The Types of Custom Orthotics

Custom orthotics can help reduce pain and stress in your lower limbs. They can be very beneficial to many people, from athletes to those suffering from arthritis. In Canada, doctors and pedorthists work closely together to help patients obtain the best solution for their particular ailment. Pedorthists are an integral part of the healthcare system and can help you experience less pain and distress by fitting you with a pair of custom orthotics.

Types of Custom Orthotics

There are two main types of custom orthotics, functional and accommodative. Depending on your specific situation, your healthcare provider will likely recommend one or the other, but usually not both.

Functional Orthotics

Functional orthotics are designed to control or correct existing problems. They're particularly helpful for abnormal foot or ankle motions. For example, a runner who overpronates might find relief from a functional orthotic. These orthotics are typically made from plastic, graphite, or another type of rigid material. Sometimes, but not always, they come with an extension called an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO), which wraps around the ankle and lower leg to provide additional support. Here are just a few of the conditions that functional orthotics can help treat.

  • drop foot
  • arthritis
  • adult-acquired flatfoot
  • certain neuromuscular disorders
  • overpronation or underpronation

Accommodative Orthotics

Accommodative orthotics are usually used for the sole purpose of providing additional cushioning and extra support. They divert pressure away from sensitive or overworked areas and can help to relieve the burden on load-bearing areas and balance your weight. Accommodative orthotics can help with many issues, including the following conditions.

  • plantar fasciitis
  • hammertoe
  • bunions
  • heuromas
  • other minor conditions

Benefits of Custom Orthotics

Orthotics can offer many benefits to a wide range of patients. Some athletes use orthotics to help reduce strain on overburdened areas and improve their performance. Other patients use them to help correct discrepancies in the length of their legs. Still others find relief from arthritis pain. Here are just a few of the benefits you can experience from using custom orthotics.

  • decreased back pain
  • more natural gait
  • decreased hip pain
  • reduced stress on your knees
  • improved range of motion

A Perfect Match

Custom made orthotics can also be a wonderful addition to certain therapies. If you're undergoing physiotherapy, recovering from an injury, or going through spinal decompression therapy, for instance, you might find relief faster by using custom orthortics. According to the Pedorthic Association of Canada, custom orthotics are currently being used to help with a wide range of lower limb ailments. If you have any of the following conditions, or a condition like them, you might benefit from asking your healthcare practitioner about orthotics.

  • arthritis
  • diabetic nerve pain
  • plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • bunions and bunionettes
  • claw toes
  • metatarsalgia
  • sports injuries
  • shin splints
  • foot injuries

Why Custom Orthotics?

With the availability of store-bought orthotics, many people wonder why custom made orthotics are the best option. Non-prescription orthotics are widely available, have a variety of support options, and are much more affordable than prescription orthotics in most cases. That may be true, but if you want to obtain the best possible results, it's best to have custom made orthotics because they're created specifically for your foot. Generic orthotics might be able to help with minor issues, but if you're seeing a doctor for a condition, it's likely that you're beyond using over-the-counter orthotics. What's more, using the wrong non-prescription orthotic can actually cause more damage, so it's best to ensure you're using orthotics that were designed by your doctor just for your feet.

If you think a custom pair of orthotics might be helpful for your condition, contact us today.

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