Cary Orthopaedics physical therapist, Chad Moses, PT, Cert. DN/SMT, GTS, CKTP, Dip. Osteopractic, has produced our Patient Education Series to inform patients about various physical therapy techniques. In this episode, physical therapist, Kristen Reinhard, PT, DPT, discusses custom foot orthotics.

What are orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts that go in your shoes and can be used to address a variety of orthopaedic conditions. Orthotics can be used to treat conditions such as:

  • Hip, knee and foot pain
  • Chronic conditions
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Arthritis
  • Acute injuries
  • Fractures

What are custom orthotics?

Custom foot orthotics are inserts that are molded specifically to your foot. Custom orthotics take your specific symptoms and areas of concern into account by giving your physical therapist an in-depth understanding of your foot’s unique structure.

Casting for custom orthotics creates the mold the lab needs to create the insert. During your appointment for custom orthotic casting, you will either sit or lie flat so your physical therapist can create a non-weight-bearing impression of your foot. Your foot should always be in a neutral position. Custom orthotics can be made using several different casting methods. At Cary Orthopaedics Physical Therapy, we use two types of casting methods for our physical therapy patients.

Digital casting

Digital casting involves taking a 3D scan of your foot in a neutral position that creates a digital image. We are then able to download the image immediately and send it straight to the lab. The advantages of digital casting include less time in the office and a faster turnaround for your custom orthotics.


Plaster casting

Plaster castings are also created in the clinic. Your physical therapist will wrap wet plaster strips around your foot. You will need to maintain your foot position while the plaster dries and hardens enough to be removed. This process typically takes around five to 10 minutes. The mold is then removed and sent to the lab to create the orthotic.


Physical therapy in Raleigh

The physical therapists at Cary Orthopaedics – in Cary, Morrisville and Holly Springs – offer casting for custom orthotics along with a variety of other PT techniques, strategies and modalities to treat each patient’s unique condition. Contact us today to make your physical therapy appointment.