Custom Orthotics May Help Your Foot And Ankle Pain

Posted on: 10 September 2017

If you have fallen arches or feet that roll to the side when you walk, you probably have frequent foot and ankle pain. You might consider buying shoe inserts at a pharmacy for relief. Sometimes, over-the-counter inserts help, especially if your pain is mild and occasional. However, a better solution for chronic pain is to have a podiatrist make custom orthotic inserts for your shoes. Here's how a foot and ankle specialist fits you for a prescription and the types of orthotics available:

The Procedure For Getting Custom Orthotics Made

The first step is to have your feet and gait analyzed. The podiatrist wants to test how you bear weight on your feet when you stand, walk, and run. This analysis can be done with the help of a computer and video equipment. With this information, the podiatrist knows what type of stabilization and correction your feet need to reduce pain in your feet, ankles, knees, or hips.

Next, the podiatrist makes a 3D model of your feet. This might be done by having you stand in dense foam to create a cast of your foot, or plaster may be applied to create a mold of your feet. The podiatrist might use computer equipment instead that creates a three-dimensional image after scanning the surface of your foot. This information provides precise measurements that allow the podiatrist to prescribe orthotic devices that fit your feet with the utmost comfort. Since the measurements are so exact, the podiatrist can make shoe inserts from stiff materials that can provide much more support than you can get from over-the-counter products while still being comfortable.

The Two Types Of Custom Shoe Orthotics

There are two basic types of shoe orthotics. One is accommodative and the other is functional. Accommodative orthotics are soft and flexible. They are useful for padding sore areas of the foot and for providing cushioning in areas that need help with shock absorption. These shoe inserts are often used in the treatment of diabetic feet, sore feet, and painful heels. They can also provide some support when you need help with fallen arches and foot rolling.

Functional orthotics are stiffer and not as padded. They are primarily for correcting foot abnormalities such as fallen arches or problems that arise from the way you bear weight as you walk. These orthotics provide the most support and they can hold your feet in the proper position as you walk and run. In this way, they can prevent further injury to your feet and reduce pain in your feet and ankles. Stabilization of your feet may even reduce pain in your knees and hips.

Custom orthotics are made in a lab specifically to fit your feet. They do cost more than the inserts you buy over the counter, but they also provide more support and more comfort, so they are worth it when you deal with chronic foot pain.

Contact a medical office like Affiliated Ankle & Foot Care Center for more information and assistance.