An orthotic is a type of insole inserted in shoes for support. You should be familiar with these pre-package shoe inserts, as they are commonly seen at your local pharmacy stores like, CVS or RiteAid. For many people, their first brush with orthotic-use is when they experience foot pain.
However, the use of orthotics without the guidance of a podiatrist rarely produces long-lasting effects, if at all. The best types of orthotics are those provided by your podiatrist. Below are the two different types of orthotics and their advantages and disadvantages.
Off-the-shelf orthotics refers to orthotics that are available without the approval of a physician. They are similar to over-the-counter medications in this sense. You can simply purchase them from any store or online seller on your own. Off-the-shelf orthotics are mass-produced and may work for a short while, but the pain almost always returns, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to get temporary relief. For some, such orthotics only make the pain worse. Similarly, orthotics bought online are often ineffective. Off-the-shelf orthotics are often cheaper, making them an attractive option for many.
The major disadvantage of these orthotics is that they do not address the podiatric issues that are causing your symptoms. Common laments of people who buy off-the-shelf orthotics are that they wish the arch was a little higher or lower, that it was softer, and so on.
If you truly care about your foot and ankle health, you are better off using prescription or custom-made orthotics that only a podiatrist can provide.
Prescription Custom Orthotics
Custom orthotics are of superior quality and are created only for you. It will match the contours of your foot perfectly and correct your biomechanical issues. A podiatrist performs a thorough evaluation of your lower extremities — feet, ankle, and legs — and takes them into consideration when creating your orthotics. Prescription custom orthotics are used to treat a variety of foot problems, such as foot and ankle pain, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, and more.
Custom orthotics are either functional or accommodative. Functional orthotics have a unique design that helps control abnormal motion and are made of a semi-rigid material. Accommodative orthotics are made from a much softer material for the support and comfort of patients with calluses, bunions, and more.
Custom orthotics are now customizable to the point that you can choose the color, softness, material, and so on. Orthotics prescribed by your podiatrist may cost more than the store-bought orthotics, but in the long run, they will end up costing you less in medical costs for foot and ankle conditions and injuries.
Podiatrist-Prescribed Custom Orthotics in San Antonio, Boerne, Hondo, Floresville, Kenedy, Live Oak, TX
If you are experiencing foot pain and discomfort, the podiatrists at The Podiatry Group of South Texas can provide solutions for your condition. We are proud to offer custom orthotics for patients who, after a thorough evaluation, we find have biomechanical issues that need to be addressed.