If you are a frequent visitor to Foot and Ankle Associates of North Texas in Grapevine or Keller, TX, you probably already know about orthotics. Maybe you have even purchased orthotics.
A foot orthotic is an insole placed into the shoe that helps control foot position. There are two main types of orthotics: Functional and accommodative. These can be prefabricated; like Lyncos that are popular at Healthy Steps or custom; which the doctor fabricates unique for your feet. A functional orthotic controls foot movement and helps a person walk in a way that best supports joints and muscles. An accommodative orthotic helps distribute foot pressure evenly over the bottom of the foot. Most patients use a functional orthotic and usually these are custom for long term usage. A functional orthotic can be useful for many problems and are used to balance the biomechanics of your feet. Think of them as an in-shoe tire realignment for your feet. Accommodative orthotics are very useful to distribute stress in the elderly, diabetic and arthritic populations.
In the foot care aisle at your local drug store or grocery store, you may have seen readymade orthotics for sale. Does it really matter whether you buy store bought orthotics or custom orthotics from your podiatrist? Well, some people may be able to get away with wearing store bought orthotics for a period of time. We even start with these type of prefabricated devices so we can get you on the road to better foot health quickly, but most patients do need custom for long term control of their foot type.
When you think about the long term health of your feet, custom orthotics are the way to go! Store bought orthotics are made to fit many foot problems for a large variety of people; one size fits all usually means one size doesn’t truly fit anyone! To be truly effective, an orthotic must be fitted for YOUR particular needs. Wearing an ill fitted orthotic is not only a waste of time, but it can also make your foot problems worse. Over time these problems can lead to leg, knee, hip, and even back problems. Store bought orthotics tend to not offer long lasting comfort.
If you find yourself buying store bought orthotics every few months because of foot pain, it may be time to schedule an appointment to see one of the doctors at FAANT. Your podiatrist will produce orthotics that fit only YOUR feet. The materials used will be those that are best suited for your walking and running needs.
Everyone deserves special treatment! With a real custom orthotic that is exactly what you have. Yes, custom orthotics can be costly, but so can surgery from walking incorrectly over the years. I’m always amazed that insurance companies will often not cover orthotics, but will pay for surgery! Doesn’t make any sense!! Think of the orthotics as an investment and an investment in your health is one of the best choices you can make for yourself.