Everything You Need to Know About Orthotics
Have you ever purchased an expensive and uncomfortable pair of orthotics that you ended up hating? You’re not alone. Many patients and I have all been victims of poorly made orthotics.
Orthotics are devices placed in or on shoes to correct various foot problems. Like horseshoes, they consist of different materials, such as metal, plastic, or leather, and they come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Not all orthotics are the same, there are over 150 different designs to choose from.
There are three main types of orthotics: over-the-counter (OTC), semi-custom and custom-made.
You can purchase OTC orthotics at most drugstores or sporting goods stores. There are some decent over-the-counter options available. Overall, these types of inserts provide you with the least amount of support because they are prefabricated.
Everyone has different feet. What works for one person might not work for another. I hear stories from patients about how they spend tons of money trying different inserts, but nothing worked. This is because they weren’t custom-made to treat their foot issues.
Semi-custom orthotics, or Quadrasteps, are a series of prefabricated orthotics that are based on foot type. The Quadrastep line contains six different types of inserts, each one designed for a different foot type. These types of inserts will provide you with much more support than over-the-counter options, but less than a custom orthotic. Quadrasteps are a good option for the feet of growing children and people who are hesitant to try custom orthotics.
Custom-made orthotics are made specifically for an individual’s feet. They will provide you with the most correction and support. If you are looking for a way to improve your overall foot health, custom orthotics are an excellent option. They can provide support, alignment, and cushioning, which can all contribute to better foot health. We can build all kinds of modifications into a custom device that makes a significant difference in how your foot functions. This is quite different than a Powerstep, which just takes up space.
What are the benefits of orthotics?
In addition, these inserts can be used to relieve pain in the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. It’s surprising how your feet can cause pain in the knees, hips, and lower back is caused by your feet. Correcting the alignment of your foot can resolve this pain. This is why such devices are important for any other professional that spends a lot of time standing on concrete or other hard surfaces.
The casting process is quick and simple. There are two techniques we use to cast for inserts: plaster or foam casting. It’s important to capture your arch height when measuring. We do casting instead of using an electronic scanner because we make better fitting inserts using a foam cast. We will choose which technique to use depending on your foot type – which we can determine at your appointment.
Are orthotics right for you?
How do you know if orthotics are right for you? The truth is that almost everyone can benefit from wearing them. The only reason you wouldn’t benefit is if your foot is already in perfect alignment, which is extremely rare.
We even provide inserts for kids to improve any gait abnormalities and improve their foot alignment. This also helps prevent any issues in the future! If you are concerned about your child’s feet, we recommend bringing them in as early as age 4. On average, the last bone in the foot fuses at age 21. The earlier they catch the issue, the easier it is to resolve and prevent any life-long problems.
Orthotics are billable to insurance, depending on your specific policy. If your insurance does not cover orthotics, they can be expensive. However, all of the long-term benefits are well worth the cost. We understand that cost can be an issue for many people and therefore offer flexible payment plans to help alleviate any financial burden.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please contact the office at 859-264-1141 or schedule an appointment online.