Foot pain is a serious matter. Our feet carry the brunt of our weight, and even the smallest irritation can quickly become a big problem. Living with foot pain can be a miserable experience, whether it’s something clinical like bone spurs, wear-and-tear or damage related, or due to the effects of aging. What would you do if we told you you don’t have to suffer foot pain at all?
What are custom orthotics?
Custom orthotics are specially-designed inserts made for your shoes. They’re typically used to treat leg aches, back pain, or foot pain. However, these aren’t the one-size-fits-all foot pads you may have seen in a pharmacy or sports store. A podiatrist will carefully consider your specific issues, skeletal makeup, and the shape of your feet to create a custom fit. Usually, they will be part of a specific treatment plan that may also include off-the-shelf devices, chiropractic or physiotherapy treatments, and exercises at home. Orthotics are used to:
- Provide support to the ankle or foot
- Give arch support
- Help your ankle or foot function correctly
- Minimize the risk of injury
- Correct foot deformities that affect how you function.
How do they diagnose the need for orthotics?
While you may be referred by another concerned specialist in your life, typically it will be a podiatrist that will set up your orthotics for you. Obviously, your previous history will be carefully considered. There will also be a thorough examination of your legs and feet, examining any deformities or areas that are painful. You may also be asked to perform activities, so the specialist can see how your ankle and foot are positioned. They could use equipment you recognize, like X-rays or MRIs, or specialist imaging services like foot pads, designed to show them how your foot strikes the ground and where your weight is when your feet perform certain tasks.
While it’s perfectly natural to need the help of an orthotic, and you shouldn’t feel reluctant to use them, the key goal will always be to help you resume normal activities without pain. If this can be achieved through gait correction, physiotherapy, or foot exercises to increase strength and flexibility, you will be encouraged to use these methods. You may even need the orthotic only as a temporary measure while you work on what can be fixed. Others will need to use orthotics permanently to ensure the correct operation of their feet and ankles, although you may need to revisit your podiatrist over time to have adjustments made. Everything is structured around helping you to be the best you can be, so don’t be shy.
Where can I get custom orthotics?
The next question on your mind is likely, “Where can I buy custom orthotics?” Remember, ‘custom’ is the key word here. You will need to consult with trained medical practitioners to create an orthotic that is unique to your feet. It’s a great idea to start looking for a podiatrist in your area to help you on the journey. Remember that the more information you can give them about what hurts, and under what circumstances, the quicker you will be able to resolve your foot pain.
You don’t have to live life in pain. Custom orthotics are one of the many ways you can help alleviate foot and ankle pain, so don’t be shy to reach out for help today.