Summer is ending and school is starting again, whether or not all you students feel ready for it. The start of a new school year is an interesting time. It can be tough to get back into the swing of the routine, but it’s also a fresh start and opportunity to get the year off on the right foot. Sometimes this can mean literally: starting the year on supported feet can make a big difference for your physical health, especially if you’re a student athlete. This may mean investing in a pair of special inserts for your shoes—but do you need custom orthotics or over-the-counter insoles?
Custom orthotics and non-prescription insoles are not the same thing, though they do have some things in common. They both slide into your shoes so you wear them when you stand or walk. They both help alleviate soreness and cushion hard impacts. Because they aren’t the same, however, they aren’t interchangeable. Wearing the wrong thing in your shoes might contribute to your pain, instead of heal it.
So what do you actually need in your shoes? Well, that depends. Since over-the-counter insoles and custom orthotics are not the same thing, they are used slightly differently. Non-prescription inserts are prefabricated and designed to meet general needs. If you’re struggling with sore feet, are prone to calluses, or have mild overpronation problems that cause trouble in sports, you might just need a general insert. This can add more padding to your soles, support your arch, and protect your heels.
If you have chronic pain, a foot deformity, or a serious condition like diabetes, custom orthotics are probably your better choice. These can change your alignment to correct biomechanical issues. They can help accommodate stiff joints and limit ulcer-causing pressure. They can even help prevent overuse injuries in sports.
Deciding exactly which kind is best for you, though, can be tough. The most accurate way is to have experts like our team at Carolina Podiatry Group examine your lower limbs first. We’ll help you determine what your feet need, whether it’s prescription inserts or not. Make an appointment with our office in Indian Land or in Lancaster, SC, today to take care of your feet this school year. You can reach us online or by calling: (803) 285-1411 for Lancaster, or (803) 548-FEET for Indian Land.