Orthotics/Biomechanics

Orthotics /Biomechanics is the study of forces applied to the body and its effect on function. In the foot health clinic, the main focus is on the feet and lower limbs. It is our job to determine what is causing the forces leading to injury.

We use a wide variety of treatment methods to reduce the biomechanical stresses, pain and dysfunction

Orthotic insoles are a common method of reducing biomechanical stresses in the lower limb and specifically the foot and ankle. They are designed to alter the forces through injured tissues. This, in turn, allows the body to go through natural healing processes

We also use exercise regimes, stretching advice, footwear advice and theraputic taping to alter biomechanical forces and improve function and pain.

Anyone can have a biomechanical assessment. If you are experiencing pain or instability in your foot/ankle, this may indicate a structure being subjected to an excessive amount of force. Our goal is to assess and reduce that excessive amount of force, reducing pain and instability in the process.

Biomechanics Assessment

Biomechanical assessment is performed by an Orthotist who will assess and diagnose your problem. A biomechanical assessment may include the following:

  • Slow motion video gait analysis
  • Physical examination
  • Kinematic and kinetic testing.
  • Footwear evaluation
  • Diagnosis and formulation of treatment plan
  • Onward referral to a specialist clinician (e.g. Podiatric Consultant) for further investigation including x-ray, MRI scan and diagnostic ultrasound

To your assessment, you should bring footwear that you regularly wear and perhaps footwear that causes you problems. If you expect to have a running gait analysis, it is important to bring your trainers and perhaps some shorts. A biomechanical assessment may take up to 1 hour and sometimes orthotic fitting appointments may be required depending on the treatment plan suggested.

Price List of Treatments

  • Suitability Consultation (if Initial Consultation then follows, this fee is deducted)
    £65
  • Review Examination (30 mins)
    £65
  • Initial Consultation (1 hour approx)
    £165
  • Full Orthoses Refurbishment (custom made devices)
    £150
  • Fitting Appointment (30 mins)
    £65
  • Mobilisation
    £65
  • Example cost of Orthotic Devices
    £45 - £300

Orthotics FAQ's

  • How do I know that you can treat my problem?

    Most foot and ankle problems can be treated but there are some cases where it is not possible. To allow for this, we offer a Suitability Appointment. This is a simple 10-15 minute appointment where you may have a brief examination. At the end of this appointment, we should know whether you would benefit from a full assessment. This appointment costs £30 and carries no obligation. Our trained receptionists should be able to guide you as to the likelihood of being suitable for a full assessment or whether a Suitability Appointment is necessary.
  • If I have an Initial Consultation, and nothing can be done, will I still have to pay?

    If you are found to be unsuitable for treatment, this will usually be fairly obvious quickly. The appointment will be cut short and charged pro rata and you will not be charged the full amount.
  • What are foot orthoses?

    They are insoles that go inside your shoe to apply force in a particular way in order to resolve a biomechanical deficiency. They can be anything from a thin piece of soft material to a hard CADCAM designed and milled piece of plastic. With the emergence of new materials, we make orthotics from silicone, carbon fibre, glass fibre, polyurethane, graphite and EVA.
  • How much do orthotics insoles cost?

    The cost varies greatly depending on the type of orthosis we use. This is based solely upon the requirements of the patient and their problem. As the cost can vary enormously, we have a simple pricing structure with 3 basic tiers. (There are some exceptions where the cost is lower/higher than the 3 tiers but they are rarely used.)
    · Simple Insoles/Stock Foot Orthoses – £45
    · Modified Prefabricated Orthoses – £70
    · Custom Made Orthoses – £200 per pair (£100 per single orthosis)
  • Are Custom Made Orthoses better than the others?

    In 90% of cases, a custom foot orthosis is the most likely to give the best symptom relief. However, in many cases, a modified prefabricated foot orthosis might give the same result but be slightly less durable. In 10% of cases, a stock or modified prefabricated orthosis will be a better option. This will mainly be to do with the amount of available space in the footwear.
  • What if I find my orthotic insoles uncomfortable or they make the pain worse?

    If, after a reasonable period of “breaking in” of the insoles, you are still not able to tolerate them, we will want you to attend for a review appointment. Assuming it is within a reasonable time frame, this will be free of charge as it is our duty and desire to make sure that you are fully satisfied with our service.
  • Will the treatment/orthotics definitely help my problems?

    We will endeavour to do everything we can improve your problems. However, like all medical treatment, we cannot guarantee success. We aim to minimise these instances by following solid, scientific, evidence based principles.
  • Who will be doing my biomechanical assessment?

    Our Orthotist is Robin Perrie. He is an HPC registered Orthotist but is dual qualified in Prosthetics. He is the only Orthotist on the Isle of Man and is currently the Orthotist providing all of the Orthotic Service at Nobles Hospital. Robin worked for 8 years at the RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital in Shropshire before moving to the Isle of Man. It was a centre of Excellence in Spinal Injuries and Robin also worked as part of ORLAU (Orthotic Research and Locomotor Assessment Unit). He has developed a specialist in interest in foot and ankle biomechanics and the treatment of related musculo skeletal problems. As such, he takes part in many orthotic focus groups for product development and lectures on orthotics and biomechanics regularly. Robin has close ties with some of the best Foot and Ankle Specialists in the UK and uses these as his base for onward referral and investigations.

Buying Orthotics

We all want a quick fix when it comes to our ailments. Feet are no different. At the Foot Health Clinic, we try not to sell you anything. We are trying to give you the tools to reduce your own pain and that sometimes involves a foot orthosis (orthotic insole). However, we realise that not everyone requires a bespoke solution

So, after much trial and error with various ranges of prefabricated products, we have decided that there are some insoles that we are happy to promote as an “over the counter orthosis” that we confident about selling online

If, however, you are not sure what you need or what your problem is then it is always advisable to have a consultation with the Orthotist to see what you might require

Vionic 3/4 Length Unisex Orthotic

From the much respected Vionic range, this 3/4 length, slimline unixex orthotic provides a comfortable level of arch support in a material that is tolerable even for the more sensitive feet.
The 1st metatarsal cut out is fantastic at increasing Windlass arch mechanism engagement and makes this the ideal insole choice for plantar fascia problems and degenerative osteoarthritis in the big toe joint
Slim enough to fit into even dress shoes, this foot orthosis is a great all rounder!