The 26 Review
- What are Orthotics Custom Orthotic Molds are custom made shoe insert arch supports
- Why Orthotics are prescribed to treat foot, leg, and back ailments
- How Orthotics provide additional support and cushion in key areas of the feet, in order to treat a patient’s ailment, by avoiding invasive treatments
- Recommended For Patients experiencing pain and/or discomfort in the feet and legs
- Common Conditions Custom Orthotic molds help diminish pain in individuals with Osteoarthritis, Hammer Toes, Heel Spurs, Plantar Fasciitis, and Metatarsalgia
- Types Rigid, semi rigid, and soft orthotics. Full shoe, ankle-foot, and heel orthotics
Let’s take a closer look…
Custom orthotic molds are medical devices prescribed by Podiatrists, made specially for patients to utilize as shoe or heel inserts. A doctor may prescribe orthotics to treat foot, leg, and/or back problems. They may also be prescribed to correct abnormal or irregular walking patterns. Since these orthotics are custom made, a doctor will utilize cats, impressions, or scans to achieve a perfect fit. These inserts help to control the alignment and function of the foot, as well as aid in the treatment or prevention of abnormal motion or rolling of the foot. By redistributing pressure on the bottom of the foot, patients will feel reduced discomfort, pressure, and pain. Custom orthotics can decrease pain levels experienced with various cardio activities, as well. Orthotics aid in the delay of the need for surgery if it isn’t desired or if a child must wait for their growth plates to physically mature. If surgery is necessary for a foot ailment, orthotics can help with pain following said surgery. Speak with your Podiatrists to enquire if custom orthotics are the best option for your chronic foot, heel, leg or back pain.
If you’re experiencing significant foot, heel, leg and/or back pain it may be time to visit a podiatrist. During examination, a podiatrist will first ask about a patient’s symptoms, what makes them worse, and what makes them better. After this assessment, the doctor will conduct a physical examination of the feet. The feet will be observed for any deformities and areas of significant pain will be pinpointed. Most doctors will ask their patients to walk and perform a few other activities to determine how the feet and ankles naturally position themselves. Depending on the medical practitioner, special imaging can take place for a more accurate diagnosis. These images will show where and how the feet strike the ground, as well as determine the exact location and type of problems occurring. Some medical professionals may also request traditional imaging of the feet, such as an X-ray, bone scans, or an MRI. These forms of imaging can better help to identify areas of arthritis, damage, or injury. Your podiatrist will consider all of these diagnostic methods into account when prescribing and molding orthotics.
How They Work
The main purpose of orthotics is to function as shock absorbers, removing any or all pressure and stress from painful areas in the foot or ankle. Orthotics alter pressure deriving from the ground when a patient stands, walks, or runs. Offloading pressure from a prominent area, allows for orthotics to become more successful for relieving pain and discomfort, as well as correcting any abnormalities. The use of orthotics for any pre-existing health conditions has proven beneficial as well. Depending on the ailment being treated or prevented, orthotics can perform in many different ways. All in all, custom orthotics aid in providing extra support, relief, and reducing inflammation, as well as preventing feet from rolling inward or outward and other illnesses from occurring.
Rigid custom orthotics are designed to control foot function entirely. Typically these orthotics are made from firm materials, such as plastic or carbon fiber. These orthotics are mainly utilized to control motion around the two major foot joints, which lie directly below the ankle joint. This type of orthotic is used most often to improve or eliminate pain in the legs and lower back, caused by abnormal foot functions.
Semi Rigid custom orthotics are typically used by athletes. These inserts allow for dynamic balance of the foot while running, participating in sports, or general physical activity. This type of orthotic allows the muscles and tendons to perform more efficiently, by guiding the foot through proper functions. They are constructed with layers of soft materials and reinforced with more rigid materials.
Soft custom orthotics aid in absorbing shock, improve balance and alleviate pressure from sore spots. These types of orthotics are typically made of soft, compressible materials. This type of orthotics are effective for patients with arthritis, foot deformities, or diabetes.