Custom foot orthotics are a conservative treatment for many different types of foot problems, from structural issues and misalignments to injuries. They are designed to provide support for the feet by distributing pressure and realigning the joints in the feet. The devices are personalized to suit your exact requirements. Find out how custom foot orthotics could benefit you.
Custom foot orthotics offer more than just a padded insole, they are specially designed shoe or heel inserts that help alleviate a variety of issues. The orthotics are individually made for your feet. They are developed utilizing a computerized analysis of your feet to ensure the orthotics deal with your specific foot or gait issues.
What Types of Orthotics Are Available?
Orthotics may be used to alter foot function, such as to correct a gait problem or structural abnormality, protect against certain conditions, or a combination of the two. Orthotics differ in the type of materials used, as well as their shape. Your foot condition, activity level, and type of footwear will determine the type of orthotics you need. Options include:
- Rigid Orthotics – control function and usually made of a firm, durable material such as plastic or carbon fiber.
- Soft Orthotics – help absorb shock, increase balance, and reduce pressure on uncomfortable or sore areas. Typically made of soft, compressible materials that easily adjust to changes in weight-bearing forces.
- Semirigid Orthotics – constructed of layers of soft material, reinforced with rigid materials, and used primarily by athletes to promote optimum physical performance.
What Conditions Can Orthotics Help With?
Orthotics can help to provide support and stability for the foot and/or ankle, andimprove foot and ankle position, function, and overall posture. Custom foot orthotics may be recommended to help treat, manage, and prevent a variety of conditions and injuries, including:
- Diabetes –can help to correct diabetes-related foot problems and to reduce the risk of foot complications associated with diabetes
- Over or under pronation of the foot arches
- Foot deformities –can help to accommodate, correct, or prevent a wide range of structural abnormalities, such as bunions and hammertoe
- A foot or ankle injury –can promote healing by improving foot position and supporting the foot as it heals following an injury or surgery. Can also help to reduce the risk of future injury.
- The heel pain associated with conditions such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis – can help to stretch and support the arch of the foot to alleviate pain.
- Lower back or knee pain resulting from a foot imbalance or gait issue.
- Misalignments in the pelvis or spine are caused by abnormal foot/lower limb mechanics.
How Do I Know if I Need Custom Orthotics?
Customized foot orthotics can help alleviate symptoms of a range of conditions. In addition to this, you may be a good candidate for customized orthotics if you are experiencing the following signs, which can indicate misalignment of the feet:
- One side of your shoe sole wears out faster than the other side
- Heel pain first thing in the morning
- You regularly twist, roll, or sprain your ankle
- You suffer from a chronic heel, knee, or lower back pain
- You have shin pain
- Your toes are not straight
- Your feet point inwards/outwards when you walk
What Can I Expect At My Appointment?
Your podiatrist will work with you to develop personalized inserts for your soles that are most appropriate for your specific issue. During your initial evaluation, your podiatrist will carry out a thorough foot examination and assessment, which may involve:
- Assessing the mechanics of your feet and lower extremities
- Analyzing your posture and gait
- Taking a plaster cast on your foot
- Using a computerized analysis of your feet to develop an orthotic device that corrects the misalignments and deals with any specific foot or gait issues
- Suggesting stretches and exercises to help improve any problematic symptoms
Sometimes, imaging tests such as Xray and MRIs may be recommended to assess, diagnose, or rule out a foot condition or injury.
Once your custom foot orthotics have been developed, you will meet with your podiatrist for an orthotic fitting to check the device fits correctly and comfortably. The orthotics are worn inside your normal shoes to help keep the feet properly aligned and/or to provide padding to cushion and protect the feet.
At your appointment, you will also be given aftercare instructions regarding the appropriate use and care of your orthotics. If necessary, any adjustments or changes can be scheduled at a later date.
Custom Orthotics inSan Antonio, TX
The Podiatry Group of South Texas provides high-quality, comprehensive foot and ankle care to patients in San Antonio and southern Texas. Our multidisciplinary podiatrists are experts in providing diagnosis, treatment, and prevention for all types of injuries and conditions affecting the feet and ankles. We utilize a computerized analysis of your foot to develop a customized orthotic device that most appropriately deals with your specific foot or gait issues.
If you would like to find out more about custom orthotics and whether you could benefit from them, call us today at the location nearest to you, or alternatively, you can use our convenient online appointment request form to schedule an appointment.