Orthotics - What are Orthotics?

Orthotics come in various forms, but all have one thing in common. They all aim to control the motion which occurs at the rearfoot (heel) after heelstrike. Whether this motion be Pronation (rolling in of the feet) or Supination (rolling out of the feet) - if either of these movements are excessive, then the entire body will be out of alignment during the gait cycle (when walking) and the knee, hip, low back, neck and shoulder problems can occur. Bespoke orthoses become more sophisticated and can be constructed to control the rearfoot and the forefoot.

Orthotics realign the foot as it goes through the gait cycle. This in turn can prevent excessive rotation of the lower limbs and makes for smooth interaction with the ground as you walk. A smoother gait results in less injury to the knees, hips and pelvis.

Prefabricated Orthotics

These can be quite effective for mild conditions, and are relatively cheap. They are limited in their use and design however, and mainly control only the rearfoot and obviously are made to fit an 'average' foot arch. Also they have a limited lifespan and need to be replaced at approximately one year intervals. Sometimes this can be less with excessive weight, or excessive wear ie Sports activities. This is because the materials used are relatively soft and compress easily, thereby losing their effectiveness.

Bespoke Orthotics

Bespoke devices are made from the cast taken of your foot. They will, therefore, fit you snugly and perfectly. With custom made orthoses we can take into consideration the difference between the left and right foot. They are very rarely exactly the same. Each device can have different angles moulded into them to cater for this difference. Sometimes it is necessary to make one orthoses in a softer more forgiving shell than the other (this might be in the case of injury to one leg) and this can also be achieved, resulting in two completely different orthoses, which will comply exactly to the patients individual needs.

Bespoke Orthotics

With bespoke orthoses the prescription will take into account the entire foot, both rearfoot and forefoot. In certain cases it will be only the forefoot which needs support and control and the rearfoot can be left alone. Every individual need can be catered for when the devices are custom made.

Custom made devices also need maintenance care, and should be returned to us each year for refurbishment. This ensures your devices remain in tip top condition and continue to support you correctly. It is also good to return each year to discuss any problems and review your progress after wearing your devices. Sometimes changes can occur and this can be incorporated into a refurbishment.

Sports Orthotics

The shells used for sports activities are designed with good shock attenuation. There are various styles available to fit neatly into Rugby/Football boots, Ski Boots, Tennis/Badminton shoes and Trainers.

Sports Orthotics

For Marathon and Long Distance Runners the prescriptions are slightly different, to give extra support and hold the foot in the correct alignment for slightly longer during the gait cycle.

Here at Dorset Biomechanics we will work with an Athlete to ensure that the prescribed Orthotic is exactly right for his or her needs.



My son came to Dorset Biomechanics on recommendation from a Physiotherapist. He had been having some lower back problems and had very poor posture. Orthotics changed his life, and I would recommend a visit to Dorset Biomechanics to anyone having similar problems.

I had been running as a fund raiser for about 5 years when I developed Plantar Fasciitis as a result of my particular biomechanics. I had a thorough video gait analysis done by Dorset Biomechanics which suggested I would benefit from orthotics. These worked well. Since experiencing these beneficial results I have recommended Dorset Biomechanics to many people and have no hesitation in continuing to do so.

I had a biomechanical evaluation done by Dorset Biomechanics and can recommend this to any sports person who thinks they might have problems with their running technique.

My son is a very keen cricketer, aged 11.
He played for his school, and was starting to play at junior county level, but was having knee pain. My Osteopath recommended Dorset Biomechanics and he was fitted with sports orthotics. They made an instant difference, and he has now had three pairs, due to growth and at 14 is still playing cricket without pain of any type. Getting orthotics for my son was the best money I have spent.

Osteoarthritis had over the years affected my knees and at 56 I was limited in terms of activity and comfort. After a visit to Dorset Biomechanics I received my first pair of orthotics and they made so much difference to my life. I can now walk so much further and in comfort. The Foot Clinic has an excellent reputation in the area and I have no hesitation in recommending her.

My Osteopath recommended me to Dorset Biomechanics as my hip, back and shoulder problems were worsening. Once I had my orthotics I immediately felt the benefits. Walking long distances were no longer a problem and my hip and low back problems resolved. Because of this, I took up running for the first time in my life. I have lost weight and feel good. Last year I completed my first triathlon. I have never looked back.

I consulted with The Foot Clinic at Dorset Biomechanics as I had pain in my right thigh. I had previously consulted my GP Chiropractor, Osteopath, and had epidurals and painkillers and physio. Walking made it worse. The Foot Clinic diagnosed ITB which is often caused by overpronation. Since I received my orthotics I have had no problems and can now walk without pain.

Having arrived at the point when walking more than a few hundred yards was becoming a serious problem, I can now quite literally walk for miles with none of my original foot pain. For me orthoses have been one of the best investments I have ever made.

My Osteopath suggested I consult with Dorset Biomechanics as he suggested my back pain which was increasing, could be because of my poor posture. Since I received my orthotics even my family have noticed I am now walking 'normally'. My life has changed for the better thanks to The Foot Clinic. I would recommend a visit.

I am an Ultra Runner with a very distinctive running style. Unfortunately this style was causing me injury after injury and I wasn't running as efficiently as I should. After spending pounds and attending many sessions with my Physio, I decided to visit Dorset Biomechnics. I got a good assessment from someone who really knows about my sport and this is now making a tremendous difference to my running. Great service and support, money well spent.

My son went to see The Foot Clinic at Dorset Biomechanics on the recommendation of his Physio. He had low back problems and very poor posture. He wanted to join the Army, but there was no way he could run and get fit enough to enter. After a thorough examination he was prescribed orthotics. The transformation was amazing! His posture changed, his confidence grew, and he got fit enough to be accepted into the Army. He now often runs 10 miles at the weekends. I can honestly say a visit to Dorset Biomechanics changed his life. Highly recommended.



Specialist Orthotics