Custom Orthotics: Help for Your Foot Pain

Custom orthotics may help your foot painWhether they are tangible or not, every occupation or trade has its own respective tools that help get the job done. Firemen relay on ladders and hoses to help protect citizens. Carpenters can work wonders with a saw, hammer, and nails. In the world of podiatry, one of the best tools we have to help your feet are custom orthotic devices. These specially crafted inserts can achieve a wide range of objectives, depending on the condition we are treating.

An Intro to Custom Orthotics

It is a fairly common mistake to associate the term “orthotics” with “shoe inserts.” Orthotic devices are often inserted into footwear, but they are not the same as inserts that can be purchased over-the-counter at retail stores. Those inserts can certainly offer additional arch support or cushioning, but are not intended to treat medical issues. That said, a pair of inserts could be useful for individuals who participate often in high-impact activities, like running or basketball and other sports.

Actual orthotic devices, on the other hand, are prescribed by foot doctors—like our own Dr. Sanjay Gandhi here at A Step Up Podiatry, LLC—and are used in the treatment of various medical conditions.

Types of Prescription Orthotics

Prescription orthotic devices will typically fall into one of two categories – accommodative or functional. Accommodative orthotics are used to provide cushioning or additional support in a specific manner for a patient’s unique foot structure. These devices are usually constructed from soft materials and might be used in the treatment for conditions that cause discomfort like foot ulcers or painful calluses.

Functional orthotics, on the other hand, are more often used while treating issues or problems stemming from abnormal biomechanical processes or motions. These types of custom orthotics restrict motion and promote a more neutral, natural gait. This will then alleviate pain and other symptoms. To better achieve their objectives, functional devices are usually made with graphite, plastic, and/or other semi-rigid materials.

Conditions Treated by Orthotics

Having made the distinction that orthotic devices, and not store-bought shoe inserts, can be used in treating medical conditions, it is important to have an idea as to which issues can benefit from custom orthotics. Examples of foot and ankle problems treated with these devices include:

  • Flat feet. There is no need for treatment if they are not causing pain, but related overpronation issues can lead to foot, ankle, knee, hip, and back pain. When this is the case, a functional orthotic device can help.
  • Hallux rigidus. Patients who have rigid big toes can benefit from rocker bottom soles, Morton extension inlays, and stiff inserts.
  • The symptoms brought on by this toe deformity can be addressed with a toe crest.
  • Pad or strategically-placed bars under the bones in the forefoot (the metatarsals), can alleviate painful symptoms.
  • Plantar Fasciitis. This common source of heel pain can be addressed by heel inserts made from felt, silicone, or rubber.
  • One of the possible treatment methods for corns between the toes is the use of a toe separator.

There are other conditions that could possibly benefit from using custom-prepared orthotic devices, but we always evaluate your specific foot or ankle problem to develop a solution that will work best for you.

Manalapan, NJ’s Source for Prescription Orthotic Devices

If you have a foot or ankle condition, it is possible that custom orthotics will provide the relief you need. Our office can assist by accurately diagnosing the root cause of your issue and then establishing potential treatment options to address it. We take pride in providing effective foot care for all of our patients from the greater Manalapan, NJ community, so contact us today. Call (732) 446-7136 to talk to a member of our staff or simply schedule your appointment online here on our website.