If you have been suffering with chronic foot pain, here’s one thing you should know:

Although there are many possible causes for your discomfort, a large percentage of them can stem from poor foot structure and faulty biomechanics. And when this is the case, custom orthotic devices are often a great option for finding the relief you need.

These versatile medical devices provide the exact cushioning and corrective support in areas of the foot that need it most, helping relieve excessive stress that causes foot pain and discomfort in the first place. This means your feet are better able to heal from soft tissue injuries, evenly distribute weight across your feet, and drastically improve your overall comfort.

Though custom orthotic devices may not be recommended for every case of foot pain, they have been proven to work for a lot of patients suffering from a wide range of foot and ankle problems, including (but certainly not limited to) heel pain, flat feet, bunions, hammertoes, and sports injuries.

How Do Custom Orthotics Work?

The first step to making sure custom orthotic devices work properly is to determine an accurate diagnosis. We must find the exact cause of your discomfort in order to recommend the right type of orthotic therapy for you … and your feet.

When you come to our office, we will begin by performing a thorough evaluation of your feet and ankles. This will include a physical examination, as well as asking questions about what your feet go through at work, what activities you enjoy doing, and your overall medical history. (Bring a pair of well-worn shoes in with you if you can – we may be able to tell a lot about your walking gait simply by looking at the wear on the treads.)

Once we are able to determine the root cause of your problem (and decide that you can, in fact, benefit from wearing custom orthotic devices), we will create a mold of each carefully positioned foot which will account for every curve and dip of your unique foot structure. That’s what makes custom orthotics so effective! They are designed for only one pair of feet – namely, yours – and no two pairs are exactly the same.

Orthotic devices can be divided into two general categories, based on their purpose:

  • Accommodative orthotics are designed to provide cushioning and support, either to help relieve pain or to guard specific areas against damage. These tend to be made of softer materials.
  • Functional orthotics are designed to control abnormal motions of the foot, like overpronation (when the foot rolls too far inward while stepping). They help maintain normal motion, relieving much of the undue stress being placed on certain areas such as the Achilles, posterior tibial and peroneal tendons or the plantar fascia. Functional orthotics tend to be made of relatively rigid materials, like plastic or graphite.

Depending on your specific situation, we may even combine elements from both of these categories.

Custom Orthotics vs. Store-Bought Inserts: Know the Difference

Now, you may be asking yourself: “Can’t I just buy a pair of inserts from a local pharmacy?” And the answer to that is you certainly can – and they might help, depending on your situation and what you choose. But there are key factors that differentiate the two, and if your foot pain is being caused by significant biomechanical deficiencies, prefabricated inserts simply will not do the trick.

While store-bought inserts may provide some relief, they most likely will not fully address the underlying cause of your pain. You may gain some temporary comfort by adding an extra layer of cushioning in your shoes, but this is usually short-lived and only allows the actual problem to continue to worsen.

The bottom line is:

Store-bought inserts are a “one-size-fits-all” solution – and given the fact that no two feet are the same, prefabricated inserts often don’t work.

Aside from being custom built to your exact foot structure and needs, custom orthotic devices are also made from much sturdier materials and will last much longer than what you can find at the store. In fact, with routine maintenance and refurbishment, a pair of custom orthotics can last several years.

Customize Your Comfort

Whether you have been dealing with heel pain for a while, or you are looking for relief from bunion symptoms, custom orthotics may be just what you need! The only way to find out for sure is by coming to our office for a thorough evaluation. We can help you determine which treatment option is best for your specific condition.

So give our office a call at (281) 292-7000 to schedule an appointment today. You can also take advantage of our handy request form online, and a member of our staff will reach out to you shortly.

Monday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday: 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

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