What are orthotics, anyway? You’ve probably heard the word, but might not know exactly what it means. Ortho- is a word that comes from the Greek language and means straight, right, or correct. In the podiatric world, orthotics are custom devices designed by your foot doctor to correct the alignment of your step and relieve any type of problems. Take a step in the right direction and order some specially-made products from McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group.
Functional orthotics are used to reposition your weight, ensuring that the pressure hits your foot in all of the proper places. The harder, plastic devices control your movement and align your feet to eliminate shin splints or tendonitis. The softer kinds offer you more cushion, comfort, and protection from developing conditions like calluses and ulcers. They’re slipped right into your shoes and might be interchangeable with more than one pair of shoes that you own.
Not the Same as Store Bought Inserts
Sometimes, these medically administered supports (functional orthotics) are confused with shoe inserts (arch supports) that you can get at the store. While shoe inserts are useful for prevention and helping to cushion small problems, they are not the same as the ones you can get at the doctor. Only orthotics can correct and get rid of larger problems. For this reason, the special supports are typically higher in price than their over-the-counter counterparts. Consider the condition that your foot is in before you decide to go with one or the other. If your foot problem is a very small one, you may want to try a store bought item and see if it helps. If it’s moderate or severe in any way, or if you have a high risk of developing a condition, you should probably skip the shoe inserts and go straight to the doctor.
Steps You Can Take with McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group
In the office, tests and measurements are taken to prescribe these devices. That’s why they might help your problems more than over-the-counter shoe inserts—they’re specifically tailored to the design of your foot. First, we will have you stand barefoot so that we can examine your natural resting posture. We then will have you walk around to observe how you strike the ground when you land.
Who Wears These Devices?
You would be a great candidate for these devices if you suffer from heel pain, over or under pronation, tendonitis, diabetic foot problems, or ankle issues. Most bunion pain can be improved with functional orthotics. A lot of children and senior citizens need orthotics to correct walking complications. Orthotics can also prevent problems. Place this extra support inside your running shoes, dress shoes, ice skates, rollerblades, and any other kind of gear where you experience discomfort. Give your feet a few weeks to get used to the new structure in your shoes. You might be a little sore for the first two weeks of wearing them. That’s because your body is adjusting to the form. In general, you should feel somewhat comfortable with the change, and eventually reap the benefits.
If you need a break from your pain, or you want to stop worrying that your condition will worsen, contact Dr. Brian McDowell at McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group in Carmichael, CA by calling our office at (916) 961-3434. We also have a Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest that you can follow to get more information on how to treat your feet right!