Many of us suffer from problems with our feet that can lead to other conditions such as lower back pain, plantar fasciitis, knee pain and even sciatica. Some may suffer from previous injuries to the feet that never quite seemed to heal properly. If you’re one of these people, a beneficial option for you to explore is the use of custom foot orthotics.
WHAT ARE ORTHOTICS?
Orthotics are special foot supporting insoles that are worn inside the shoes. Typical orthotics provide arch and heel support to help the feet function optimally. You’ve probably seen generic over the counter orthotics at the drug store.
Orthotics are worn to help control abnormal or improper motion as you walk or run. Orthotics are also mainly for use in patients who require extra cushioning and support, such as those with flat feet. While generic over the counter orthotics can be helpful to people who suffer from mild food issues, for more serious issues that cause pain to radiate up the legs and into the hips, custom orthotics are much more effective.
Custom orthotics are designed to help properly position the ligaments, tendons and bones of the feet. The goal of custom orthotics is to ease pain and stress on the muscles of your feet and legs. They are also helpful in treating injuries of the foot. The benefits of custom orthotics are that they are especially made for your exact feet and condition.
HOW CUSTOM ORTHOTICS ARE MADE
At our location, a moving scan called a ‘gait analysis scan’ is taken, which involves capturing your feet in action as you walk in order to determine exactly how your feet function when in motion.
Once the scan results are finished, they are then sent to a lab along with your special prescription information that will contain details of your foot problems and the purpose of the orthotics. The lab will create the orthotics using the prescription information. Your custom orthotics will be created from special thermoplastic material.
Depending on your prescription, the material your custom orthotics will be made of will vary in thickness, width, and flexibility. Your weight and height will also be considered, as well as your age.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO WEAR CUSTOM ORTHOTICS?
While the end goal of custom orthotics is to reduce or completely alleviate pain, and treat conditions that result from problems with the feet, there can be a little bit of initial ‘getting used to’. Your feel will definitely feel different the first time you wear your orthotics. And because they will change the position of your foot, your legs and hips may also experience a learning curve as you develop new muscle memory in these areas. Most care providers will recommend that you take time to allow your body to adapt to the changes. For example, wearing your orthotics for a few hours at a time, or perhaps every other day until you get used to them, will help cut down on any initial discomfort you may feel.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN CUSTOM ORTHOTICS TREAT?
As noted above, there are several conditions that can be treated by the use of custom orthotics. Let’s take a look at some of the most common conditions:
- Plantar fasciitis – the most common reason custom orthotics are prescribed
- Knee pain
- Heel spurs
- High arches
- Low arches or flat feet
- Problems with limb length (where one leg might be slightly shorter than the other)
- Foot pain related to injury or illness (such as diabetes)
- Runner’s knee or ankle
Custom orthotics can be expensive, but the good news is that a good pair of orthotics can last for up to ten years. And if you have a medical benefits plan, most or all of the cost is often covered. The best thing to do is check with your provider to find out what your entitlement is.
As you can see, custom orthotics can provide many benefits to patients suffering from conditions or injuries to the feet that can cause pain and symptoms all the way up the legs to the hips. If you have problems with your feet, custom orthotics may be an excellent option for you.
Call our office today at (519) 250-6288 for more information and to set up your appointment! Don’t forget to like and share this post with your family and friends.