Orthotics Appointments and Provision for Braces in Stockport and Manchester

Have you got flat feet which is causing foot pain?

Have you got hip or knee pain when running? This could be due to biomechanical problems in the leg.

Have you got osteoarthritis in the knee which may be helped by an off-loading brace? 

Our orthotist, Mike Carter can assess your foot and leg and advise whether orthotics will be helpful.

 

Orthotics / Biomechanical Assessment

Call Gatley on 0161 491 1999 or the Heatons on 0161 432 3232

Orthotic and Bracing Service in Heaton Moor, Gatley and Didsbury

What is an Orthotist?

An Orthotist is a medical clinician responsible for the prescription of orthotics (insoles). 

Orthotics is the medical field specialising in the design, manufacture and application of externally applied devices to improve the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal system.

Mike Carter is the Orthotist at Gatley Physio Clinic.

‘I have had 30 years of experience in orthotics, treating patients around the UK hospitals. In my NHS role, I am based at Stepping Hill Orthotic Department. I have the ability to source extremely high-quality manufacturing of Orthotic devices, from the top Orthotic manufacturing companies here in the UK and around the world. As an independent service we are not confined to using less expensive products that do not last as long as other competitors in the manufacturing field.’

 

What is an Orthotic?

An orthotic device is used to support, align, prevent, or correct the function of the moveable parts of the body.  

One of the most common reasons people seek orthotics is due to flat feet (pronation) which can cause foot pain.

An orthotic in the shoe can correct the foot position and as the joints in the leg are connected, the orthotic can also correct the alignment of the other lower limb joints such as the knee and hip. Once alignment is achieved, the function of the joints, not only in the feet but other joints in the lower limb will function better and will be less painful.

The orthotic service provides an assessment to determine if an orthotic device is required to modify the body structural angulation, alignment and position to improve your biomechanics. The aim is to get the skeletal and neuromuscular system working as normally as possible to reduce pain and improve your function.

An orthotic device can be supplied to all ages but are only supplied following an assessment by the Orthotist. If, following an examination, the orthotist feels they are not required, the reasons will be fully explained.

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When do patients need orthotics?

Patients are generally referred for orthotics because they have pain, usually in the foot. Many patients will think they need orthotics if they have flat feet (pes planus). This may not be the case as not all flat feet are symptomatic, and orthotics may not therefore be needed. Mike will advise you about this.

Other indications for orthotics could be leg length discrepancy or poor biomechanics. Due to trauma, age, disease or a congenital deformity, the muscles, tendons, ligaments or bones can become misaligned altering the normal biomechanics of the body which can give associated pain in the knee, hip or back, coming on due to the strain on the joints if walking awkwardly.

Following an assessment by Mike, if an orthotic is needed, he will advise whether a stock orthotic is suitable or if a custom-made device is more appropriate.

Patients often refer themselves direct for an orthotic assessment but may also be referred by their physio, GP or Orthopaedic consultant.

Is an orthotic covered by medical insurance?

You will need to check with your insurance company, but generally the orthotic (insole) itself is not covered. The assessment cost may be covered, with the same rules applying regarding possible excess on your policy and restrictions.

What conditions are commonly treated?

Foot pain due to:

  • Post-operative conditions
  • Flat feet
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Bunions
  • Post-operative foot pain
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Hallux limitus (stiff big toe)
  • Morton’s neuroma

Ankle pain due to:

  • Post-op conditions
  • Fractures
  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Pain in the tendons, muscles or joint

Knee pain due to:

  • Pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chondromalacia patella
  • Patellofemoral pain
  • Knee instability
  • Trauma and ligament injuries

Hip pain due to:

  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Hip instability / impingement syndrome
  • Post-operative fractures

Spinal problems such as:

  • Spinal deformities/scoliosis
  • General back pain
  • Neck pain

What are the benefits of orthotics?

Altered foot biomechanics can be treated either by use of accommodative or functional foot orthotics which your Orthotist will discuss with you.

Altered biomechanics in the foot (such as flat feet) will cause mis-alignment so when you are weight bearing, for example, standing and walking, this may cause pain in the foot. Generally, accommodative orthotics are used to treat these specific foot symptoms by altering the pressure patterns when you are putting weight through the foot, providing comfort and reduced pain.

Functional orthotics are for specialised tuning of abnormal biomechanics. By altering the position and therefore mechanical function of the subtalar joint (just below the ankle), the alignment of the ankle and foot is corrected which can provide significant benefits of reduced foot pain, and reduced associated pain in the knee, hip or lower back, making walking and running easier and more pain free.

Should orthotics be worn all the time?

Generally, once the orthotics have been prescribed, there is a weaning in period, which is to ‘break’ the orthotic in, almost like breaking in new shoes. After the ‘weaning in time’ (1-2 weeks), the orthotic will be worn full time, which will support the structures of the foot so that the forces generated with weight can either be off loaded or re-distributed. However, some orthotics are only be used for certain activities, such as sport. Mike will discuss this with you.

What else does an Orthotist offer?

Mike also offers expert advice on knee bracing systems which can relieve pain from:

  • Ligament instability for example in the knee following an ACL tear
  • Arthritis, for example in the knee or hip
  • Knee braces which are Ideal for unstable knees when skiing
  • Spinal bracing for pars fractures in the teenage athlete
  • Spinal bracing for arthritic changes
  • Provision of hand and finger orthotics
  • Elbow orthotics
  • Corsetry
  • Lycra garments for C.P
  • Special made bespoke footwear

Get in touch

If you want advice regarding the best way forward in terms of your feet and mechanics, call to make an appointment with Mike Carter.

Call Gatley on 0161 491 1999 or the Heatons on 0161 432 3232

How To Make an Appointment

We are usually able to offer an appointment time within 24 working hours of your call. 

Please either call the clinic or leave your details in the online enquiry form and we’ll call you back to confirm the arrangements.

Gatley: 0161 491 1999
Heaton Moor: 0161 432 3232

Why Choose Gatley & Heatons Physio?

We provide expert orthotics and biomechanic assessments from our clinics in Heaton Moor, Gatley and Didsbury and we regularly help patients from across Stockport and Manchester reduce their pain and return to normal activities.

We frequently work with clients in Cheadle, Bramhall, Poynton, Wilmslow, Northenden, Altrincham, Sale, West Didsbury, Withington, Burnage, Heaton Moor, Heaton Chapel, Heaton Norris, Heaton Mersey and Reddish, and we are regularly able to provide home visits for those who are not able to attend one of our clinics.

We have been established in these areas for many years and have a fantastic relationship with most of the Doctors in these areas. If needed, we will liaise with your Doctor about your condition, for example if medication is needed or a referral to another speciality.

We have an excellent reputation of providing high standards of clinical physiotherapy and a professional service through a trusted, personal and friendly approach.

We offer flexible appointment times to all patients including extended working hours and home visits.

Tim Hilton

I saw Lesley for a dental phobia. I had to go to the dentist the day after the session and was extremely nervous about going. When I went to the dentist the next day, I kept myself calm using the techniques that Lesley had shown me. A few months on, I still find it unpleasant visiting the dentist but me fear feels far more manageable. I feel that the hypnotherapy session had a huge part to play in achieving that and I’m really pleased with the results.