The Benefits of Custom Made Orthotics
Most foot pain is the result of a faulty relationship between the bones and muscles of the foot. Even the slightest misalignment can result in significant discomfort. This abnormal function can result in problems such as bunions, hammer toes, arch and heel pain, corns, knee pain…even back pain.
Treatment using Custom Made Orthotics
Many foot ailments are treated by the use of orthotics (or corrective devices) inserted inside the shoe. Orthotics are designed to control alignment and function of the foot and ankle in order to treat or prevent injury-causing force on bones, joints, tendons and ligaments. Often, they are used to limit motions such as excessive pronation (rolling-in) and excessive supination (rolling-out). They also make activities such as running, walking—even standing—more efficient. Orthotics can also redistribute pressure on the bottom of the foot to relieve pain from excessive pressure or calluses. In addition, they can improve symptoms and guard against damage due to such foot abnormalities as flat feet or high arches.
Many older adults lose the pad of fat that cushions their feet which leads to pain in the ball of the foot. In many cases, a soft orthotic can replace the foot’s natural cushion. Some orthotics even help compensate for a back, leg, knee or hip problem that affects the way your feet move.
With orthotics, your foot functions properly, the pain of muscle strain and pressure points is relieved, and the progression of deformities is often stopped or slowed. As your foot rests on a properly constructed custom orthotic, it is gently and consistently directed into the correct position for walking, running and standing.
Custom Molded Orthotics
Foot Centers of NC offers custom molded orthotics which are designed especially for your particular foot condition. Unlike inserts you can buy off the shelf at drugstores, custom orthotics are crafted to meet your own special needs and are designed exclusively to correct your specific problem area.
The most important factor in the design of custom orthotics is that they are based on a prescription from your podiatrist after he/she has thoroughly examined your feet. This is a very exacting process that begins with scanning your feet and determining pressure points on a special diagnostic imaging mat. After your podiatrist scans your feet, he writes a prescription for your orthotics and sends it to a laboratory that custom molds the orthotics especially for your feet. There, the laboratory uses high-quality, long-lasting materials to design your orthotics based on your prescription.
Orthotics may contain shock-absorbent material and be made of plastic, graphite or other flexible materials. Production of custom orthotics usually take 2-3 weeks. When you pick up your orthotics from our office, our medical technicians will insert your orthotics into your shoes to ensure they fit properly. You will be instructed to break in your orthotics gradually, starting out with a few hours each day and slowly increasing the time until you are comfortable wearing them all day.
Another important factor of orthotic therapy is appropriate follow-up with your podiatrist. If you have a problem with orthotic fit, function, comfort, shoe fit or any other issue, your podiatrist can make any needed adjustments.
Foot Centers of NC strives to make orthotics affordable to all patients who can benefit from them.
Orthotics work even better when combined with therapeutic footwear. Your podiatrist can recommend a particular shoe that will best meet your needs. For best results, be sure to visit your podiatrist regularly and discuss any changes in the fit or feel of your orthotics and/or diabetic footwear.