What are Custom Orthotics?
Custom orthotics are shoe inserts that podiatrists can prescribe to help treat foot problems such as heel pain, flat feet, ankle pain, and Achilles tendinitis. Custom orthotics are also commonly prescribed to patients with foot deformities and abnormal gaits.
Custom orthotics provide the support, stability, and alignment that your feet and ankles need, which can significantly reduce any pain and discomfort you may be experiencing when you walk, stand, run, or engage in other physical activities. For these and other reasons, custom orthotics are popular medical devices that can make all the difference in your mobility.
What makes custom orthotics different from—and more expensive than—over-the-counter shoe inserts that you can buy at your local drugstore has everything to do with how they’re made. Over-the-counter inserts are mass-produced, but custom orthotics are custom-made just for you by taking into account the unique structure and complex biomechanics of your feet.
At Advanced Foot and Ankle Centers of Illinois, we use Forward Motion 3D scanning technology to capture the most precise digital scans of your feet. The measurements we record are accurate to the micrometer, so you can feel confident that your orthotics will be precision-made.
Custom orthotics are a worthwhile, long-term investment that you can make to improve your foot function and maintain your mobility, both of which contribute to your overall quality of life.
How to Know if You Need Custom Orthotics?
If your podiatrist suggests that you should consider investing in custom orthotics, one of the first questions you might ask yourself is, do I really need them? Our trusted podiatrists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Centers of Illinois strongly recommend custom orthotics if you can relate to any of the following issues:
Increasing Pain in Your Feet and Ankles
If you have increasing pain in your feet and ankles, custom orthotics can help alleviate that pain by cushioning your feet and absorbing the shocks your feet experience daily. Pain in your feet and ankles is not normal and should not be ignored, especially because the pain signifies a chronic or acute issue that needs to be resolved.
If You Have Gait Abnormalities
Gait abnormalities change the way you walk. These abnormalities can be caused by numerous factors, including foot structure, muscle weakness or imbalances, nerve damage, or injury. Custom orthotics can improve gait abnormalities by providing additional support, correcting alignment issues, and promoting overall stabilization.
Are Your Shoes Wearing Out Quickly?
Did you recently buy a pair of nice shoes, only to find that they’re already worn out? Shoes that wear out quickly indicate that your feet are not being properly supported and/or your gait is not properly aligned. Custom orthotics could be useful to you because they evenly distribute the pressure on your feet, which reduces wear and tear on your shoes and, in turn, helps your favorite footwear last longer.
Are You on Your Feet All Day?
Prolonged standing can put excessive stress on your feet and your ankles, lower legs, and back. Custom orthotics can alleviate the discomfort and pain associated with prolonged standing by providing extra cushioning and support, promoting good posture throughout the day, and reducing foot fatigue.
Conditions Custom Orthotics Can Help With
Custom orthotics help treat a variety of problems associated with the feet and ankles, including, but not limited to:
Sometimes foot issues can lead to ankle pain, especially if stress and strain are consistently placed on the vulnerable ankle joint. Custom orthotics fix the alignment of the foot and ankle, and the added stability can reduce your risk of ankle-related injuries caused by overpronation or supination, which cause the foot to roll inward and outward, respectively.
Common causes of heel pain include heel spurs, stress fractures, and bursitis, just to name a few. Custom orthotics can alleviate heel pain by providing targeted relief, making orthotics an effective treatment option for patients whose heel pain ranges from mild to severe.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia ligament, which runs along the bottom of your foot, sustains damage due to repetitive strain and overuse. When that ligament becomes inflamed and you find it difficult to stand or walk, custom orthotics can keep you on your feet. Custom orthotics can significantly reduce stress on the plantar fascia ligament and provide customized arch support.
Some examples of foot deformities include bunions and hammertoes. If you have been diagnosed with a foot deformity, custom orthotics work well to ensure that you can move comfortably while wearing footwear. One of the biggest benefits of custom orthotics for foot deformities is that they can prevent further progression of the deformity while also accommodating the unique shape and structure of the foot caused by the deformity.
Achilles tendinitis occurs when your Achilles tendon—the largest tendon in the human body—becomes irritated and inflamed due to repetitive strain or overuse. Symptoms of this condition include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the back of the ankle. Orthotics can reduce those symptoms as well as ease the pressure and tension placed on the Achilles tendon.
Flat feet are characterized by the absence or reduction of the arch in the foot. Ankle pain, heel pain, and lower back pain can result. Custom orthotics can be used to support your feet by creating that much-needed arch. This additional support can even go so far as to help prevent the development of other foot conditions that can be caused by flat feet, including plantar fasciitis and bunions.
Get Your Very Own Custom Orthotics
Our team at Advanced Foot and Ankle Centers of Illinois would be glad to discuss custom orthotics with you and how they can help the specific foot issue or condition with which you have been diagnosed.
Our team of experts uses advanced technology to capture precise digital scans of your feet, ensuring that your custom orthotics fit comfortably and securely in all types of shoes, including sneakers, dress shoes, and boots. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please submit an appointment request online and one of our friendly team members will get back to you shortly. Thank you for placing your trust in Advanced Foot and Ankle Centers of Illinois.