The Case for getting Custom Orthotics
Custom shoe inserts are inserts that are designed to comfort and support your feet.
These inserts are crafted especially for you. Orthotics match the contours of your feet and are designed to restore the natural function of your foot.
Today, many people suffer from problems such as lower back pain, heel pain, and knee pain, which are caused by poor foot function. Custom shoe inserts re-align the ankle and foot bones to their neutral position, which helps in restoring natural foot function.
This helps in alleviating pain and problems in other parts of the human body. Podiatrists may also prescribe inserts to take the pressure of the sore spots and give a more even weight distribution.
Why are Custom Orthotics prescribed?
Imbalance of the bones of the legs can cause abnormal foot motion. The can adversely affect the foot function which results in abnormal rotation of the legs and affects the back, hips, or knees. If we analyze these forces that need precise balance, we see how small structural changes can make a significant difference in the foot. Prescribed shoe inserts can help in improving these structural changes.
How are prescribed shoe inserts designed by a Podiatrist?
Orthotics are made only after podiatrist conducts a complete evaluation of your ankles and feet. A podiatrist will also examine your walking style and will carefully listen to all your problems and complaints. Some podiatrists will also use advanced technology to examine your feet function when you walk or run.
This information is used by the podiatrist to determine if you need custom shoe inserts. If these inserts are needed, your healthcare provider will take a 3-D image of your feet. This image and the measurements obtained by the podiatrist are used by manufacturers to create prescribed inserts. These inserts improve the foot movement and offer more mobility and comfort.
Who should use prescribed inserts (or custom orthotics)?
Some of the conditions that prescribed shoe inserts can help in treating include Corns, Achilles Tendonitis, Flat Feet, Metatarsalgia, Ankle Sprains, Sesamoiditis, Tendonitis, and Neuroma. It can also help in treating Top of the foot pain, Shin Pain, Heel Pain, Arch Pain, Toe Pain, Bunions, Pronation, and Knee Pain.
Imbalance in the feet can alter the bony structure of your lower leg. Using prescribed inserts will eliminate posture problems and pain.
The different types of Orthotics
Prescribed shoe inserts can be divided into two basic categories. These categories are:
These are generally prescribed to provide additional support and cushioning. Your healthcare provider may prescribe accommodative orthotics to treat painful calluses, foot ulcers, and several other uncomfortable conditions. Since these orthotics offer additional cushioning, they are made using a soft material.
Podiatrists prescribe these orthotics to control abnormal motion. They are usually used to treat foot pain that is caused by abnormal motion. They can also be used to treat foot injuries such as tendinitis or splints. They are made using semi-rigid material such as graphite or plastic.
Prescribed vs. Over-the-Counter Inserts
Even though over-the-counter shoe inserts offer additional support and cushioning, they are not designed to address the problems in your foot. These insoles may offer temporary relief, but they are not prescribed and are therefore not as effective as those prescribed by your podiatrist. If you have serious discomfort or pain, you must schedule an appointment with a reputed podiatrist. Your healthcare provider will access your overall health and prescribe the right inserts. Costs of orthotics will vary between over the counter and custom prescribed orthotics, with prescribed orthotics costing more money as a general rule.
Like any other prescribed product, the cost orthotics is usually more than the insoles you buy from a retail store. However, the additional cost you pay is well worth it. Unlike over-the-counter insoles you buy at retail stores, orthotics are molded keeping in mind the requirement each individual. This ensures that orthotics do what they are supposed to do. Also, prescribed shoe inserts are made of good, quality material which improves the durability of these insoles. Most insurance companies can help in covering the cost orthotics. So talk to your insurance provider when getting a prescribed shoe insert.
Getting used to Orthotics
Your feet may need a few days to adjust to the new corrected biomechanical position. Orthotics must be gradually incorporated into your life. During the first 2 days, use it for 2-3 hours. After 2 days of limited use, it is recommended that you use the orthotics for at least 6 hours. After a week, it can be used all day.