If you feel pain or discomfort throughout the day from walking or even simply standing, then you could benefit from custom orthotics. These small medical devices are inserted in your shoes and help to correct any abnormal movement of the foot or ankle. As a result, orthotics can help to reduce pain and keep you active. In some cases, chiropractic therapy in tandem with custom orthotics can work to reduce pain and improve mobility.
Here, we’re taking a closer look at custom orthotics and how these relatively simple medical devices can dramatically reduce pain and help you stay comfortable and mobile throughout the day. Don’t allow pain or illness to limit your walking and running. Take back control of your mobility with custom orthotics.
What are Orthotics?
First things first: what exactly are orthotics? An orthotic is a medical shoe insert that supports abnormal movement of the food that can be caused by a variety of injuries or other factors. Orthotics work to support the movement of the foot to relieve pressure, discomfort, mild to moderate pain, and can support you throughout the day. Orthotics add cushion for your walking, running, and simply standing throughout your day.
What are the Two Types of Orthotics?
There are two primary types of orthotics: general orthotics and custom orthotics. The general orthotics are those that can simply be bought over-the-counter at your local pharmacy. These tend to be significantly cheaper than the custom option, however, there are drawbacks. Most patients will note that general orthotics are not as effective at providing all-around support and the pain relief that is offered by custom orthotics.
That’s because general ones aren’t designed for your body and specific healthcare needs. Sure, the price tag at first will certainly be higher with custom orthotics, but most patients would agree the healthcare benefits are worth it. Talk with your doctor to help you determine which orthotics will work for you.
Who Could Benefit from Wearing Custom Orthotics?
Many different types of patients can benefit from custom orthotics. If you’re experiencing one of the following health conditions, you should consult your primary care physician to see if custom orthotics (or general orthotics) could be right for you:
- Chronic pain in the feet, knees, or legs.
- Arch pain or discomfort.
- Plantar fasciitis.
- Pain related to diabetes.
- Nerve damage.
- Pain caused by running, walking, or playing sports.
- Age-related pain as you grow older.
The Benefits of Custom Orthotics
In addition to providing pain relief, there are many benefits to using custom orthotics. Receiving the right custom orthotics designed specifically for you can open up a range of overall health benefits.
- Interested in the benefits of custom orthotics? Take a look:
- Corrects for a range of foot abnormalities.
- Aids in improving your gait.
- Relieves pressure on your feet and legs.
- Relieves pain and pressure for those experience arthritis.
- Allows you to maintain an active lifestyle—even as you get into your golden years.
- Supports good posture.
- Maintains proper musculoskeletal alignment.
How Does the Custom Orthotics Process Work?
How exactly does the process of getting fitted for custom orthotics actually work? When you go in to visit your doctor, they will first check your shoes. Many doctors note that custom orthotics are only as good as the shoes they are placed in. Your doctor will test your shoes to determine if they have supportive soles and if they bend where they should. They may also check to see if there is a bend at the base of the toes rather than in the middle of the arch. If new shoes are needed, they will show you some test shoes that could improve your walking.
Once you’re in a good pair of shoes, the doctor will then work to adjust your feet themselves. Then, they will form the orthotics to your feet inside your shoes. Then, the patient will take a short walk (just a few minutes around the office), while the orthotics set into place. Finally, they will check to make sure that the orthotics held the adjustment well. If not, further changes may need to take place. But rest assured that your doctor will not let you leave the office until they have developed and fitted the right custom orthotic for you.
Conclusion – What are Custom Orthotics?
Problems with the foot, ankle, or general walking gait can cause pain, discomfort, and even negatively affect the rest of your body. In fact, with poor posture and any pain felt when walking or standing, this could also be a sign that the entirety of your musculoskeletal system is being affected. Over time, this can affect your hips, knees, spinal column and lead to even more pain and serious complications. Luckily, there is a way for many people with foot or ankle problems to avoid surgery and walk and stand pain-free once more. The answer? Orthotics.
Compared to general orthotics, there are many advantages to the custom variety. Custom orthotics are precisely designed to fit to the unique structure and shape of your foot and to respond to your healthcare needs. Whether it’s a foot issue, ankle problem, recovering from an injury, or pain associated with old age, custom orthotics can be designed to address the exact source of your healthcare needs. When you start wearing your own set of custom orthotics, you can experience relief from pain, better mobility, and simply be able to find yourself active just as you once were. And while custom orthotics may be more expensive than the generic ones, your freedom and mobility is definitely worth the cost.