What Are Custom Orthotics?
Orthotics is actually the medical field relating to the design, development, manufacturer or fitting of devices designed to provide additional support or correct imbalances in the muscles or bones of the body. But, the term “orthotics” is also used to refer to the devices created by those professionals.
Custom orthotics are devices that are sized to fit a specific person. When it comes to the feet and lower body, appliances that fall under the heading of custom orthotics include shoes, braces and insoles of various types.
What Are Custom Orthotics Used For?
Insoles may be used to:
- Provide additional support to the arches of the feet
- Act as shock absorbers during sports or other activities
- Reduce friction and improve the comfort of hiking boots
- Provide additional warmth in cold weather
- Help prevent or control pronation
- Provide additional support for the heels
- Correct leg-length discrepancies
- Relieve pain in specific areas of the foot
Braces may be used to provide additional support for the knee or ankle. In some cases, the braces are therapeutic; used to provide compression or cold therapy. Special braces for the toes are used to separate and straighten.
Therapeutic or orthopedic shoes may be used as an alternative to insoles. They can provide many of the same benefits.
Who Could Benefit from Custom Orthotics?
Many people can and do benefit from custom orthotics. Practically anyone could benefit from an insole, but there are specific conditions that can be relieved with an orthotic device.
- Flat feet or fallen arches—use insoles with additional arch support or an arch brace. Pro Arch orthotics, for example, are shoe inserts made from polypropylene, which flexes and springs with every step.
- Knock kneed, bow-legged, pronation, supination—in these conditions the heels angle inward or outward, causing pain in the feet, knees and hips. Foot Smart heel cup footwear provide relief by correcting the misalignment.
- Hammertoes, overlapping, crooked or misshapen toes—toe trainers, straighteners or separators can be used to correct the problem and relieve the pain.
- Diabetics and others with sensitive feet—Insoles relieve pain in the heels, knees and back by eliminating pressure points on the bottom of the feet. A foam box is used to create a cast of your feet at home, so there is no need to see a podiatrist.
- Runner’s knee—knee braces can be used to provide added support during sports and other activities, in order to prevent and relieve knee pain.
Custom orthotics may also be beneficial for arch, ball of foot, heel, ankle, knee, hip or back pain. Healthy pain-free feet provide the right foundation for a healthy pain-free lower body.