Orthotics are shoe inserts that support your feet and are designed to serve a specific purpose (Orthopedic Shoes vs Custom Orthotics). Custom prescription orthotics are devices that are made specifically for you and the unique contours of your feet. Also, they are designed for specific foot-related health needs you may have. A pedorthist can design custom orthotics for you.
Whether you need better support because you work on your feet all day, or you have a health condition that affects your feet, the right orthotics can make a big difference.
What Are the Types of Prescription Orthotics?
When it comes to custom prescription orthotics, there are two main categories. The first is accommodative, which is softer. An accommodative orthotic provides support and cushioning for your feet. It may also reduce pressure on a certain part of the foot.
For instance, someone who has a diabetic foot sore can benefit from a supportive orthotic that reduces pressure on the sore. Accommodative orthotics may also help alleviate arthritic pain, calluses or some other sources of pain in the feet.
The second type of orthotics is functional. Orthotics that are functional help treat foot pain or problems that come from abnormalities or abnormal motion. For example, someone who limps when walking because of plantar fasciitis pain can gain the right support and walk correctly with a functional orthotic.
Think of functional orthotics like glasses. Just as glasses compensate for vision deficiencies, functional devices can help compensate for lower limb or foot deficiencies. They are often prescribed for people who have heel pain, shin splints, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis and some other conditions. In comparison with accommodative orthotics, functional ones tend to be more rigid and harder in composition.
Differences Between Custom Orthotics and Store-Bought Insoles
The main difference between the two is that custom prescription orthotics is considered a medical device that is designed just for you, and a store-bought insole is a foot support product that anyone can use. These are some of the key differences.
Although there are different types of shoe inserts that stores sell for various purposes, foot shapes or sizes, they are still standardized for fit. This is even true with recommendations from measurement machines. Some stores have machines that people can stand on, and they see one or more recommendations for specific products based on what the machine detects from their feet. However, those machines are not capable of providing the exact measurements that human professionals can. Without exact measurements and a design that is created specifically for the structure of your feet, the result is inadequate support.
Having an orthotic that fits your foot perfectly and supports it correctly can protect your feet and reduce pain. The development of custom orthotics involves exact measurements, casting and impressions to produce a device that fits your foot perfectly. Pedorthists can also create orthotics that fit well in your shoes. When you buy premade orthopedic insoles from stores, they may leave space between the insole and the edge of the shoe. They may also slip when you walk or exercise. Custom orthotics are designed to avoid slipping.
Insoles that you buy in a store are not designed to last as long as custom prescription orthotics, and the materials are usually much lower in quality. If you wear store-purchased insoles made from materials that quickly wear out, you may notice that your foot pain does not go away or returns quickly. Foot problems may even worsen for some people. With custom orthotics, there are several material choices. The type of material also depends on whether the orthotic is accommodative or functional. For example, a functional orthotic from a professional may contain graphite since it needs to be harder. Pedorthists consider lifestyle, walking patterns, foot contours and more when they design custom orthotics.
When it comes to cost, store-bought inserts are cheaper. However, the quality, fit and support are far better with custom orthotics. Ultimately, the investment of custom orthotics is good since it protects your feet and can save you from unnecessary doctor visits, injuries or other expenses. Today, several private insurance providers in Canada offer some form of coverage for prescription medical devices, and that may include custom orthotics if a medical professional prescribes them.
Benefits of Custom Orthotics
After reading the previous sections, you probably already know a few of the benefits that custom orthotics offer. When you consider the many benefits of prescription orthotics from a pedorthist, it is easier to appreciate their value. These are some of the top benefits of custom prescription orthotics:
- Provide ample support for ankles.
- Can help correct some foot deformities or abnormalities.
- May improve function of the feet and ankles.
- Reduce risks of worsening current injuries or developing new ones.
- Can help improve performance in sports.
- May relieve or reduce chronic foot pain.
- Designed for your foot shape, weight, height, gait and other specific health needs.
Do You Need Custom Orthotics?
If you have frequent pressure sores, heel pain, ankle pain or any other discomfort in your feet, you may benefit from custom prescription orthotics. A pedorthist can discuss your health history and risks with you, learn about any foot problems and complete a physical assessment.
The pedorthist can tell you if you need custom orthotics and can design ones that fit your needs, whether you want them for everyday use, sports or something else. Another benefit of talking to a pedorthist is that you can learn which supportive shoes are better for you and your new orthotics.
Schedule a Consultation With a Pedorthist in Toronto
Pedorthists are trained professionals who specialize in footwear and develop custom orthotics for a variety of foot and lower limb conditions. They have additional training in the anatomy and biomechanics of both the lower limbs and the feet, giving them the ability to help people find the right pedorthic devices for their unique needs.
If you are ready to improve your quality of life by reducing foot pain and treating any problems you are experiencing, our in-house pedorthist in Toronto will be happy to evaluate you. The process is quick and easy. Please contact us to learn more, or you can fill out a simple form on our site to request an appointment