If your feet get sore and tired after a long day at work, you might benefit from cushioning inserts you buy at a pharmacy. However, when you have functional problems with your feet, poor circulation due to diabetes, or a foot injury, then custom orthotics could be a better choice. These are inserts made to fit each of your feet. They are made of stiff, durable material to last a long time and provide good support. Here's some more information about getting custom orthotics.
A Podiatrist Assesses Your Feet
In order to get custom orthotics, you need a prescription from a podiatrist. The podiatrist will do a thorough examination of your feet so the best orthotics can be made. Abnormalities such as corn or growths will be noted. Conditions such as plantar fasciitis or tendinitis will be diagnosed and taken into consideration. Your podiatrist may also do a gait evaluation. This might involve standing on a device that measures how the weight distributes over your feet when you stand and walk. The podiatrist may watch you walk or run to see if you have an unusual gait that needs to be corrected. All this information is taken into account when determining the material the orthotics should be made from as well as the thickness and design.
Casts Are Made Of Your Feet
Custom orthotics are made to fit your feet precisely. In order to do this, molds are made of your feet that are sent to a lab. One way to do this is to make a plaster mold of each foot while you are not bearing weight on them. When the plaster casts are sent to the lab, the lab can then reproduce the exact shape of your feet so the orthotics are an exact match. Another way to make molds of your feet is to use computer mapping. This creates a digital reproduction of your feet that the lab can use when designing your orthotics. A mold is needed for each foot since your feet may be different sizes and shapes.
The Orthotics Are Custom Made
Custom orthotics are often made with a hard base of plastic or other material so they provide optimal support. Depending on your foot condition, your podiatrist might order softer orthotics instead. Even if the harder ones are ordered, they are covered in foam to be more comfortable. The hard orthotics are necessary if the purpose is to correct a gait problem or some other functional problem with your feet. These custom-made shoe inserts are high-quality and they last much longer than shoe inserts you buy at a pharmacy. They are often topped with an antimicrobial material to keep odor at bay so you can wear them daily.
These inserts are usually thicker and stiffer than what you can buy off the shelf. For that reason, they may not fit inside your regular shoes. When you get custom orthotics made, your podiatrist will probably recommend the type of shoes you'll need to wear as well. It may take a few weeks to get used to wearing the orthotics, especially if you're not used to wearing supportive shoes. However, once your body has adjusted, the orthotics should make you feel more comfortable when you stand and walk for long periods.
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