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Are Custom Orthotics Right for Me?

If you are suffering from painful and/or debilitating foot and ankle issues you are probably trying to decide how best to treat your condition. No one wants to be even temporarily disabled, but few people want to undergo intense therapies or major treatments unless it orthoticsis necessary.

Fortunately, there is a spectrum of treatment options available. One option is custom orthotics.

Orthotics are inserts such as soles, insteps, heel liners and foot cushions. Podiatrists will often prescribe orthotics to treat such conditions like plantar fasciitis, bursitis, tendonitis, and diabetic-related foot, heel, and ankle issues.

According to the American Podiatric Medicine Association, there are two types of orthotics: Functional Orthotics, which are designed to correct or control abnormal motion and Accommodative Orthotics which are designed to provide additional comfort and support.

While one can buy over-the-counter orthotics, they are obviously limited in effectiveness; a store bought sole insert, for example, is not going to be particularly effective in alleviating flat feet.

But are custom orthotics right for you? That’s a decision that should be made with the help of a qualified podiatrist. However, the APMA does note that several clinical studies have shown that podiatrist prescribed orthotics do decrease foot pain and increase function.

A couple of questions you should consider are:

  • How is your overall health?
  • Is your condition such that orthotics would even be appropriate?
  • What is the purpose? Different people have different activity levels and therefore different needs.

If you have a condition that does not require more intense treatment such as surgery, custom orthotics might be a good option for you. Your podiatrist will carefully examine and evaluate your feet and ankles to ensure that custom orthotics will work for you. Once this is done, whatever orthotic devices your podiatrist prescribes are custom made specifically for you to treat your condition.

If you are in the Alexandria, VA area and are looking for information regarding custom orthotics or have any other questions or concerns regarding the health of your feet and ankles, contact Advanced Pace Foot and Ankle Center. Advanced Pace Foot and Ankle Center has two locations, at 6355 Walker Lane and 2616 Sherwood Hall, Suite 401, both in Alexandria. For more information call the Walker Lane office at 703-971-7100 or the Sherwood Lane office at 703-360-9292, or visit the website at www.advpacefootandankle.com.