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Army March 1, 2012
When pain follows exercise, the solution might be getting yourself fitted
for foot orthotics, Cpl Nick Wiseman reports.
Getting to the
sole of issues
WITH ADF members
constantly on the go
at work, PT and sport,
some may experience
pain in the knees, ankles or feet.
What they may not realise is a lot of
these problems can now be corrected
by using orthotics.
A foot orthotic is a device used to
correct a variety of functional prob-
lems with the feet such as alignment
With the physical demand required
by members of the ADF, podiatrist
Matthew Hotchkis said the most com-
mon problems he came across were
shin and knee related.
"Pain is a big factor. Ongoing and
regular pain with exercise or day-to-
day living could potentially need an
orthotic," Mr Hotchkis said.
Although many people might expe-
rience pain from time to time it does
not necessarily mean they should be
The use of orthotics in different
footwear will depend on each case and
UNDER current ADF policies, a per-
manent member is eligible for one
pair of prescribed orthotics at public
expense when approved by a medi-
cal officer (MO). Additional orthotics
may be issued at the discretion of
the MO if deemed necessary.
More information on orthotics can be
found in Health Directive No 257 available
online at http://intranet.defence.gov.au/
can vary from being worn in most foot-
wear or physical activities only.
All referrals to a podiatrist must be
made by a medical officer.
If orthotics are required, part of the
process involves taking a plaster cast of
the foot or creating a computer-generat-
ed three-dimensional image of the foot
using a scanner.
Once this cast or image has been
made, it is then sent to a lab for an
orthotic to be created.
After the initial fitting, a check-up
will be scheduled to review the initial
Off-the-shelf orthotics are available
as an alternative from many footwear
shops and pharmacies.
Mr Hotchkis said an off-the-shelf
orthotic could provide extra support.
"A lot of people presenting for pre-
scribed orthotics quite often are already
using an off-the-shelf solution.
"Off-the-shelf orthotics can be
adjusted slightly using heat moulding
for a better fit."
Whether you are in pain or not,
Mr Hotchkis said a shoe change alone
could quite often correct problems peo-
"Some shoes can overcorrect --
therefore it's important to get a shoe
which correctly supports the foot," he
"For those who have orthotics
already, it's important to select a shoe
that will complement the orthotic."
Easy fix: Orthotics being placed in your boots might make a world
Photo by LAC Bill Solomou
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