What are Orthotics (also known as Orthoses)
Orthotics, also called orthoses, are devices that are worn to correct foot and ankle problems without surgery. Most people think of shoe inserts or “arch supports” when they hear the word orthotics, but they can include devices such as foot pads, shoe inserts, ankle and foot orthoses and similar items.
They are designed to fit your feet more efficiently than over-the-counter (OTC) arch supports and balance the biomechanical inadequacies of your feet and ankles.
Most people that use orthotics agree that they are more comfortable than shoes without orthotic/inserts. So why not just head to your local pharmacy and purchase a pair that matches the size of your feet?
Here is the difference.
Many people seek additional comfort for their feet because they have pain or discomfort. While store-bought shoe inserts may, in fact, decrease some of the pain, the over-the-counter gel inserts may not be solving the root cause of the problem.
Seeing a Doctor of Podiatry
When your feet hurt, your overall health can be impacted. Your gait or natural walking pattern is often impacted which can cause lower back, hip pain, fatigue, or worse. Getting to the root cause of your pain can prevent chronic conditions from developing.
A Podiatrist’s goal is to diagnose and treat conditions of the foot and ankle that may be causing your pain. This can include pronation syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome, bunions, corns, neuroma or pain that is a result from a previous injury. In many cases, the doctor can often offer treatments that can minimize or even eliminate the cause of your discomfort.
Custom Orthotic Inserts and/or Therapeutic Shoes May Be the Answer.
The doctor may recommend a combination of podiatric treatment and inserts. In other cases, foot or ankle conditions are helped in conjunction with therapeutic shoes. If you have flat feet or fallen arches, over-the-counter inserts may not have the degree of correction to address the poor positioning of your feet. Also, using the wrong inserts can irritate the feet if not fitted correctly. Store-bought inserts may be used for minor discomfort, not for treatment of ailments of the foot and ankle that require a functional correction.
Each Patient is Unique
This Is why a one-size-fits-all is not the best solution. At Family Podiatry of Maryland, we know that each patient is unique. The doctor will apply many years of experience and education, as well as your personal history, to diagnose the root cause of your problem.
If Custom Orthotics are the Answer
When it is determined that you may benefit from custom orthotics, a custom mold of your feet will be taken. The molds are then sent to a chosen orthotic manufacturers who will create the orthotics based on the mold and the doctor’s prescription. If therapeutic shoes are recommended, we have a wide variety of styles from which to choose, based on the condition they are meant to treat and the style you request.
Your Insurance is Likely to Cover Your Prescribed Orthotics
Most insurance plans pay for all or a portion of the cost of custom orthotics. Insurance companies know that proper care of your feet prevents more serious or developing conditions. Hence, prevention is cost-effective. We will check on your behalf to see if your plan pays for these items.
Before you head off to your local pharmacy to treat your aching feet and ankles, have a professional biomechanical evaluation at Family Podiatry of Maryland. We take care of you, not just your feet.
We offer a Comprehensive Orthotic Evaluation. Contact us today for an appointment.