Orthotics are medical devices that you wear to support part of your body or to help your body function in a more normal way. In the case of orthotics for your feet, you might use insoles that slip in your shoes or you might wear a boot that fits over your ankle and foot. Orthotics are often custom made so they fit your feet exactly and so they can make adjustments to improve your gait or add padding and support. Here's a look at getting orthotics for your shoes to treat a foot problem you have.
Have An Examination To Determine The Right Treatment
You'll need a prescription for a custom orthotic device, and you can get one from a podiatrist after an examination of your feet. It's important to know the cause of your foot condition so the right type of orthotic can be prescribed. Wearing the wrong kind might do more harm than good, which is why buying over-the-counter shoe insoles is often ineffective. In addition to taking a history of your condition and doing a physical examination, the podiatrist may analyze your gait with the help of computerized equipment.
The information gained from a gait test lets the podiatrist know how you bear weight on your feet and how stable your feet are as you walk. The results of your examination and testing enable the podiatrist to recommend the right orthotics you can buy off the shelf or to create a custom orthotic that will support your feet in the right way.
Have Custom Orthotics Made
Custom orthotics are usually different from insoles you buy at the store because those insoles are usually soft and padded. Orthotic specialists use a combination of materials so your device has soft padding where needed and stiff support where that's needed. The podiatrist makes a mold of each foot since your feet are usually a little different from each other. In addition, a virtual mold might be made on a computer for the lab to use when making your orthotic devices. Your custom devices will be just the right length and width that's needed as well as being customized for your foot condition. Even though the orthotics may be rigid, they fit inside your regular shoes so no one knows you're wearing them.
Custom orthotics are more expensive than insoles you buy at the store, but they last much longer. Plus, they are more effective at supporting your feet and controlling movement. If you have diabetes, orthotics can protect your feet as well so you don't get blisters and other injuries that could develop into serious problems.