How Orthotics Can Help in Incredible Ways
If you have ever noticed that you have some pain in your feet and ankles, you may have heard that orthotics are a good solution to help handle that problem and make your feet feel amazing once more. But are you curious to know more about these orthotics and wondering if they can really be as good as they seem?
To many people who are suffering from foot, heel, ankle, and leg pain, the idea that a simple insole that goes into your shoe will be able to relieve the pain, prevent more injuries, and keep you safe while treating a whole host of medical conditions can seem too good to be true. Sure they are custom-made to fit you, but are they really all they are promised?
The good news for many who are suffering for years without any other good solutions, they will find that a custom orthotic will be able to provide them with the support and comfort that they need.
Many patients will fall in love with their custom orthotic, proud that it will help with a whole host of conditions like arthritis, plantar fasciitis, Achilles problems, and more.
While there are many issues that a custom orthotic can be used for, it is not perfect for everyone all the time. That is why we will take some time to learn more about what orthotics are and how they can help provide you with a good deal of relief from common aches and pains and medical conditions of the feet.
How Orthotics Can Help and What Are They?
When we are talking about orthotics, we are looking at a special insert that goes right into the shoe to provide some special support or comfort to the foot. These orthotics are going to be made specifically for your foot and foot condition with the help of your podiatrist to make sure they are comfortable and provide support exactly where you need it.
A pair of custom orthotics will be designed to work directly with your foot. Your doctor will do a scan or make a mold of your foot to help ensure that the orthotic is perfect for you and will work to solve the condition that is causing you a good deal of pain as well. If you have leg, back, or foot problems and pain, the custom orthotic is an effective way to help deal with the condition.
There are also several types of orthotics that you can choose from. You will be able to customize them based on the materials that you would like to find inside. The foot condition that you are trying to solve and your current symptoms are often determining factors in the type of orthotic that you will need.
Some orthotics will be made out of rigid materials, such as plastic and carbon fiber. These are good if you have some alignment issues that need to be fixed. The rigidity of the material will keep the foot in place as you adjust and start to align the foot up the right way again. This can alleviate some of the pain that you feel throughout the body.
You can also work with accommodative orthotics. These are going to provide more cushioning and flexibility. If you notice pain when you are walking around or need more shock absorption in your orthotics, then these accommodative ones are going to be the option that you need to choose. It is also possible to get a combination one if your feet need it.
How is a Custom Orthotic Designed?
The next thing that we need to take a look at is how these custom orthotics are going to be made. You will find that there are several steps to the process to get the medical device created, but this is done to ensure that it fits your foot and will provide the pain relief that you are looking for. The first step will include an assessment by your foot doctor.
During the assessment, the doctor is going to ask you more about your symptoms, such as when and how they began. They can then complete a full examination of the foot to see what is there. This can also include a visual gait assessment where they may ask you to walk and run around so they get a good idea of problems that you may not be aware of.
Some patients will need some additional work done to see if there are any additional problems that are hidden. If additional imaging is necessary, you may need to do an ultrasound or an x-ray to help. Your podiatrist will be able to help walk you through that and determine if it is necessary or not.
Once that full assessment is done, it is time to design the orthotic based on that information. You will usually need to do a 3D scan, though some doctors will continue to do a plaster mold of the foot to help make the orthotic. The doctor can then take all of that information and send it to a lab that will then create the orthotic for you.
This can take between two to four weeks for you to have the orthotic done. You can then come back into the doctor’s office to try it on and see whether it works or not. It is possible that small adjustments are necessary on the orthotic but many times the podiatrist will be able to do that part in-office so you can leave with the new device right away.
Give the orthotic some time to break in. it could take up to two weeks for you to adjust and be used to the new alignment and way of walking. Your doctor can help determine how you can break in the orthotic the best way, but usually, you would start out with just an hour or so on the first day and slowly build up until you are able to wear the orthotic all the time.
How Are Custom Orthotics and Insoles Different?
When it comes to the type of orthotics that you can choose, there are two options. You can go with a generic insert that can be purchased online or at many local stores without the need for a prescription and then there are the custom orthotics that are designed to fit your foot and provide some stability and support. But which one should you choose?
