In many cases of foot, heel, or ankle pain, an effective form of treatment lies in custom orthotics. Foot & Ankle Clinics of Arizona is fully equipped to prescribe and maintain the exact types of orthotics our patients need.
What is an Orthotic?
An orthotic is a device that is made to provide cushioning, support, and/or correction to a certain condition, often relieving pain in the process.
When it comes to feet, orthotics most often take the form of shoe inserts. In contrast to those purchased in a store, custom orthotic inserts are prescribed and designed to specifically address the factors that are leading to an individual’s discomfort.
Custom orthotics can be an effective means of addressing pain from several different sources, including (but not limited to):
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Arch Deformities (such as high arches or flat feet)
How Do Orthotics Work?
Once we conduct a full examination of your foot or ankle problem and determine orthotics may help, we make a model of your foot and prescribe a very specific shape and style to the orthotic that will address your specific needs.
Since needs can differ from patient to patient, there are different forms of orthotics made of different types of materials.
- Soft Orthotics are usually prescribed to reduce excess pressure on areas that are sore or uncomfortable. They can also help absorb the shock of impacts while running or walking. As you might have guessed, these types of orthotics are made from softer materials such as foam, and are often prescribed for patients with diabetic injuries, foot deformities, or arthritic conditions.
- Rigid Orthotics tend to be employed when the movement of the foot or ankle needs to be controlled or restricted—if your foot rolls too far inward when walking (overpronation), for example. These types of orthotics are made with stronger, less yielding materials, such as plastic or carbon fiber.
- Semi-Rigid Orthotics strike a balance between the benefits of the other two types, providing both amounts of control and cushioning. They tend to be ideal for more active patients, such as runners, and children who may need correction of issues relating to flatfoot or gait abnormalities.
Are Orthotics Right for You?
Orthotics are often considered an effective, conservative treatment for certain issues. However, it should be noted that they usually are not a cure for the underlying issue. While your flat feet will receive much-needed support from custom orthotics, for instance, the insert will not permanently set your arch into the proper position.
This means that orthotics are a long-term solution. With general use, however, custom-made orthotics can last up to several years—much longer than store-bought brands. With routine refurbishment and adjustment, you can get the most benefit out of orthotics before a replacement is necessary.
Get to the bottom of your foot or ankle pain. Call us at (480) 917-2300 or contact us via our online form.