Do I Need Orthotics? What Kind?
If you have chronic foot pain caused by functional or structural foot problems, chances are you can benefit from wearing orthotics. These special shoe or heel inserts may be an effective part of your overall foot treatment plan. Best of all, they are removable, allowing you to wear them in all your favorite pairs of shoes.
Could you benefit from orthotics? And if so, what kind should you try? Find the answers to your questions here.
What Conditions Can Orthotics Treat?
Foot orthotics effectively treat foot pain, deformities, injuries, and fatigue caused by poorly functioning muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and bones. Examples of conditions that orthotics treat include:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel spurs
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Morton’s neuroma
Types of Orthotics
Different materials are used to make orthotics depending on the patient’s diagnosis and specific needs. Your options include rigid, semi-rigid, semi-flexible, and accommodative materials. Orthotics also come in different styles, including insoles, full-shoe inserts, heel inserts, and ankle-foot orthotics.
Orthotics are available in three primary forms—over-the-counter (OTC), kiosk-generated, and custom. Here’s how to choose which one is right for you.
OTC orthotics are widely available at drug stores and pharmacies. You make your selection based on shoe size and the type of foot pain you’re experiencing. A person of average weight, height, and foot type with a mild, generic problem may have a positive experience with OTC orthotics. This is an inexpensive place to start if you’re willing to experiment with a few options.
Kiosk orthotics produce semi-custom inserts based on a foot scan. The machine recommends a particular size, style, and material based on your scan and the type of foot problems you’re having. This extra level of customization may be suitable for your needs.
Custom orthotics are available by prescription. A healthcare professional considers your height, weight, activity level, and medical conditions when diagnosing your foot problem and determining the best material and style for your orthotics. Then, a custom insert is created specifically for you from a three-dimensional mold or laser scan of your feet. It takes one to two weeks for the orthotics to be ready, at which time you return to the office for a fitting.
Custom orthotics are the only way to go if you have a severe foot problem, loss of feeling in your feet, poor circulation, neurological issues, or foot deformities caused by arthritis. A custom option is also appropriate if you try OTC or kiosk-generated orthotics without success.
Ready to give custom orthotics a try? Visit Effective Integrative Healthcare for a free consultation at one of our Crofton, Millersville, or Lanham, MD locations. We’ll assess your situation, diagnose your foot problem, and review your treatment options, which may include custom orthotics. Contact us online or call 410-729-2200 today to take the next step toward resuming your healthy, active lifestyle free from foot pain.