A large number of foot and ankle conditions share something in common: they can be treated or prevented through the use of custom orthotic devices. In simple terms, an orthotic device is an insert for the heel or a pad for the foot, that’s designed to fit inside your shoes. While simple in concept, custom orthotics can address a wide range of complex foot issues, such as misalignment, abnormal motion, balance problems, and mild to severe pain.
When choosing orthotics for support, prevention, or to ease the pain of an existing condition, you have two main options: over-the-counter insoles that you’ll find in places like pharmacies and sports stores and custom orthotics created by specialists.
Podiatrists frequently recommend the use of orthotics for support and correction, leaving many people with the important decision of whether to buy over-the-counter insoles or to splash out on custom orthotic devices. Many people choose Podiatrist Prescribed Custom Orthotics because of the incredible benefits.
Custom orthotics have the advantage of providing personalized support; they offer a greater degree of adjustability, and they typically last longer than insoles (custom orthotics have an average lifespan of around 2 to 5 years, compared to 6 to 12 months for insoles).
Do the benefits of custom orthotics mean that over-the-counter insoles are no good? For the best overall support, a custom orthotic is often the best choice. With a custom orthotic device, you eliminate the risk of choosing the wrong device and causing more harm than good.
Orthotics are an extremely versatile treatment option for a wide variety of conditions, but there’s no one-design-fits-all orthotic device. One of the greatest benefits of custom orthotics over standard store-bought insoles is that a professional creates a unique mold and suggests the best device based on the patient’s needs and the problems they’re experiencing.
Here are some examples of common foot and ankle conditions, and what style of shoe and orthotic device a podiatrist may recommend:
Bunions and/or Bunionettes
Recommendation: A ‘bunion shield’ pad and stretchy shoes with a wide toe. The shoe should have no seams on the parts that cover the top and sides of the foot, the back of the heel and the toes.
Foot Corns and Calluses
Recommendation: A toe separator in cases when the corn or callus is located either on the toes or between them.
Cavus Foot (Rigid High Arch)
Recommendation: A soft orthotic device with cushioning to ensure an even distribution of pressure.
Recommendation: If the condition is causing pain, a semi-rigid insert, extended heel counter, inner-heel wedge, or long arch pad.
Stiff Big Toe (Hallux Rigidus)
Recommendation: A prefabricated insert that’s stiff and covers the full length of the foot, or a rocker bottom sole or Morton extension inlay.
Hammer Toe or Claw Toe
Recommendation: A toe crest and shoes that have a deep or wide toe.
Forefoot Pain (Metatarsalgia)
Recommendation: Wide shoes and the use of bars or pads underneath the metatarsal bones.
Limb Length Deformity
Recommendation: Custom orthotics that are in full contact with the feet.
Recommendation: A metatarsal pad on top of the neuroma and shoes that have a wide toe.
Recommendation: Very deep shoes, a rocker bottom sole, and full-contact orthotics with cushioning.
Recommendation: A ready-made felt, silicone, or rubber heel insert.
Runner’s Painful Knee
Recommendation: Prefabricated orthotics for sports. The inlays should be soft and cover the full length of the foot.
Custom orthotics provide tailored support, delivering exactly what the patient needs to recover quickly and successfully after an accident or to overcome/manage a condition. It may take slightly longer to receive a custom orthotic than purchasing an over-the-counter alternative, but you’re guaranteed to receive a unique orthotic device that treats your condition, not a generic insole that may or may not provide the support you need.
Getting your first orthotic devices is a very easy process. All you need to do to get orthotics that provide the highest standard of support, comfort, and protection, is pay a visit to Vittori Foot & Ankle Clinic.
By choosing to visit a podiatrist at Vittori Foot & Ankle Clinic, instead of buying an over-the-counter insole, you’ll receive personalized treatment. Your podiatrist will perform a full assessment, including examining your gait, to get to the bottom of your foot or ankle problem, and ensure that you get the right style of orthotic device for your needs.
Your new orthotics will be perfectly crafted to fit the shape of your feet and provide support where it’s most required. Custom orthotic devices from our clinic are made from high-quality materials, so you can be assured of their strength and durability, as well as their comfort and support.
If you’re experiencing foot pain or feel that you need additional support to prevent problems or make living with an existing condition easier, then you can get in touch with Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialists in New Lenox & Homer Glen, IL today to book an appointment with our team. You can contact us by phone at 708-221-8279 or schedule an appointment through our website at a time that suits you.