At Texas Foot Specialists, we always favor non-invasive approaches to treating podiatric problems whenever possible. An important tool in correcting foot problems that stem from faulty biomechanics is orthotic inserts for your shoes. If your foot is not positioned correctly or the bones are misaligned, it can cause foot pain and deformities which may lead to long-term disability. Below are some true/false statements to help you learn more about this important treatment option.
It’s okay to try out over-the-counter orthotics to see if they make your feet feel better.
FALSE: The best way to find out if orthotics are right for you is to make an appointment with one of our podiatrists, Dr. Bruce Miller or Dr. Gregory Mangum. The foot doctor will examine your feet and ankles, diagnose your condition and determine if an orthotic can relieve pain and increase comfort. Store-bought orthotics can do more harm than good if they are not suited for your podiatric condition. They are also made to fit an “average” foot and therefore are very limited in effectiveness.
Custom orthotics are designed specifically for your unique foot shape.
TRUE: Using a digital scanner or plaster, the podiatrist will make a mold of your foot which will then be used to create a custom orthotic device that will only work for your feet.
Orthotics are all made from the same material.
FALSE: Orthotics are generally classified as either soft, semi-rigid or rigid. The type and hardness of the material used coincides with the use of the orthotic. Soft orthotics have a cushioning effect used to protect sore or vulnerable areas for patients with arthritis, diabetes or a foot deformity. Rigid orthotics are made of hard materials such as carbon fiber or plastic and they are used primarily to control foot function and eliminate pain and strain on the lower extremities. Semi-rigid orthotics can increase balance.