Objects that are customized for a specific person are designed with that person’s needs and expectations in mind. This can be incredibly helpful. Customized cars allow people with physical disabilities to continue driving. Customized meals can accommodate food allergies or intolerances. This applies to your foot health, too, especially when it comes to custom orthotics.
Adding Extra Support in Your Shoes
Custom orthotics are special foot devices that you slip into shoes to accommodate conditions, alleviate pain, and adjust your limb functions. When you’re suffering from an overuse injury or other chronic foot pain, orthotics can sometimes mean the difference between giving up activities you love and being able to continue to walk, run, and participate in athletics—or even just do things around your home. These special inserts are frequently used to treat conditions like plantar fasciitis, overpronation, Achilles tendon problems, and even injuries like shin splints.
To get truly custom inserts that meet your exact needs, however, they have to be prescribed for you. There are two types of custom orthotics: functional and accommodative. Functional ones are made of mostly rigid materials and designed to control abnormal biomechanics. Accommodative ones are softer and meant to help support you and absorb shock.
What about Over-the-Counter Insoles?
Custom orthotics are very different from the prefabricated, over-the-counter insoles you see in pharmacies and grocery stores or can order on the internet. Those insoles can be helpful for your foot pain, yes, but they are not customized for your unique needs, so they cannot correct biomechanical issues. Instead, they are designed to accommodate general problems and assigned to you by your foot size.
For sore feet at work or other mild conditions, over-the-counter insole options might be sufficient for you. They’re fairly inexpensive and easy to replace when they wear out. You will need to be careful, though—if the insole isn’t right for your needs, it could make your discomfort worse.
Getting Your Orthotics
Before you can get a prescription-based shoe insert, you’ll need a complete evaluation. This means specialists like Dr. Brandon S. Percival, Dr. Julie A. Percival, and Dr. William Harris will carefully examine your lower limbs as well as your gait to identify what your lower limbs need to function at their best and eliminate your pain. From that our experts can determine what you would need from your orthotic, and which kind would be best for you. Our staff will take a cast so the orthotic fits your feet exactly. Then the insert will be molded to not only match your feet, but accommodate your foot needs.
Custom orthotics are meant to help your feet function correctly and be the healthiest they can be. They aren’t some magical cure—but they do make a difference for as long as you wear them. If you’re struggling with foot pain or prone to overuse injuries, you might benefit from a pair. Let our team at Carolina Podiatry Group help. You can use our online appointment tools to connect with us. You can also call one of our South Carolina offices: for our Lancaster location, please call (803) 285-1411; for our Indian Land office, please call (803) 548-FEET.