What is a Foot Orthotic?
A foot orthotic is a small external device that is inserted into a shoe. It is designed to correct the alignment, support and/or accommodate foot abnormalities and improve how the foot and body function. In addition, foot orthotics can help alleviate pain in the lower extremities and body when the biomechanics of the foot are optimized.
At The Physio Approach, your orthotic technician is an experienced Registered Physiotherapist who will accurately assess and diagnose your condition. A custom foot orthotic will only be recommended if the findings from the assessment indicate biomechanical correction of the feet can help with your pain and function.
After a detailed physical assessment, we create a mold of your feet using a foam cast. As experts in the field of orthopedics and with years of orthotics experience, we can determine the necessary modifications required in crafting the perfect orthotic for your condition. We rely on state of the art technology, and as such we use the top rated orthotics lab in the industry.
What are Compression Socks and how do they work?
Compression socks (or stockings) are specialized garment socks of varying lengths that apply gradient pressure to your ankles and legs. They will help improve circulation and decrease lower extremity pain and swelling. The greatest degree of compression is exerted at the ankle, with the level of compression gradually decreasing up the garment. The pressure gradient promotes upward flow of blood toward the heart instead of pooling or refluxing downward to the foot and superficial veins. The gradient compression reduces the diameter of major veins, which increases the velocity and volume of blood, assisting the skeletal muscle pump to facilitate venous return and improve lymphatic drainage.
Garment styles and lengths have greatly changed over the years. Styles range from dress/ultra sheer to athletic socks, and from pantyhosiey to specialized maternity garments. Compression socks also come in a variety of lengths, knee, thigh and even waist high garments.
The are different grades of compression:
- Low compression, non-medical grade 8-15mmHg, 15-20mmHg
- Moderate to high compression, medical grade: 20-30mmHg, 30-40mmHg, 40-50mmHg
Class 1 (Non-Medical Grade):
Low Compression (Generally not covered by insurance plans)
- 8-15 mmHg/15-20mmHg
- Light support offering relief from day-to-day mild achy, tired, swollen legs
- Used for general health to provide support and comfort for standing or sitting for long periods of time
- Improves circulation in legs
- Effective during pregnancy, limiting swelling in lower extremities
Class 2 (Medical Grade):
Moderate Compression (Generally covered by most insurance plans)
- 20-30 mmHg
- Most commonly prescribed compression grade by medical doctors
- Used to treat minor to moderate medical conditions (such as chronic painful, heavily fatigued legs, varicose veins, mild edema, post-surgical swelling)
Class 3 (Medical Grade)
High Compression (Generally covered by most insurance plans)
- 30-40 mmHg/40-50mmHg
- Used to treat moderate and severe medical conditions (such as edema and lymphedema, more serious cases of varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, chronic venous insufficiency)
- Requires medical requisition
Common conditions that are treated with Graded Compression Socks/Garments:
- Venous insufficiency
- Deep vein thrombosis
- History of blood clots
- Varicose veins
- Orthostatic/postural hypotension (Low blood pressure)
- Post-surgical swelling
- Professions requiring prolonged standing or sitting (ie: nurses, flight attendants)
- Frequent travelers (on planes, trains etc)
As with Custom Orthotics, each insurance plan is different. Please contact your insurance provider for their reimbursement requirements.
For more information or if you want to schedule an appointment for compression socks, please contact The Physio Approach.