Q & A
What are Prescription Custom Orthotics?
Custom orthotics are specially-made devices designed to support and comfort your feet. Foot pain often arises from a lack of support and from issues with the inherent structure of the foot. Custom orthotics help to realign your feet, preventing bones from shifting out of position and tendons and ligaments from becoming fatigued. Orthotics cushion the impact of your body weight and ensure your feet make even contact with the ground, so you don’t put too much stress on any one part of your foot, protecting against the pain that overuse foot conditions can cause.
Prescription orthotics are divided into two categories:
Functional orthotics- are designed to control abnormal motion. They may be used to treat foot pain caused by abnormal motion; they can also be used to treat injuries such as shin splints or tendinitis. Functional orthotics are usually crafted of a semi-rigid material such as plastic or graphite.
Accommodative orthotics- are softer and meant to provide additional cushioning and support. They can be used to treat diabetic foot ulcers, painful calluses on the bottom of the foot, and other uncomfortable conditions.
Orthotics are different from shoe inserts, which you may have seen for sale at the pharmacy. Inserts provide extra cushioning and support, which can provide short-term relief from pain, but as an over-the-counter product, they’re designed to fit as many people as possible. Only orthotics are custom made, which means they fit your feet perfectly and are designed specifically to address your foot problems.
Which foot problems can custom orthotics help with?
Orthotics can help address foot pain from a variety of conditions, including:
Corns and calluses
How are custom orthotics made?
Dr. Tien will examine your feet and observe how you walk. She will listen carefully to your complaints and concerns and assess the movement and function of your lower extremities. The information gathered during the exam will help Dr. Tien prescribe orthotics custom made just for you. Dr. Tien will take plaster molds of your feet and send these molds, along with notes about your foot condition, and a prescription to an orthotics lab which will manufacture your orthotics. Orthotics are made from materials that are both rigid enough to support your feet and flexible enough that you can wear them comfortably.
Content credit: apma.org
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