Sometimes objects need a little help staying stable. Buttresses support cathedral walls, and cables support tension bridges. Even wobbly chairs can use a little pad under the short leg to support them. Sometimes your feet have a similar problem: they need extra stabilization or padding to function normally. When your feet are sore or weak, every step is a challenge. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Custom orthotics can help relieve pain in your lower limbs and allow you to return to your favorite activities pain free.
What Are They?
Orthotics are special inserts that slip into your footwear to add extra padding or support. They can be an effective way to conservatively relieve foot pain.What kind you choose and how well they work depend on if you buy custom orthotics from an experienced podiatrist, or if you pick up prefabricated inserts at a convenience store or pharmacy.
Custom insoles are prescription-based support pieces. A doctor, like those here at NorthPointe Foot & Ankle, examines your uncomfortable feet and determines what is causing the problem—a biomechanical weakness, a pressure point, or some other injury. Then the doctor measures and makes a mold of your exact foot shape and proper positioning. This helps the experts craft a unique support piece specifically designed to meet your needs and relieve your pain. That support piece not only accommodates your uncomfortable issue, but can help correct it as well.
The prefabricated or over-the-counter inserts you can buy in a store or online are designed for a general foot condition and are built based on foot size. They do offer some support and cushioning for your feet. In some cases, that is all you might need to help your feet feel better. However, because the support these provide is so generalized, it cannot correct any problems—and if you choose the wrong insert for your needs, it could actually cause additional pain. If you’re wondering if a prefabricated insole would help your discomfort, have your feet evaluated before you buy anything, to determine what kind would most benefit your feet and ankles without causing complications.
More often than not, however, people need more than general support. Custom orthotics are of two different types: accommodative and functional. Accommodative orthotics are soft and meant to provide padding as well as support. They are helpful for relieving pain from calluses, diabetic foot complications, compressed fatty pads, and other sore foot issues. Functional orthotics are made of more rigid materials and designed to control abnormal motion. They’re used for problems like falling arches, shin splints, tendonitis, and general instability. The prescription insole you use depends on your unique needs and what the doctors think will help the most.
If you’re experiencing pain or weakness when you walk or move around, you may need extra padding or stabilization. Custom orthotics prescribed by our experts at NorthPointe Foot & Ankle, can help correct conditions and offer real relief for your lower limbs. You don’t have to ignore discomfort any more. The solution could be as simple as a prescription support piece. Contact our Berkley, MI, office for an appointment—or more information about caring for your feet—by visiting the online contact page or by calling (248) 545-0100.