If you’re not familiar with custom orthotics, here’s a breakdown. Custom orthotics resemble the insoles you might see in a retail store, but they’re not the same. They're biomechanical devices created just for you from a mold of your foot. Custom orthotic inserts support or cushion your feet in the anatomical areas needed, as determined by your podiatrist. Since your feet are foundations that provide strength and stability to the rest of the body, foot alignment is critical to your overall health and well-being.
Unlike the ordinary shoe insole, custom orthotics are a perfect fit for your feet. The design allows for better balance and foot support in daily activities, sports, and other priorities while helping prevent injuries. Without prescription orthotics, the entire body may suffer pain and discomfort, even into the upper back and spine.
How custom orthotics benefit you
Custom orthotics positively affect many areas of concern. Starting with the foot, which has 26 bones and over 100 muscles, these useful instruments hold the weight of the entire body. Your podiatrist prescribes custom orthotics with a specific intent and purpose in mind.
Generally, there are two types of custom orthotics: function and accommodative. Function orthotics are designed to improve the function of the foot and are traditionally made of rigid material to limit the motion of your foot joints. Accommodative orthotics are normally formed with softer, more pliable material. Their primary purpose is to provide support and relief for those experiencing pain or discomfort associated with their feet, legs or back.
1. Support where you need it most
First off, custom orthotics provide support for the feet, including all three anatomical arches. With this customized support, you possess a more stable and balanced stance. Over-the-counter shoe inserts can offer support in some areas, but their generic nature prevents them from meeting the particular needs of your feet. On the other hand, with custom orthotics, you benefit from support along the entire surface of your foot, producing results in all problematic areas.
2. All-day comfort
To create custom orthotics, the podiatrist makes a 3D impression of your foot for a perfect fit. Where there’s perfect fit, there is also comfort. After all, no matter how much you love the shoe, if it’s not fitted properly, it can cause unnecessary pain or injury. Custom orthotics, with measurements cradling each portion of the foot, offers optimal comfort when standing, walking or running.
3. Durability can save money
Most retail purchases depreciate pretty quickly. Sometimes this means losing a valuable tool or the added expense of repeated replacements. Custom orthotics can withstand the wear and tear of constant use. Unlike the two month lifespan of some retail brands, custom orthotics usually last between two and five years, providing continual comfort and support.
4. Post-injury healing
In the case of an injury, custom orthotics can provide the support you need to prevent further injury or unnecessary surgical intervention. While other solutions are more invasive, custom orthotics will help you literally get back on your feet in no time.
Custom orthotics provide a personalized fit which surrounds and cushions any problem areas in the foot and retain the essential mechanics to curb any alignment issues. If the injury is elsewhere in the body, custom orthotics also offer a solid foundation for healing and balance in that area of your body, as well.
5. Pain reduction
When you experience pain when walking or standing, the natural tendency is to adjust our body or activities to reduce the pain. However, changing your gait or stance can create other problems in your feet, legs, or spine. At the same time, relief from pain, especially the pain of plantar fasciitis and the pain from the Achilles tendon, aids in the healing process. Custom orthotics can help alleviate the pain related to these conditions and encourage healing without placing improper strain on other areas of your body. Orthotics also help patients suffering from arthritis pain, by immobilizing those joints.
Who benefits from custom orthotics?
Many people benefit from the use of custom orthotics. Diabetes patients, stricken with neuropathy, experience pain caused by nerve damage. Custom orthotics help decrease this discomfort and pain.
Athletes are one of the prime examples of custom orthotic use, as they benefit considerably from perfected alignment and balance aiding them in various sports and exercise such as running or jumping. Also, those who suffer from prevailing back or foot pain can find tremendous relief from prescription orthotics.
If you’re interested in learning more about how custom orthotics might benefit you, please contact us at the Tagaloa-Tulifau Foot and Ankle Center to schedule an appointment to determine if prescription orthotics are right for you. You can reach us by calling 562-205-8351.