How Custom Orthotics Can Help Relieve Your Pain
Custom orthotics and supports are by far one of the most versatile treatment tools we have to help our patients find relief from pain caused by biomechanical imbalance. Their potential rises even higher thanks to our specialized Go 4-D technology providing even more exact cushioning and corrective support for our patients’ needs.
But how are custom orthotics able to provide such lasting relief for many patients, and why is it important that we try to fit the biomechanical needs of each patient as closely as possible?
Custom Orthotics May Be the Right Tools Your Feet Need
When we are considering custom orthotics to help relieve a patient’s consistent pain, biomechanics are what we are aiming to influence.
Think about a healthy, pain-free foot for a second. How does that foot optimally operate?
The arch is a pivotal part of your motion. It acts like a spring within the foot.
When you place weight on the foot, the arch compresses to spread that weight and force out over a wider area and longer timeframe. This lessens the overall strain experienced by any one specific area of the foot. When you push off your foot, the arch expands again, releasing some of that stored up energy to help you move forward.
The foot is constantly working this way as we move, but we barely even think about it! That is, of course, until something goes wrong.
Some of us are born with the likelihood of developing an abnormal foot structure, such as flat feet or high arches. This can affect the biomechanics of our feet and alter the way we move. An overload of weight or pressure can remain focused in spots where it otherwise wouldn’t, and muscles may need to overcompensate or fire in new ways to keep us stable under these abnormal conditions. Any of these factors can lead to strain and injury that we feel as chronic pain.
On top of that, modern living has placed hard and flat surfaces everywhere, adding even more stress to arches. Whether you are spending your days in shoes or not, such environments can take their toll.
For patients whose pain is based in biomechanical or environmental factors like those above, custom orthotics can become a very effective part of a treatment plan.
A Prescription Treatment for Long-Term Pain Relief
Custom orthotics can provide the exact amounts of cushioning and corrective support a patient may need to counter an abnormal foot structure and other bad influences. Every custom orthotic is made specifically to meet the needs of one patient and one alone.
They are very much like prescription lenses in this regard. Like orthotics, glasses and contacts provide balance back to eyesight that has been misaligned – often due to an abnormal structure within the eyes. When you wear corrective lenses, they work to counter that abnormal structure to provide clarity. Custom orthotics work in a similar matter for the structure and needs of your feet. Precision is very important for best results.
Another important similarity is that neither custom orthotics nor prescription lenses will ever permanently “fix” the problems they are countering. Remove your glasses and your vision is blurry again. Stop using custom orthotics and there is a chance that pain may return as well.
The only reasonable way to permanently correct foot structure is via reconstructive surgery. This may be recommended in some rare, severe cases. But if custom orthotics can provide the results we need without surgery, they will almost always be preferable.
What Are the Best Custom Orthotics?
As we mentioned before, precision is crucial when you want to achieve the best relief.
While pre-made, store-bought orthotic inserts may be tempting, they have low chances of providing the exact support and cushioning you need. They might help things feel a bit better, but likely not completely. In some cases, they could potentially make matters worse!
Our office is much better equipped to prescribe you the custom orthotics you may need. In fact, our use of Go 4-D technology makes us one of the best places to go for precision in our region.
Go 4-D combines precision digital scanning and a highly sensitive pressure plate to provide an extremely thorough model of your feet. Not only do we capture every contour, but we can also see where exactly pressure builds against your foot as you move.
Taking this information and combining it with everything else we have learned about your condition and needs from our examination, we can then prescribe custom orthotics to meet your exact specifications. The digital model and prescription are sent to a lab for 3D printing using high-end durable and flexible materials.
All said, however, does everyone who could benefit from orthotics always need custom inserts? Not necessarily. As we noted, there are some cases where pre-fabricated inserts could provide some benefit. And if your symptoms are minor, then a pre-fabricated orthotic with some professional customization and adjustment at our office could suit you well.
Let’s Find You Relief from Your Foot Pain
Custom orthotics may be exactly what you need to help counter the forces that are leading to pain in your feet, ankles, or even places farther up your body. They might also be just one piece of a multi-part plan, or they might not factor into your specific situation at all.
But whatever may provide the best results against your foot pain, it will always be better to know what they are sooner than later! The sooner a problem is identified and begins to be addressed, the less risk there is of that problem becoming more severe and difficult to treat.
Schedule an appointment at our Carson City office by phone or by filling out our online contact form. We’ll be happy to see you.