device to eliminate your pain is dependent on the quality of the orthotics. The quality of the orthotics is dependent on four primary steps:

1. The examination (including joint alignments and range of motions,  deformities, stance and gait analysis but most importantly diagnosis)

2. The cast of your feet

3. The doctors prescription

4. The work of the orthotic lab in producing your orthotics.


What is Involved In Producing Custom Foot Orthotics?

The most important factor in designing foot orthotics that will provide optimum function is a thorough examination by an experienced and knowledgeable medical practitioner.   The examination should include an evaluation of biomechanics, gait and structural deformities.

Dispensing and Break-in:

Your doctor will work with you to ensure that your orthotics are comfortable and are relieving your symptoms. He will also provide you detailed information on the proper shoes for your feet. This will help you find appropriate, comfortable, and fashionable shoes.


One of the most important parts of orthotic therapy is appropriate follow-up.  If you have a problem with orthotic fit, function, comfort, shoe fit or any other issue, your doctor must be able to diagnose and correct these concerns. We routinely follow up one month after dispensing the devices.

Prefabricated orthotics (Prefabs)

A prefabricated orthotic is an arch support with a small, generic correction for pronation. They can be customized to improve function and are used for mild pronation related symptoms, particularly with children. These are less costly and less corrective than custom orthotics, but more expensive and more corrective than arch supports.  I offer both adult prefabricated orthotics and prefabricated orthotics for children from toddlers to teens.

Arch supports

Arch supports are over the counter devices meant to bolster up the arch. They can be modified to a degree and may be helpful for absorbing shock or as a framework for holding pads meant to off weight areas, such as metatarsal pads. It is difficult to get an exact fit with an arch support.  An example of this is simply looking at the packaging and seeing the sizing chart which will state made for men’s size 7-8 or 9-10 foot, or women’s 7-8 or 9-10 foot. Arch supports are helpful for mild symptoms.


Be aware of people selling cut rate orthotics as often short cuts are taken in the casting technique, assessment and construction of the devices.



Author: tammy gracen

Custom Orthotics

We also offer quality custom orthotics

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Contact Info

Dr. Tammy Gracen BSc. DPM
Phone: (604) 734-7331
Fax: (604) 737-1146
#530-943 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4E1

Online Foot Pads

Please visit http://shop.onlinefootsource.com for Quality foot pads shipped anywhere in Canada.
Providing Laser Toe Fungus treatment in the Vancouver Lower Mainland