Did you know that misalignments in your foot structure could be the hidden reason behind not only your foot pain, but also pain in your knees, hips, and lower back too? It’s true.
Feet are the foundation that your whole body relies on for alignment and stability. But no two sets of feet are exactly alike, and unfortunately, many people have biomechanical inefficiencies in the way their feet are structured and the way they move. This can cause pain, soreness, and even injuries throughout the body.
Fortunately, these mechanical flaws can be accommodated and realigned, giving you relief from discomfort and helping you achieve a more active lifestyle. Often the best way to do this is with custom orthotics.
What are Custom Orthotics?
Custom orthotics are specially crafted insoles that you wear inside your normal shoes. Just like glasses allow you to see better without fundamentally “fixing” your eyes, custom orthotics give your feet the support and cushioning they need to function properly—without the need for expensive surgery.
Unlike prefabricated, mass-produced insoles you can buy from the pharmacy, custom orthotics are personalized using a high-quality mold or scan of your feet, taken in our office. That data, along with our diagnosis, is sent to a lab where the orthotics are manufactured. When you return to the office, we will make any final minor adjustments that may be necessary to ensure a perfect fit.
Custom orthotics can be made from a wide variety of different materials, in many different styles. Some are purely “accommodative,” meaning they simply provide extra cushioning and support where your feet need them to offload painful pressure.
However, custom orthotics can also be “functional,” meaning that they actually alter the biomechanical motion of your feet and joints to correct gait abnormalities, prevent excessive ankle roll or overpronation, etc.
What Kinds of Conditions Can Custom Orthotics Treat?
The beautiful thing about custom orthotics is that they can be used to treat an extremely wide variety of foot conditions and pain sources, from heel and arch pain to flat feet, high arches, overpronation, or awkward gait. They are even used in combination with diabetic shoes to mitigate the risk of ulcers.
Although they are not an optimal treatment for every potential foot or ankle problem, they are often helpful whenever poor foot structure or biomechanics is an important factor in your discomfort injury. That represents a fairly large percentage of situations.
Are Custom Orthotics Better than Store-Bought Insoles?
In a word, yes.
Custom orthotics are better because they are precisely tailored to your feet and made from high-quality materials. They can treat a more comprehensive range of foot and ankle diagnoses. They also tend to last longer, since they’re more durable and can usually be adjusted or refurbished (rather than discarded).
However, that does not necessarily mean there is no role for store-bought insoles. If you simply need a small amount of cushioning for minor aches and pains, a cheaper insole may be appropriate for your needs. We can help you determine if this is the case for you.
Help for Your Aching Feet
Now that you understand a little bit more about custom orthotics and how valuable they can be for so many foot and ankle issues, it’s time to make the call. To schedule an appointment with the Waukesha Foot Specialists, dial (262) 544-0700 today.