Do I Need Custom Orthotics?

Custom orthotics are unique, specially made shoe inserts designed to provide support and comfort to your feet. Custom orthotics are essentially prescription sole inserts designed specifically for your feet. They are manufactured after a podiatrist provides the details and measurements needed to support your feet. This is done through a complete evaluation of your feet, ankles, and legs. Podiatrists prescribe custom orthotics for those who experience several issues, including foot, ankle, and heel pain. Research has shown that custom orthotics are highly effective for a wide variety of foot issues as they can reduce pain and improve the function of your feet and ankles. 

Types of Orthotics

There are three different types of orthotics, including:

  • Over the counter orthotics
  • Kiosk-generated orthotics
  • Custom orthotics. 

Below you will find the relevant differences between each.  

Over-the-Counter: This type of orthotic is what you can buy at stores, like Walmart or Target. The variety is differentiated by your shoe size and your specific issue, for example, arch pain. These are cost-effective if you do not have a unique foot and ankle issue.

Kiosk-Generated: This type of orthotic is based on a scan of your feet by a machine. The machine will suggest a size and style of orthotic for your feet based on the scan. These are similar to over-the-counter orthotics besides the foot scan-based recommendations

Custom Orthotics: This type of orthotic is based on an evaluation of your feet by a licensed podiatrist. The physical examination will consider factors such as your:

  • Health history
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Level of physical activity
  • Any relevant medical conditions

The podiatrist will then diagnose and determine the best materials for your unique needs. An impression of your foot is taken and is then used to create orthotics specifically for you. 

The difference between general orthotics compared to custom orthotics is similar to using over-the-counter versus prescription medications. While OTC medications can be helpful, some circumstances require a visit to a medical professional for a prescription. For those who have been experiencing foot and ankle pain for more than two weeks, it’s likely time to see a podiatrist to discuss the issues.  

Are Custom Orthotics Right for Me?

Podiatrists use orthotics to treat a variety of foot and ankle problems. Below you will find some of the common issues that custom orthotics can help with:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Bursitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Foot, ankle, and heel pain
  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Pinched nerve

Custom orthotics are generally recommended for those who have muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and bones in your feet and ankles that are not functioning correctly. 

The lack of function can lead to pain, discomfort, and fatigue. Custom foot orthotics are an excellent investment if you experience foot pain and discomfort daily. In conjunction with custom orthotics, be sure your shoes fit properly. While custom orthotics are more expensive than over-the-counter orthotics initially, the benefits of custom orthotics outweigh the alternative. Over-the-counter orthotics wear out faster, which means you will have to buy them more often. Also, if the over-the-counter problems don’t properly treat the issue, you may further exacerbate the problem. 

Ankle Specialists in Southern California

If you are having issues with your feet or ankles, including pain and discomfort, contact Foot & Ankle Concepts, Inc. We have several locations all over California, including Oxnard, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Camarillo, Palmdale, and Westlake. They are skilled at treating foot and ankle issues, including prescribing custom orthotics. Before you spend hundreds of dollars on new shoes and over-the-counter orthotics, schedule a consultation to get to the root of the problem. Contact Foot & Ankle Concepts, Inc. today for an appointment!