The generic inserts are the type that will be available at many local stores and will not need a prescription. They will provide you with some support and cushioning and you will find them made out of foam, plastic, or gel. They work well for some minor foot conditions but are not designed to fit with your foot, so they can’t correct problems in the foot at all.
Custom orthotics are going to be more specialized for your needs. they are considered medical devices, so you will need to have a prescription in order to get one. They are good for correcting biomechanical foot issues like problems with running, standing, or walking. And they are designed in a doctor’s office to meet the unique needs of your feet.
There are different ways to design these orthotics, but the point is that they will take the needs of the patient in mind when they are being created. The doctor will do a full assessment and utilize a 3D foot scanner to look at the orthotic and make it perfect for the needs of your foot. This will make it more effective for solving your common foot problems.
For those with minor aches and pains in the foot that make it hard to move around, a generic insert will probably be just fine. For those with severe issues in the foot that cause pain to make it too hard to move around, it may be a good idea to look into custom orthotics for your needs.
Can Custom Orthotics Help with Diabetes and Arthritis?
There are a lot of different conditions that you can solve when you choose to wear a pair of custom orthotics. Two of the conditions that can get some relief will be arthritis and diabetes. Both of these can cause a good deal of pain in the foot if you do not properly treat them, but some custom orthotics can provide relief.
There are several factors to consider if someone is having to live with foot pain from arthritis or diabetes. Usually, a treatment plan that is given to these patients will include a few different options, including orthotic support to help absorb some of the shocks of walking around when you have these conditions.
Rigid and semi-rigid orthotics are not suggested for those with diabetes, due to nerve-damage and the possible resulting injury of wearing them. Talk to your doctor to see if these will work for you.
What Conditions Can Orthotics Help Treat?
There are a lot of great things that a pair of custom orthotics are able to help out with. When you take the time to work with your podiatrist to figure out the right orthotic for your needs, you can alleviate pain, re-align the body, and make your body feel amazing once more. Some of the conditions that you can treat with orthotics include:
Orthotics Are Effective in Treating Arthritis
When you suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, you may experience a lot of pain, no matter where it shows up in the body. When it occurs in the feet though, it may be painful to walk around and your mobility will be off, making it hard to complete some of the daily activities that you need to get done.
Custom orthotics are able to help because they can make sure that your alignment is good to avoid some of the pain, adding in some comfort and cushioning so that the joints won’t feel as much of the movement that you do on a daily basis.
Orthotics Can Help With Back Pain
When you allow yourself to walk around with poor posture for too long, it can start to affect the back. This can happen when you do not have proper support to the feet or even if something is off with your arches. When you choose to wear a pair of custom orthotics, you are able to correct this issue, which gives you some relief from your back pain.
Orthotics Can Also Help to Get Rid of Bunions
A bunion is a deformity that happens in the big toe area of the foot and it looks like a bump there. The bump is going to often enlarge if there is pressure that rubs against it. They can cause pain from poor shoe fitting, issues with balance, and even inflammation, making it harder for you to walk around during the day.
Orthotics that come with a wider toe box are going to be a good option here. This helps to reduce some of the pressure that goes to the big toe, redistributing it across the foot overall and giving the area of the bunion some relief from all the pain.
Bursitis is effectively treated with orthotics
Another condition that you can suffer from is bursitis. This is a painful condition that will affect the fluid-filled sacks that will help to cushion the tendons, muscles, and bones near the joint. In this case, it can occur in the heel or the knee. It is most likely to happen when you spend a lot of time doing repetitive motions and movements to the same joint.
If you choose a pair of custom orthotics that have heel and arch support, it can help reduce some of the pain and discomfort that you feel in the heel and toes due to inflammation and bursitis as well. This will give you some relief when you are walking around as well.
Orthotics Can Help People with Diabetes
There is a whole host of issues and symptoms that can show up when you suffer from diabetes. One of the issues is that this condition will cause a person to lose sensation in their feet a condition that is known as diabetic neuropathy. When you start to lose feeling in your feet, it can be uncomfortable and difficult to move around that much.
