Question: Why does NWPL require so much patient information on the Rx form?
Answer: At first glance, age, weight, height, sex, activities and shoe type may appear superfluous. This information, however, is vital. It’s significance is apparent once we understand some concepts of composite orthotics (like NWPL’s Superglass). Let us begin by taking a step into the past. With thermoplastics, increased thickness is necessary to increase rigidity. Thicker is stronger and thinner is more flexible. Unlike thermoplastic materials, our Superglass orthotics have a true graduated flex range that is independent of the thickness of the device.
Shoe size, width and heel height are important considerations because these factors determine the final shape and dimension of the device. If we know the shoe size, we will check the cast/scan against standard lab sizes. Heel height is especially important when the device is for higher heeled shoes. Remember, for any shoe over 1.5″, the casts must be modified so the device will not rock on the shank of the shoe. Implicit in this modification is the lack of biomechanical control.
Shoe type is very important. While the length and width of the foot are readily determined from the anatomic markings on the casts/scan, we must consider the footwear when determining the precise dimensions of the device. A low dress shoe fits the foot much more snugly than the same size athletic shoe. Consequently, the devices must be fabricated to lesser dimensions.
We can make orthotics for nearly any shoe type, however, we recommend a lace-up shoe with a half inch heel. By giving us complete information, we can specifically engineer your prescription.