How do I know if Custom Orthotics are right for me?
If you suffer from foot pain then orthotics might just change your world! The benefits depend on the specific situation but here are some ways that orthotics can work.
Orthotics help control abnormal motion of the foot, redistribute pressure and/or realign the foot in a more stable position. The feet are the foundation of the body so aligning them properly could reduce pain in the knees, hips and lower back.
Numerous scientific studies have shown the benefits of orthotics for those who suffer from heel or arch pain.
Diabetics can benefit from wearing orthotics designed to prevent wounds from forming on the bottoms of their feet by redistributing the pressure more evenly over the surface of the foot.
What is the process of making a custom foot orthotic?
We begin by doing a thorough biomechanical exam and gait analysis where we assess your individual needs. This enables us to specify the correct adjustments to be made to the orthotics.
After the exam, we use either plaster casts or foam boxes to capture 3-dimensional molds of your feet so the orthotics can be custom-made specifically for you.
The molds are sent to a lab off-site where certified pedorthists use them to make a 3-dimensional model of the foot. A heat moldable material is vacuumed pressed right onto this model to form the shell. After cooling, any pads, top covers or posts are added to the shell, based on the specific recommendations we have given.
You’ll then be contacted to book an appointment for a fitting. We ensure the orthotics fit your feet and shoes properly and give you advice about breaking them in.
Are there different types of orthotics?
YES! Orthotics can be made from a variety of materials and to different lengths depending on the goal of treatment and the footwear they will be worn in. Different orthotics can be made to fit dress shoes, casual shoes, running shoes, cleats and even skates. Here are a few examples …
The shell of the orthotics may be firmer or more flexible depending on how much control the patient requires and what the orthotics will be used for. For example, an orthotic made for a runner or basketball player would be flexible to absorb the impact of running and/or jumping, whereas an orthotic made for a dress shoe would be made of firm, thin material to provide the most support while taking up the least amount of room in the shoe.
Is there really a difference between custom orthotics and Over-the-Counter (OTC) insoles?
OTC insoles that you can buy at pharmacies or shoe stores can be great for short term use, but they are definitely not one size fits all. If you have an injury and only need extra support or cushioning for a short period of time, an OTC insole can be the perfect fit. If, however, your case is complicated or your issue is chronic it is usually better to invest in a custom made orthotic because it can be tailored to accommodate your specific issues and it will last much longer than an OTC insole. At our clinic, we will tell you which we recommend for your specific situation!