Orthotics are a good option here because they will help to reduce some of the extra pressure and stress that can occur on the feet when you have diabetes, which can prevent serious complications and foot ulcers as well.
Flat Feet Can Benefit From Orthotics
Many patients will have a condition known as collapsed arches or flat feet. This may not seem like a big deal, but it can end up causing a lot of back, ankle, and foot pain over time. The good news is that a good pair of orthotics will be able to help provide your feet with some of the support that they need, positioning the body well and preventing more pain overall.
Orthotics Can Treat Aid Hammer Toes
Hammer’s toes are a condition that is most likely to occur as a type of side effect to bunions that form on the big toe. They can cause pain and deformities in the second toe and on the ball of the foot if you do not take care of the foot and give it the attention that it needs. With this condition, the end of the toe is going to bend down and the middle joint will curl up.
A good custom orthotic is going to provide additional support to the foot and will reduce the chance of this condition happening in the first place. If the condition is already going on, you can use an orthotic to help fix the issue and give you some pain relief in the process.
Custom orthotics help Heel Spurs
A heel spur is going to occur when there is extra growth of the bone either on the bottom or the back of the heel. This can be painful, especially when it rubs on the back of your shoe or when you walk around. The condition will often get worse if you do not take the time to find an effective treatment to handle it.
A custom orthotic will be able to help here because it provides additional support to the foot. With that extra support and some good cushioning in place, you will find that the inflammation from the heel spur will go down, and your whole foot will feel better. This is one of the best treatment options to help deal with heel spurs without needing surgery.
Custom Orthotics Are Able to Treat High Arches
Not only can flat arches cause some issues with your feet, but you will also find that your feet can have a pronounced or high arch that will cause issues as well. When your arches are really high, it ends up causing stress on all of the muscles of the feet, leading to conditions like plantar fasciitis, knee pain, and shin splints to name a few.
If you are struggling with high arches that are now starting to cause pain in other parts of your feet and legs, it is time to get a custom pair of orthotics to help out with this. A pair of orthotics will prevent your feet from rolling out or in as much, which helps with the alignment and makes the whole foot feel better.
Orthotics Can Be Helpful in the Case of an Injury
It is possible that you had a major injury to your foot or leg at some time. When the area is injured, it will need some time to heal and get better as well. You also need to take some extra precautions because once the area is injured one time, it has a higher chance of an injury happening to that same location again in the future.
When a person experiences trauma to any part of the feet, ankles, and legs, a pair of custom orthotics can be a smart decision. These medical devices will provide you with some of the extra support and comfort that you need while healing. You can also use them to make it less likely that you will get an injury again in the future.
Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis
If you are struggling with any kind of pain in your heels and lower foot, then it is likely that plantar fasciitis is the main cause of that problem. Plantar fasciitis is a condition where the plantar fascia, or the tendon that goes from the heel all the way to the toes, becomes inflamed or injured. It can cause a good deal of pain if it is not treated properly.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common issues that a patient will have when they are dealing with pain in their heels. Doctors will often recommend that they choose some orthotics that are able to support the heel and the foot. This will give the foot some of the additional support it needs for routine daily tasks and will reduce some of the pain that you feel due to the condition.
These are just some of the conditions that a good pair of custom orthotics will be able to assist you with. Wearing a pair of orthotics will provide a ton of support and even some cushioning in all the right spots, making it easier for you to walk around without pain or discomfort once again and giving you your life back if the pain had slowed you down in the first place.
Are Custom Orthotics Right for Me?
For many patients, choosing a good pair of orthotics can finally provide them with some of the relief that they are looking for, making sure that they will be able to get rid of some of the pain and can add more mobility to their daily life. You need to take the time to work with a professional to make sure that you get a great pair of orthotics for your needs. These are great insoles to use to protect your feet and keep them strong without pain or injuries for years to come.
Take our free analysis to help determine what type of orthotics will be best for you. When you are ready to see whether custom orthotics are the right solution for you, give us a call or leave your information so we can get you started on your journey to healthier feet, and a happier life.