I am in my mid seventies, but still quite active. I like to go walking regularly, but lately am having problems with pain in my arches and at the front of my legs when I walk any distance. Do you think orthotics might help me?

I certainly think it would be a good idea to come in for an assessment. Sometimes when retired, you actually start walking more than you ever did before! If you have a pronating foot, this can start to let you know its there, and needs a little help and support. The fact that you also have pain down the front of your legs after walking some distance, suggests this might be the case. I feel sure we can help you.

How long will my custom orthotics last before I have to replace them?

Several years, but it is advisable to maintain them in good condition by having them refurbished each year.

I am a cross country runner, and don't want to buy bespoke devices if I can't get them wet?

You can't get your devices wet unless you have them put into a waterproof shield. I have several cross country runners, and Army personnel who also wade through mud occasionally. In these cases once they are happy with their orthoses, I can send them back to the laboratory to have them put into the shield. They are then completely waterproof. There is no charge for this service.

I have had a hip replacement. How will an orthotic work for me? Is it a good idea?

Whether its a good idea or not for you, will depend on my assessment. However, I often find that patients with hip replacements very often have pronating feet and flattened arches, and it is a good idea to think of supporting the good leg! I would only ever use a very cushioned device on your hip replacement leg, and this would possibly only be a supportive device. I have a range of shells, and varying methods of cushioning available, and feel sure we can devise something for you personally.

I am a Rugby player, and am constantly going over on my ankles. Could you do anything to help me?

I feel sure we can devise an orthotic which could have good strong support down the outside of the device to stabilise your feet. Obviously I will need to decide why this is becoming a problem for you, and perhaps will be recommending an exercise programme and some soft tissue work to strengthen your peronneals (muscles on the outside of your leg and ankle) The orthotics normally used for footballers and rugby players have a filler under the arch to give added support.

My daughter is aged 7 and her feet look flat. Can you help?

I treat a lot of young children with orthotics. Perhaps you could let me see your daughter, and perhaps have a discussion with you and we can decide on the best way forward. There would be no charge for this initial chat session, and if I think I can help then we can arrange a full assessment. It might be that I would like to refer you to a colleague physiotherapist and we can work together to arrange a programme for your daughter. Orthotics can help with this problem, but some exercises to work on the supporting muscles will be of great benefit.