Orthotics can ease a variety of foot and ankle conditionsSave Yourself From Foot Pain with Orthotics!

Every person has their own unique foot shape and size and feet are rarely perfect! We all experience foot pain from time to time and often needlessly suffer when problems arise. Orthotics are designed to make you more comfortable. Learn more about how these foot supports can benefit you.

What are Orthotics?

Simply put, they are shoe inserts used to treat a variety of foot problems. Often referred to as arch supports, they are designed to accommodate foot problems or deformities, absorb shock, improve balance, provide support and take pressure off areas of pain. Their main role is to protect your feet, improve how feet function or provide a combination of both.

There are two main types from which to choose: over the counter or custom. The arch supports and inserts that you can find in the grocery or drugstore aisle are standardized. They are made for the average shoe size and while they may be affordable and possibly helpful, they may not be suitable for you. While often made for general symptoms, they are not made for specific foot conditions and depending on the nature of your foot problem or injury, they have the potential to negatively impact your foot health.

Custom orthotics on the other hand are anything but generic. They are created from an exact mold of your foot to be tailored to your specific needs. They accommodate your unique foot structure to help in such a way an over the counter insert simply cannot.

There are two types of custom orthotics: functional and accommodative. Pain can develop when your foot moves in an abnormal way. This is when Dr. Pandya would utilize a functional orthotic which stabilizes and controls the movement of your foot. Our office may use this type to aid in the healing of such injuries as tendonitis and shin splints. An accommodative orthotic would be chosen in a situation where you needed extra support and cushioning in particular. Foot deformities such as hammertoes and bunions, diabetic ulcers and arthritic problems can each benefit greatly from this kind of support.

How do Orthotics Work?

Orthotics are often used as a first line of defense in treatment for a variety of foot aches, pains, injuries and conditions. In many situations, the accommodative nature of these inserts helps our patients avoid the need for surgery. When worn inside your shoes, they support and stabilize your feet. This stabilization helps your feet strike the ground in such a way that makes walking, running and exercise more comfortable. They can also improve an unhealthy gait or bad posture. This extra support also takes pressure off areas of your foot that are painful. If you have bursitis, plantar fasciitis or ankle pain for example, feet are cushioned in the areas that need relief. This is especially true when wearing custom orthotics since they are molded to specifically help with the exact reason for your foot pain.

How do you Know if you Need Orthotics?

Everyone can benefit from a little extra foot support. Even if you have minor aches and pains at the end of a long day, orthotics can help to relieve your symptoms. If you have serious or chronic pain, Dr. Pandya would first evaluate your condition and decide if they would be the best form of treatment.

Do you have a present foot problem? (Bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, corns)

Do your feet point inward or outward?

Do you have foot, knee, hip or lower back pain?

Do you have one leg longer than the other?

Do you have excessive weight?

Do you have flat feet or feet with high arches?

Are you an athlete?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we encourage you to contact our office. This type of treatment may help relieve your symptoms once and for all.  It is important to note as well if you have diabetes, arthritis or another condition, that an ill-fitting orthotic can be especially dangerous. We highly encourage you to receive proper diagnosis and foot care from Dr. Pandya to avoid an injury that could lead to serious consequences.

If you have current foot problem or pain and are ready to get back to walking without pain and living a more active life, make an appointment with Dr. Pandya to discuss how orthotics can help.  Call our office today at (518) 273-0053 or schedule online.