Custom orthotics are a treatment we often recommend to patients whose foot pain and other symptoms are rooted in a structural abnormality in the foot. The use of orthotics can address many foot problems by properly realigning the foot as it moves and letting your weight be distributed evenly again.
Sierra Foot & Ankle is proud to provide custom orthotics with top-tier precision and design through Go4-D.
Middle school is a period of life that some people would love to forget—at least when it comes to awkward yearbook photos. Most likely, you spent half of your time in the orthodontist’s chair getting braces tightened, fixed, and finally removed. Maybe you’re still wearing your retainer, as clumsy as it may be, after all these years. That’s very good actually—your retainer keeps your crooked teeth in line. The same is true with custom orthotics. These devices treat your foot problems by correcting your foot’s tendency to strike the ground improperly.
What Are Custom Orthotics and What Do They Do?
Custom orthotics are worn inside your shoes, in place of the original insoles. They are designed to provide precise amounts of cushioning and corrective support to realign your gait and reduce stress on joints, muscles, and other soft tissues.
Under ideal circumstances, your foot arch is supposed to act as a natural “spring” that absorbs shocks and helps the rest of your body maintain good alignment. But modern realities, such as unsupportive shoes and hard surfaces everywhere, can lead to chronic pain – especially if your feet have an inherited structural or biomechanical abnormality.
Problems such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis can sometimes be attributed to causes that orthotics can address. When prescribed and used properly, custom orthotics can provide long-term relief.
The Difference Between Custom Orthotics and Store-Bought Inserts
You might be thinking, “Can’t I just go to the store and buy some inserts there?”
We don’t recommend that for a couple of reasons.
First, there are many devices out there, and there’s a good chance the ones you choose won’t be effective for your needs. They might not even fit you properly!
Second, your misalignment might be severe enough that no pre-fabricated insert will provide close to the results you need. There is even a chance that using the wrong inserts can lead to worse symptoms.
That is not to say that pre-fabricated inserts and similar items never have a time or place, but it’s best to let experts examine your feet and your unique gait. At our office, we’ll closely examine your feet, discuss all your symptoms with you, and with enough information, we can determine what kind of support you may need and the best course of action for treatment.
If we think over-the-counter inserts will work well for you, we’ll be happy to provide them. We will make sure they are properly fitted and adjust them to best meet your needs.
If custom orthotics are better for your condition, our office is equipped with the most advanced system yet devised to design, fit, and create custom orthotics – the Go 4-D orthotics platform. It takes precise measurements via high-definition digital scanning and captures exact, real-time data as you walk over a sensitive pressure plate.
Using all the information above and advanced software, we prescribe a custom design orthotic to meet the needs of your feet and yours alone. This prescription is electronically sent to a lab where they are 3-D printed from scratch, ensuring the right fit down to a microscopic level.
A Long-Term Solution
Once you receive your custom orthotics, we may need to make some small adjustments depending on how your feet adjust to them. With minimal break-in time, they should provide substantial-to-full relief from the heel pain or other problems that had been present before. Most people can wear the orthotics full time in 3-5 days.
However, custom orthotics are not like braces. They will not permanently realign the structure of your feet; nothing short of surgery can reliably do that. If you want the effects of custom orthotics to last, you need to keep wearing them – and most of our patients don’t want to stop.
Many forms of insurance allow for one pair of custom orthotics every year. Most custom orthotics are designed to last much longer than a year with proper care, and it is always useful to have an additional set to use with other shoes.
Find the Foot Pain Relief You Need
When it comes to your foot pain, invest in quality care that will not only provide you relief now but help prevent problems in the future as well.
Make an appointment with Dr. Victoria L. Melhuish at Sierra Foot and Ankle in Carson City. Please give us a call or fill out our online contact form if you prefer to reach us electronically instead.