Suffering from chronic foot pain can make every moment miserable. Don't let a painful podiatric issue force you to give up the activities you enjoy—or worse, tempt you to simply ignore the problem and press on. Pain is your body's way of indicating that something is wrong. Though there are a number of possible explanations for your discomfort, oftentimes, when it comes to heel, foot, or ankle pain, things like poor foot structure and faulty biomechanics are to blame. In these cases, custom orthotic devices may be able to provide the relief you need.
How Do Orthotics Work?
These versatile medical devices provide cushioning and corrective support exactly where you need it. In doing so, they can help relieve the excess stress that causes foot pain and discomfort in the first place. The result? Weight that's evenly distributed across your feet, a drastically improved sense of overall comfort, and feet that are better able to heal from soft tissue injuries.
Custom orthotic devices offer various benefits. They are not the right solution for every patient, but they have been proven to work for many patients suffering from foot and ankle problems such as:
- Heel pain
- Flat feet
- Sports injuries
- Other common podiatric issues
What You Should Know About Evaluating and Diagnosing Foot and Ankle Pain
Arriving at an accurate diagnosis is the first and most important step to ensuring that custom orthotics devices work properly. In order to recommend the appropriate type of orthotic therapy for your feet, we must first find out exactly what's causing your discomfort.
That's why, when you come to our office for an appointment, we start with a thorough evaluation of your feet and ankles. This evaluation includes a physical examination, as well as questions about what your feet go through at work, the activities you enjoy, and your overall medical history. We recommend bringing a pair of well-worn shoes with you. You might be surprised at what we're able to tell about your walking gait just by looking at the wear on the soles of your shoes.
Orthotics Can Cushion or Correct
Once we've identified the root cause of your problem and determined that you can benefit from wearing custom orthotics, we will carefully position each foot and create a mold that accounts for every dip and curve of your unique foot structure. That's what makes custom orthotics so effective; no two pairs are exactly the same. They're designed for just one pair of feet: yours!
Orthotic devices can be divided into two general categories, based on their purpose:
- Accommodative orthotics are designed to provide cushioning and support, either to help relieve pain or to guard specific areas against damage. These tend to be made of softer materials.
- Functional orthotics are designed to control abnormal motions of the foot, like overpronation, when the foot rolls too far inward while stepping. They help maintain normal motion, relieving much of the undue stress being placed on certain areas such as the Achilles, posterior tibial and peroneal tendons, or the plantar fascia. Functional orthotics tend to be made of relatively rigid materials, like plastic or graphite.
Depending on your specific situation, we may even combine elements from both of these categories.
The Night and Day Difference Between Custom Orthotics and Store-Bought Inserts
You may be asking yourself, "What about store-bought inserts? Can't I just buy a cheap pair of inserts from my local pharmacy?" You certainly could do that and, depending on your condition and which inserts you choose, they might help a bit. But prefabricated inserts simply don't provide the appropriate cushioning and support for significant biomechanical deficiencies.
As a result, though store-bought inserts may provide some relief, they're unlikely to fully address your pain or its underlying cause. The additional layer of cushioning may offer some comfort, but it's usually short-lived—and if the actual problem isn't addressed, it can worsen.
Don't settle for a one-size-fits-all solution to a unique podiatric problem. Aside from being custom built to your exact foot structure and needs, custom orthotic devices are also made from much sturdier materials and will last much longer than what you can find at the store. In fact, with routine maintenance and refurbishment, a pair of custom orthotics can last several years.
We Can Help You Customize Your Comfort
Whether you have been dealing with heel pain for a while or you are looking for relief from bunion symptoms, custom orthotics may be just what you need! The only way to find out for sure is by coming to our office for a thorough evaluation. We can help you determine which treatment option is best for your specific condition.
So give our office a call at (281) 292-7000 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment today. You can also take advantage of our handy request form online, and a member of our staff will reach out to you shortly.