Prescription orthotics are customized devices prescribed by your podiatrist for a wide variety of foot conditions. Similar to dentures, orthotics are manufactured specifically for the individual.
There is no store-bought arch support that can equal the precision of prescription orthotics. Don't be fooled by custom arch supports that are available at your local pharmacy, shoe store or big box retailer where a foot pressure scan is used to purchase a pre-made, prepackaged generic arch filler that is, at best, a close match to your foot shape. For some of our patients, over-the-counter insoles are sufficient and we do recommend these items at times.
Prescription orthotic devices are customized devices made from a mold of your feet in a specific corrected position. They are prescribed by your podiatrist for various foot problems. Orthotic devices can also be prescribed to add more support or spread out pressures to your feet as a deterrent against excessive wear and tear.
Types of orthotics include:
➡ rigid (functional for athletics),
➡ pediatric gait plates designed to correct flatfoot, pigeon toe or duck foot deformities, and
➡ specialty orthotics for dress shoes, dance, cycling, winter sports etc.
Factors that are taken into consideration when choosing the type of orthotic device are age, types of activities participated in, body habitus and deformities that exist or are developing such as bunions, hammertoes or collapsed arches and ankles.
Orthotics can provide the following benefits:
- Additional support for your feet while minimizing wear and tear when you are performing high-impact sports, such as running, basketball and skiing;
- Support for your feet throughout the day, especially if you are spending a lot of time on your feet, or you walk a lot;
- Comfort and support in dressy shoes or high heels;
- Improve the development of children's feet;
- Preventing ulcerations of the feet of diabetic patients; and
- Elderly patients can improve their balance and ability to stay active with the use of orthotics.
Your podiatrist will choose from state of the art materials including graphite for optimal fit and function. Only the doctor can order other customizations that are incorporated into an orthotic device to ensure that they best serve the needs of each individual patient.
Are you aware that 80 percent of people have some degree of flatfoot deformity!
Mechanical forces that travel through the foot during gait all occur within fractions of a second and only custom devices can help to control these forces. Orthotic devices are often used successfully to treat knee, hip and back problems.
Orthotic devices are an especially important consideration for the young developing foot. Orthotics prescribed at an early age can actively help a child's foot develop a more normal structural architecture in adulthood. It is important to have your child examined by a podiatrist so that early pathology can be recognized and potentially prevented. Children need podiatric evaluations as part of their regular checkups.
Any advertised or so called “orthotics” are not prescribed by a doctor and should not be confused with prescription custom-made devices. Prescription orthotic devices are a superior investment for your overall health and well being.