Customized orthotics are medical devices made specifically for your feet and are designed to support and comfort them. They’re manufactured once your podiatrist has completely evaluated and measured your feet, ankles, and legs, and they not only match your foot’s contours, but they also take into account the way you move.
Orthotics serve a number of functions, such as acting like shock absorbers, removing pressure from painful areas in the foot and ankle, and preventing foot deformity or keeping it from getting worse. Orthotics also better position your foot inside your shoes and improve the mechanics of your feet and lower legs.
At Monroe Foot & Ankle Care, board-certified podiatrist Dr. Elliott Perel prescribes orthotics for his patients in the Monroe Township, New Jersey, area who live with a wide range of podiatric problems. Here’s what the practice would like you to know about orthotics and the way they’re made.
The podiatric office visit
Unless you’re just looking for extra shoe cushioning or support, in which case you can buy over-the-counter orthotics, you’ll need to see Dr. Perel about your foot problems. He’ll examine your feet and watch your gait, note your problems and concerns, and assess the movement and function of your lower extremities.
The exam’s results help the doctor determine which is better for you: OTC shoe inserts or prescription orthotics.
Prescription orthotics fall into three categories:
1. Functional orthotics
Functional orthotics are used to control abnormal motion of the leg and foot, as well as any pain that results from that motion. They may also be used to treat repetitive or overuse injuries such as shin splints or tendinitis. These orthotics are usually formed from a semi-rigid material such as plastic or graphite.
2. Accommodative orthotics
Accommodative orthotics are meant to provide added cushioning and support and are made out of softer materials than functional orthotics. Dr. Perel uses them to treat conditions such as diabetic foot ulcers and painful calluses on the bottom of the foot.
3. Athletic orthotics
Semi-rigid orthotics allow for dynamic balance of the foot while running, jumping, or participating in a variety of sports. They guide the foot through its proper functions and allow the muscles and tendons to perform more efficiently. They’re usually constructed of layers of soft materials that are reinforced with more rigid materials.
Orthotics can be used to treat a range of foot and ankle complaints, such as plantar fasciitis, bursitis, tendinitis, and heel pain. Clinical studies have shown that customized, prescription foot orthotics decrease foot pain and improve lower leg function.
How are customized orthotics made?
Prescription orthotics are constructed specifically to work with your feet. In the past, podiatrists used plaster molds that were sent to the lab for manufacture. Now, though, doctors rely on advanced computerized foot analysis to more accurately reflect the dynamics of your gait. Dr. Perel captures a 3D image of each foot, and these, along with other measurements, are used to manufacture orthotics that offer greater comfort and mobility and improve your gait.
If you’re experiencing pain, discomfort, or a change of shape in your feet, customized orthotics can make a world of difference. To learn more, or to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Perel, give our Jamesburg, New Jersey, office a call at 732-978-9569, or book online with us today.