Custom orthotics can treat AND prevent nearly every foot condition I treat on a daily basis. If only people scheduled preventative maintenance of their feet like they do their teeth, eyes, and bodies. 95% of the patients I treat have preventable conditions. No one ever thinks about their feet until they start to hurt. By then it is often too late to prevent most of these conditions.
I find a lot of people Google for information on their foot pain or visit the foot health section of their grocery or drug store to self treat. Most often they will come in with a pair of arch supports they purchased hoping to reduce the discomfort.
Recently I have had a lot of questions from patients about the “custom” orthotics you can get by stepping on a sensor pad to have your feet evaluated. I usually start by asking the patient if they would feel comfortable walking into a store and putting their face into a machine that will tell them which of the 5 eye glasses they have on the display would be right for them?
The reality is there are too many variables that cannot be assessed without a physical and x-ray examination along with a gait analysis. The machines that you step on to get your “custom fit” orthotic can only tell you if your foot is flat or not. You can do that very easily yourself without the machine.
A prescription for custom orthotics takes into consideration the structure and function of your foot. It is important to know if all of the joints in your foot and ankle have normal motion or are restricted, for instance…
Where are you having pain?
There are many more variables that only a proper evaluation by a qualified podiatrist (foot doctor) can sort out.
Over the counter orthotics have a tendency to be too flimsy. They are cushions rather than supports. They may improve the condition temporarily, but they break down too fast. In addition, the inserts that I have seen that came from chiropractor offices have not been much better.
A good orthotic has a stiff shell that holds the patient’s foot in the neutral position. The top cover length depends on the type of shoes they are being made for and can help remove pressure from any painful areas.
Custom molded orthotics also last much longer then over the counter arch supports. They can maintain proper function for 2-5 years. They slow down the progression of foot deformities by neutralizing the muscle imbalances that lead to:
Each person is genetically programmed to have a certain foot structure that can degenerate overtime. We cannot overcome genetics, but we can slow the process to hopefully prevent pain and prolong progression of certain deformities that can lead to the need for more invasive procedures such as foot or ankle surgery.
If you are Googling foot pain or standing in front of the Foot Care display at your local pharmacy trying to figure out which products to buy, take a step back, and begin by getting the proper recommendations from a professional.
Give us a call at 301-937-5666 to receive a physical and x-ray examination along with a gait analysis. This will accurately diagnose the proper custom orthotic prescription for your exact foot. No two feet are alike, so you should not be wearing a generic orthotic, made for multiple people in a certain foot type or gait category.
Make sure to contact us as soon as possible to ensure an appointment time that works with your schedule as our appointment calendar fills up quickly for weeks in advance.
Call today 301-937-5666 or click here to fill out our online appointment request form.