custom made foot orthotics

Custom Foot Orthotics

A custom orthotic is a device designed to align the foot and ankle into the most anatomically efficient position. They look like insoles, but are biomechanical medical appliances that are custom made to correct your specific foot imbalance. Custom orthotics work on your feet much like glasses work on your eyes - they reduce stress and strain on your body by bringing your feet back into proper alignment. The plastic body of the custom orthotic helps to re-align the foot by redirecting and reducing certain motion that takes place during the gait cycle. Custom orthotics fit into your shoes as comfortably as an insole - and they have the advantage of having been made from precise imprints of your feet.
 

A custom-made foot orthotic is made from a three-dimensional model of the patient’s foot and is fabricated from raw materials. It is designed to meet the patient’s unique and specific needs. A custom-made foot orthotic can be:

 

  • “Accommodative” – where the primary goal is to deflect pressure away from ulcers, callosities and painful pressure points
  • “Functional” – a device primarily designed to control foot and lower leg biomechanical function

 

Common Conditions Custom Orthotics Treat Include:

 

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Bunions
  • Excessive foot pronation (pronated feet/flat feet)
  • Malalignment syndromes
  • Children's problems including in-toe, out-toe and flat feet
  • Neuromas (burning/numbness under ball of foot)
  • Foot pain/heel pain/arch pain/leg pain and fatigue
  • Knee pain
  • Back pain
  • Arthritis

 

Over-the-Counter v/s Custom-Made Orthotics
 

Over-the-Counter Devices

 

Basic over-the-counter devices are mass produced and sold through pharmacies, grocery stores and other retail stores. More supportive types of over-the-counter devices can be found at pedorthic facilities.

 

Pros:
  • Over-the-counter devices have the added benefits of convenience and affordability.
  • Many over-the-counter devices bring satisfactory results in treating common foot conditions resulting from minor biomechanical abnormalities. For example, they can be used as a temporary device for a child who is rapidly growing or as a “first step” to provide insight into how a patient will respond to and tolerate an orthotic.
Cons:
  • They do not fit all foot types.
  • They only support moderate biomechanical abnormalities. More significant issues will likely require a custom-made device.
  • They typically have a shorter life span than a custom-made foot orthotic.
Custom-Made Orthotics

 

Unlike over-the-counter devices, a custom-made foot orthotic is made specifically for the patient following an assessment of their feet and legs by an expert such as a Certified Pedorthist, Physiotherapist or Chiropractor.

 

A custom-made foot orthotic is made from a three-dimensional model of the patient’s foot and is fabricated from raw materials. It is designed to meet the patient’s unique and specific needs. A custom-made foot orthotic can be:

 

  • “Accommodative” – where the primary goal is to deflect pressure away from ulcers, callosities and painful pressure points
  • “Functional” – a device primarily designed to control foot and lower leg biomechanical function

 

Pros:
  • Custom-made foot orthotics provide accurate biomechanical assistance.
  • There is an ongoing ability to modify the device to create perfect fit and function.
  • A vast variety of materials can be used to provide specific support and cushioning for increased function and comfort.
  • Custom-made orthotics have a longer lifespan that may off-set the greater initial cost.
Cons:
  • Although many insurance programs cover orthotics, a custom-made orthotic cost significantly more than an over-the-counter device.
  • Getting started with a new orthotic
  • If you are experiencing foot or lower limb discomfort, your doctor or healthcare professional may recommend a foot orthotic to help ease your pain or condition.

Here are a few tips to help get you started with your new orthotic:

 

  • A foot orthotic is only as good as the shoe it goes into as the shoe provides the foundation for the orthotic. If your orthotic does not have a proper foundation it will not be able to function properly.
  • Initially, a new foot orthotic may feel intrusive and it may take you a few weeks to get accustomed to it. You may often recommend you to wear your new orthotic for less than an hour on the first day. Each subsequent day, you should gradually increase the amount of wear time.
  • A foot orthotic should never be painful to wear. If your orthotic becomes painful, or you feel that you cannot get used to it, stop wearing it and contact your provider, they will adjust the orthotic to make it more comfortable.

 

Do Benefits Cover Orthotics and Custom Shoes?

 

  • Many plans do cover a portion or all of the fee. Each plan is highly variable. It is the patient’s responsibility to check with their provider prior to purchasing.
  • Looking for custom foot orthotics? Call us and book your appointment today.

 

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