Orthotics are orthopedic devices that are used to alter or modify foot function and are designed to treat, adjust, and support various biomechanical foot disorders. Some orthotics are simple, commercially-made devices, such as cushioned heel cups or insoles for shoes that are sold at your podiatrists office.
The most effective orthotics, however, are custom-made devices that are crafted to meet the specific needs of a particular individual. Custom orthotics are created using an impression of the foot called a cast, which duplicates any misalignments in foot structure. Using the cast and computer technology, technicians in an orthotic design lab design a device that balances out deformities and corrects misalignments.
Who Should Use an Orthotic?
Almost anyone, from children to adults, can benefit from orthotics. Orthotics can alleviate many common foot/knee problems that cause pain and discomfort in otherwise healthy people. An analogy can be made between orthotics and eyeglasses both devices adjust problems that can impair physical function. In both cases, a physician (e.g., eye doctor or podiatrist) performs a complete examination and then prescribes the proper amount of correction.
Orthotic insoles provide pain relief for pain in feet, toe pain, arch pain, corn and calluses (callouses) and other problems related to foot pain.
- Research shows that 60 to 70 percent of people have abnormally functioning feet.
- Functional problems in your feet can alter your walking pattern and cause pain throughout your body.
If you suffer from pain in the foot, it is important that you wear proper orthotic insoles.
Do not just live with the foot pain.
Firstly, you don’t have to. Most importantly, pain in foot affects your gait – that is, your way of walking.
And if your gait is imbalanced, it can lead to aches and pain in other parts of the body, including lower back pain, back ache, neck pain, hip, knee and so on.
But while there are a few brands of commercially available orthotic insoles, these are not custom-made to suit your feet and your gait. Remember, everyone is different when it comes to orthotics and there is no such thing as “one size fits all”.
Custom foot orthotics are fabricated inserts worn inside shoes, to support and improve alignment and function of the feet. This provides cushioning and redistribution of force during ground contact, which most importantly helps to ease your pain and relieve stress form the tissues that hold you together.
To determine if custom orthotics are warranted, your podiatrist can construct a comprehensive management plan after obtaining a thorough history and physical examination. This will include a structural and functional analysis of your gait, along with orthopedic testing to determine the support your feet are providing, and if orthotics can help. Customized professional orthotics can then be carefully constructed for your needs.