What are Prescription Custom Orthotics and Shoe Inserts?
Custom foot orthoses are specially-made footwear that's designed to fit the patient in question. They are used by podiatrists to help in the prevention and treatment of several different types of foot disorders such as Charcot foot, heel pain, digital amputations, and more.
Prescription orthotics differ from one patient to the next and are highly customized forms of footcare treatment. Your physician will take a scan or mold of your foot and create a specially-made piece of footwear used to treat and alleviate the symptoms of your foot disorder.
They can be divided into two main types:
- Functional orthotics—used for putting the foot into a neutral position, removing any undue stress from tendons and ligaments and joints of the foot. Functional orthotics are used in patients with high arches, flat feet, or bunions.
- Accommodative orthotics—used in patients with diabetes or nerve damage. Accommodative orthotics help relieve the foot from high-pressure and provide an additional layer of support.
Unlike over-the-counter shoe inserts, prescription orthotics are custom-made and fit just your feet. They are also made of high-quality materials and last much longer if proper care is taken to maintain them.
Shoe inserts are prefabricated forms of foot support that can easily be purchased over-the-counter. They do not require a prescription and are not custom-fitted to mold to your feet. Shoe inserts can be commonly used to treat everything from leg and heel pain to flat arches and even provide your feet with extra cushioning during sports or high impact activities. Some common shoe inserts available include:
- foot cushions
- heel pads
- arch supports
What Are the Uses of Prescription Custom Orthotics and Shoe Inserts?
Custom orthotics and shoe inserts provide podiatric patients with relief from their lower limb and foot disorders. They can be used to:
- improve the alignment of your feet
- restore balance
- alleviate pain in the feet and other parts of the body
- remove pressure from parts of the feet
- lessen damage form high impact or high-velocity sports
- pain relief
What to Expect During Prescription Custom Orthotics and Shoe Inserts Fitting at the Podiatrist
Regular checkups with the podiatrist are key to preventing and treating the different forms of foot disorders that exist. A proper foot exam can not only diagnose your foot conditions but also aid in the prevention of worsening of the condition and its symptoms. An appointment with your podiatrist often includes a gait analysis, where your natural walk is used to determine any foot pain that may arise, as well as diagnostic tests such as X-rays and a comprehensive health history, including your diet and current lifestyle.
Shoe inserts are recommended to alleviate mild pain and provide cushioning. But, if your pain is more severe, then custom orthotics may be the way to go. Custom-made orthotics help return your foot back to normal, minimizing pain and, in some cases, realigning the bones and tendons of the feet.