Custom orthotics are shoe or heel inserts prescribed by a doctor to help with various foot problems. Orthotics are used to correct foot deformities, help feet or ankles function better, and reduce risk of injury. Podiatrists can recommend custom orthotics as part of treatment plans for patients suffering from arthritis, bunions, flat feet or high arches, hammertoes, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis. The type of material used for the orthotic determines how stiff it is. Rigid orthotics are usually made of a hard plastic or carbon fiber and provide more stability and support but may be less comfortable than softer orthotics. Softer orthotics are more flexible because they bend with your feet. Each type is appropriate for different foot conditions. Rigid orthotics are good for those who have plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. This type of orthotic takes more time to adjust to but over time becomes more comfortable. Soft orthotics are usually made of EVA (a more rubber-like material) and fit more closely against the foot than rigid orthotics. They are used for those who have heel pain as they mold to hurt areas and cushion sore spots. Soft orthotics are good for those who participate in high impact sports where the feet move quickly. Consulting with a podiatrist takes the decision of which type of orthotic is best for you out of your hands as they are experts in diagnosing foot problems and offering treatment options that fit your unique needs.
If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact David A. Edmonds, DPM from Advanced Podiatry Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Are Orthotics?
Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.
Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.
If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.
If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.