What are orthotics?

Orthotics refers to a custom-made shoe insert/s prescribed by a licensed doctor made for an individual patient’s condition. They are made after the completion of an examination and diagnosis of the patient’s condition. Orthotics are designed to accommodate or correct misalignment in the joints of the lower extremity thereby improving the mechanism of gait or gait mechanics.

Will custom orthotics fit in my shoes?

Just as we have different types of shoes, there are different types of orthotics. Not only can we provide a variety of thicknesses, we can tailor your orthotics to the activities you intend to use them for. In this way, we can accommodate virtually all your footwear.

How do orthotic devices work?

Orthotics make standing, walking, and running more comfortable and efficient by altering the angles at which the foot strikes the ground. Orthotics placed inside your shoes can absorb shock, improve balance, and take pressure off sore spots.

Aren’t orthotics just for runners or other athletes?

Runners and athletes have special needs, but orthotics can help non-athletes, as well. An imbalance in your feet, even a small one can change your posture and affect your entire body. Orthotics might help you if:

  1. One side of the sole of your shoe wears out faster than the other.
  2. You frequently sprain your ankle.
  3. You have chronic heel, knee, or lower back pain.
  4. Your toes are not straight.
  5. Your feet point inward or excessively outward when you walk.

What about shoe inserts and arch supports sold at retail outlets?

Arch supports and shoe inserts made for standard shoe sizes are generally affordable and may be helpful in some cases. However they are not suitable for everyone. Some brands are better than others, but the truth is they are a “one size fits all” approach. Without someone to analyze your feet and their specific needs, over the counter orthotics may actually worsen the condition you are attempting to help. Improper orthotics can alter healthy bio-mechanics, gait, and posture.

My legs hurt, not my feet. could orthotics help?

Strains, aches, and pains in the legs, thighs, and lower back may be due to abnormal foot mechanics or slight differences in the length of the legs. Orthotics may be helpful in many of these cases.

Can orthotics prescribed by a chiropractor really make a difference?

An amazing preponderance of orthotics in this country are prescribed by chiropractors though not all chiropractors have the same training in how to fit them. If you are having your orthotics made by a chiropractor, be sure to check if they have special training in that arena of care.

Properly prescribed orthotics have relieved debilitating pain for thousands of people. Many people who could not take a step without pain are walking normally and living more active lives because of orthotics. Anyone can provide mass-produced inserts, but only some doctors are trained and licensed to diagnosis lower extremity conditions and prescribe orthotics.

Can orthotics take the place of foot surgery?

Many conservative practitioners from differing disciplines recommend orthotics and other conservative care for many foot and ankle problems before considering surgery. You can always have surgery after trying more conservative methods first, but if you’ve already had surgery it may be that the more conservative methods may no longer be helpful.

What about people with diabetes?

For people with diabetes, arthritis, or other conditions, orthotics that do not fit properly can be dangerous. People with diabetes especially need proper diagnosis and prescriptions from a licensed foot care specialist who is aware of the complications that can arise with diabetics.

Who makes orthotics?

Many practitioners including chiropractors, podiatrists, orthotists and doctors of osteopathy will make their own orthotics for patients but this takes a focus in their education that many practitioners just do not have. Properly prescribed orthotics are not inexpensive, but are very effective and long-lasting.