Custom made orthotics discretely insert into your shoe to support and improve foot function. Often times orthotics get a bad reputation, so I’m here to debunk some of the common misconceptions out there.
Let’s get myth busting…
Myth 1: Orthotics are just for Grandma.
Busted: Orthotics are not just for senior citizens and can be made to fit in many styles of shoes.
Foot dysfunction such as painful arches, heel pain, bunions, calluses, as well as broader health conditions such as arthritis or diabetes can affect any age. Some feet are aligned perfectly but most (70-80%) are not. This means the majority of us could benefit from a custom orthotic.
Orthotics can even be prescribed for children and teenagers to treat such conditions and prevent them from getting worse.
The shoes you put them in don’t have to be restricted to running, walking or orthopedic shoes! Orthotics can be designed to fit into new or existing shoes, including fashionable ones. We do still recommend appropriate footwear as the shoe acts as a foundation and base for the orthotic to sit in however there are options.
Myth 2: Custom orthotics are the same as generic solutions off the shelf.
Busted: Each person’s feet are as unique to them as their fingerprints. Yes a mass produced over the counter insert can help but think of what a custom insert could do. It is important to have your orthotic customised to treat your specific biomechanical foot dysfunction.
Custom orthotics can be prescribed by a health professional such as a medical doctor, chiropodist, podiatrist or chiropractor. This is done through a gait analysis (examining your walk) and biomechanical assessment of your feet and lower limbs. A three dimensional cast of your foot is taken and sent to the lab where the orthotic is made specifically for you. A range of materials is used and the prescribing doctor will make the necessary modifications needed for your specific problems. This can’t be achieved in a mass-produced cookie cutter product.
Myth 3: Custom orthotics are too expensive.
Busted: Over the counter foot orthtoics are mass produced and therefore typically cheaper than custom made foot orthotics at first glance. However over the counter foot orthotics generally have a shorter lifespan and when not fitted properly could aggravate your condition.
Orthotics change how your foot moves and functions, therefore it’s important to have professional help design and prescribe them. By self prescribing an off the shelf insert you risk facing additional discomfort. Getting a properly fitted and effective orthotic may save you money over the long term. Your health care practitioner will also make adjustments to your orthotic should it cause discomfort and follow up with you to ensure their effectiveness.
Dr. Sarah Chajka Hon.B.Kin, D.C