What are Foot Orthotics?
Foot orthotics are custom made inserts that are placed in your shoe to relieve symptoms associated with a misalignment of the structure of the foot. This misalignment can either be congenital (born that way) or acquired (the natural support structure relaxes). Aligning your feet in a biomechanically correct position can help to align your whole musculoskeletal system and can influence not only the foot and ankle but can also passively affect the knees, hips and lower back.
In some cases of deformity or injury it is not possible to fully correct the structure. In these cases, accommodative orthotics are required to support and model the position of the foot in order to distribute pressures more evenly over the entire surface of the foot to relieve the associated symptoms. In these instances, our individual attention to detailed design is key to producing the most affective outcomes.
Our certified clinicians are trained to provide a full biomechanical analysis to determine the cause of ones symptoms and the degree of correction possible. Our custom made foot orthotics start with a hand cast to achieve a truly 3-D model of the foot. The on-site fabrication allows the clinician to custom design the orthotics and ensure quality control throughout the process.
What conditions do they treat?
And many more foot, knee, leg and postural complaints have all been known to improve with the use of appropriate foot orthotics.
When you have received your foot orthotics you will also receive a handout entitled Custom Molded Foot Orthoses which includes information on the care and longevity of the foot orthotics and what to do if you have any concerns.
What is the difference between custom foot orthotics and off-the-shelf arch supports?
There are foot orthotics that are “custom made” and “customized” and “off-the-shelf”. Custom foot orthotics are made from a three-dimensional mold of your foot using plaster or fiberglass. To further ensure optimal fit the Clinician modifies the mold and the foot orthoses are made in-house. Customized foot orthotics can look similar to custom foot orthotics and marketed as custom. They are made from a computerized system where a patient walks across a force plate which shows pressure distribution on a computer display. A pre-manufactured insole is then added to to create the foot orthotic. Unfortunately, patients are told that these foot orthotics are custom and charged a custom orthotic price. The cast is what ensures the patient that they are getting a custom foot orthotic.
Hand casting of foot orthoses:
Off-the-shelf Arch Supports
Off-the-shelf foot orthotics or arch supports are sold in drug stores, sport stores and shoe stores. They are not custom to the patient and provide mild arch support or cushioning. They can provide relief to minor foot pain and usually cost $30-$60.