As we get older, we naturally begin to appreciate comfort in a shoe rather than brand names. Likewise, athletes who play professionally or as amateurs must give their feet optimum support in order to help prevent problems in the feet, ankles, and knees.
Our feet go through a lifetime of harsh daily use, so the time will likely eventually come for custom footwear – especially orthotics – to help prevent foot pain. Let’s talk about custom and pre-made orthotic foot supports, and how they can help you.
How Orthotics Work
Orthotic devices are designed to:
- Help alleviate pain in a person’s feet
- Correct a foot deformity
- Provide relief from some condition that affects the person’s feet
- Relieve sensitive areas of the feet
- Provide special cushioning in order to walk without pain or discomfort
Orthotics help to redistribute weight throughout the foot, thereby relieving pressure that would otherwise be placed on certain spots. The following are some of the most popular types of orthotics:
Inserts are easily found in drug stores, pharmacies, and supermarkets. They may be made of gel, foam, or plastic.
These types of orthotics are designed to offer cushioning and protection that your regular shoes don’t provide. Store-bought inserts that are not custom-made insoles normally require a little trimming in order to fit into your shoes.
These can provide extra arch support or extra padding in the toes, heels, arch, or the entire foot. They make walking or wearing shoes more comfortable, but they do not correct an underlying cause of foot pain.
Customized orthotics are individually tailored, medically prescribed devices that are worn inside of your shoes to correct foot issues, such as how you walk, stand, or run. They can also help relieve foot pain caused by diabetes, bursitis, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, or flat feet. They can even help a person avoid surgery by gently re-forming the shape of the feet.
If you have an issue with one or both feet that requires custom footwear, the podiatrist will take a 3-D mold of your feet. A professional will then craft the special device based on that mold.
Specialized rigid orthotics or functional orthotics are made from strong, lightweight materials like carbon fiber. These can be walking shoes or closed-toe dress shoes (with heels, if desired).
These are designed to alter or correct the way a person stands, so they will get relief from the pain. They can be designed to help ease aches in the legs, thighs, and lower back.
These types of orthotics are made from soft compression materials. They are designed to take the pressure off of sore spots, such as foot pain due to diabetes or heel pain due to plantar fasciitis.
Due to the thick size of the soft or accommodative orthotics, these may require special orthotic shoes. These shoes will allow enough room for the orthotics to fit inside.
Podiatrist in San Antonio
If your feet always hurt at the end of the day, or if your foot has been injured, it may be time to investigate orthotics and custom footwear. An experienced podiatrist can explain all of your options and recommend the best choices for your feet.