Should I buy Custom Made Orthotics?

Yes if you have biomechanical or pain issues in the feet. This can be a big issue, paying a price of $500.00 is not unheard of. We will talk about saving money, but first let’s see if you need them.

A Biomechanical Issue: involves something being out of align in the feet, which then throws everything out of whack up through the ankles, knees, hips and back. There can be pain in one or all of these areas. This will require a Functional Orthotic.

Foot Pain: This could be from a multitude of reasons, such as plantar fasciitis, Morton’s toe, corns, calluses, etc. You may try a store bought insert for the specific pain and may get lucky but most of our clients have already tried this with no results. If your symptoms include diabetes or ulcers you most likely need an accommodative Orthotic.

Functional Orthotic: They change the biomechanics of the foot and lower body. This is done by adjusting the orthotic to correct an alignment issue such as excessive pronation or supination. We have many articles in this blog that describe conditions that might need a functional orthotic. Functional Orthotics are used to attempt to get the lower body back into alignment. Since they typically change the walking gate and/or pressure points, they may relieve the pain in the ankles, knees, hips, and back relatively quickly but they will hurt the feet and require a break in period, typically 2-3 weeks.

Accommodative Orthotic: These are used for support and pain relief. They may direct the pain away from a painful area such as a foot ulcer. Accommodative inserts are usually thicker and softer and might require a Therapeutic Shoe (known as an Ultra Depth Shoe). Accommodative shoe inserts are not designed to re-align the foot joints.

Sometimes an Orthotic could be functional with Accommodative Qualities. The foot is out of alignment but there is also heel pain. Then the Pedorthist will comply with this request by cushioning the insole. Even when buying a custom insert online the chances are low, mostly because they rely on the customer to choose the insert. There are so many variables that it’s almost impossible to get a correct insert. We rely on a licensed Orthotist or Pedorthist. One that has a full time job just doing inserts. Many consider a Pedorthist better qualified than a Podiatrist in making an Orthotic Insert. The big advantage our customers have is that they talk to our Pedorthist after he/she has had a chance to examine your foot mold. Considering the fact that they have done thousands of these, they will already have a good idea of any problems you have, before they call you. Then when you talk to them you have an opportunity to discuss life style, active or sedentary, athletic or casual shoes, corns and calluses, heel and metatarsal pain, claw or hammer toe, plantar fasciitis or tarsal tunnel syndrome, painful areas, etc.

There is a better way and that involves more time and money. Go to your Podiatrist, typically they will exam your foot and your gate, take a mold of your foot and then place an order with a Pedorthist. Yes you will receive a more comprehensive exam but According to Podiatry Today, the typical cost of prescription custom foot orthotics ordered through a doctor ranges from $400 -$600. Ours cost $119.99 for one or two for $149.98. Why are two so much cheaper? Because the mold is already made, therefore there is a great savings. Many people like to have one for running and one for casual or two pairs for 2 different shoes. Orthotics for different uses are made out of different materials. A Licensed Pedorthist has studied foot anatomy and pathology, biomechanics, shoe construction and modification, they are trained in abnormal foot conditions and how to treat them by using custom orthosis. Can a Pedorthist write a prescription? No they are not Doctors. What is an Orthotist? Short version: they are trained to do everything a Pedorthist can, plus fit prosthetics and special braces.

What do our customers look like? Typically they are people that want a quality product and want to save money. They either have Insurance that won’t cover the cost of the Orthotic or their deductible is high. Many have no insurance at all. Often our customers want multiple pairs and it is more cost effective to order from us. People that are home bound use our service because they don’t have to leave the house. Many consider us a one stop shop because we sell additional items that are ancillary to foot pain and swelling: Compression Stockings, Diabetic Socks, Ankle Braces, Knee Braces, Back Braces, and Orthotic Shoes, etc.  The greatest value our customers see, is the value of discussing their issues with a Licensed Orthotist or Pedorthist that have a combined experience of 50 years.

Below are articles posted on our Blog, feel free to read any of them and post you’re comments.

Do I have Plantar Fasciitis?

Do I have Metatarsal Pain?

Do I Pronate or Supinate?

Do I have Morton’s Toe?

How to treat Corns and Calluses:

Do I have Bursitis?

How to tell if I have High Arches:

How to Treat Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and how do I know it’s not Plantar Fasciitis?

Can Orthotics help with Bunions?

I have Sesamoid Pain:

What is the difference between Hammer Toe, Claw Toe, Mallet Toe and Curly Toe?

What is the difference between Diabetic Inserts and Custom Orthotics?

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