Orthotics are valuable, versatile tools podiatrists use to alleviate pain and restore functionality from a wide array of different conditions or injuries. But let’s begin by clearing up a common misconception. Custom orthotics are not the same as mass-produced shoe inserts you can pick up over-the-counter at pharmacies or retail stores. Instead, they are customized by medical professionals to work specifically with your unique needs.
Custom orthotics generally fall into two different categories: accommodative and functional. Accommodative orthotics provide extra cushioning and support and are made of softer materials. Functional orthotics control abnormal biomechanical motion and are constructed with semi-rigid materials (e.g. plastic, graphite).
Many conditions can be treated with the use of orthotics, including:
- Bunions – Left untreated, bunions can become progressively worse, but a pair of custom orthotics can redistribute pressure to prevent this from happening. Orthotic devices can also be used in managing symptoms and difficulty from your bunions.
- Foot Arthritis – Painful walking is frequently caused by degenerative changes in the bones and joints of your foot. Accommodative orthotics can greatly reduce the pain and allow for comfortable walking and exercise.
- Toe deformities – Toe deformities like a hammertoe can also be treated with the use of accommodative orthotic devices.
- Arch abnormalities – Arches that are either abnormally high or low can benefit from custom orthotics to correct pronation patterns and assist with redistributing pressure across the foot.
- Hallux rigidus (stiff big toe) – If you have pain and difficulty because of a stiff big toe, we may prescribe Morton extension inlays to provide relief.
- Neuropathic ulceration – A key concern with diabetic foot care is the prevention of foot ulcers. Cushioned orthotics can help by relieving pressure on your feet.
- Plantar fasciitis – This is the most common cause of heel pain. Custom inserts made of materials such as rubber, silicone, or felt can be used in both treatment and prevention.
Whether or not we prescribe a pair of custom orthotic devices will depend on several variables, but remember that your first step in finding the pain relief you need is to contact Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida! We are staffed with skilled, caring doctors who are ready to accurately diagnose your condition and then create an effective, customized treatment plan for you.
Call us at 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if calling from Mt. Dora) and our friendly staff will be glad to provide assistance and answer any questions you have. If you are ready to request an appointment with any of our five Florida offices—Orlando, Lake Mary, Kissimmee, Altamonte Springs, or Mt. Dora—feel free to do so right now using our online request form.