Neil Smith began his career in orthotics as a trainee Orthotic Laboratory Technician at the age of 16 when the industry was in its infancy. After 10 years in the profession, and manufacturing thousands of Orthotics using many different techniques, he was accepted into university to study Podiatry.
While there, he gained a better understanding of human biomechanics and realized that the widely-used prescription method for Orthotics could not be truly accurate unless the patient was assessed – and their stance corrected – while bearing their own weight.
Such a system would eliminate the inevitable variations that occur when different technicians execute a Podiatrist’s Orthotic prescription form. Neil knew there must be a better way and was determined to find it. After countless weekends and late nights, the revolutionary The Foot Alignment System was born.
An Orthotic works by forcing your foot into its most anatomically aligned position, which also has an affect on your upper body, allowing it to function in an optimum way.
To make an Orthotic, plaster bandage is wrapped around your foot while you’re sitting or lying down on your back or stomach. Your foot is then held in its neutral position so it lines up with the rest of your leg. The cast is then balanced, poured and modified by adding plaster to the positive cast which is done to try and replicate what your foot would look like in a Corrected Weight Bearing Position, which is a calculated guess at best.
The Foot Alignment System works because of the patented Rearfoot, Forefoot and Arch Alignment Curves, which force the three segments of your foot into their corrected position. No two feet are the same, so the shape and force needed on each foot is different.
Because the feet are corrected and aligned in a weight bearing position the forces and the shape of the orthotic are extremely accurate so the orthotic is not only corrective, but very comfortable.
Research conducted at Latrobe University in Melbourne with 23 Podiatry students issued with The Foot Alignment System orthotics and traditional Non-Weight Bearing orthotics showed that 22 students preferred The Foot Alignment System orthotics with one having no preference to either.