The word “orthotics” brings to mind the store bought inserts that can be put into shoes. While these drug-sore foot solutions often alleviate many of the minor issues associated with foot pains, they don’t hold a candle to the support and stability that a custom made orthotic can provide for the body’s biomechanics. Through the use of these unique devices, many people are able to perform activities with much more ease. They are used to treat and correct abnormal foot structures and walking patterns over time. With the provision of extra cushioning and realignment of the foot, many patients are able to return to their daily routine free of pain.
What can orthotics do?
These devices are utilized to fix specific abnormalities in the feet and ankles. Orthotics are often designed specifically for the people that wear them, and mass produced shoe inserts have been known to make foot problems worse over time. Most foot conditions occur as a result of pressure being unevenly distributed across the surface of the foot. These abnormal forces can develop from hereditary foot and ankle structures, trauma, or even through repetitive activity. Dr. Robert Parker often prescribes custom orthotics to improve the function of the feet and ankles. When patients’ feet are supported by these devices, it allows the downward forces to be redistributed throughout the foot. This allows the feet to be corrected over time--reducing swelling and other painful symptoms, as well as promoting normal movements.
What kinds are there?
Overall, orthotics are produced to do one of two things; they are meant to provide functionality or to accommodate foot problems. Functional orthotics tend to support the mid and rear foot and have the goal of correcting abnormal foot conditions. Accommodative devices are used to provide relief from mild pain and symptoms. These orthotics are typically used for shock absorption and the prevention of pronation issues. Each of these types of medical devices aid in the patient’s unique needs for recovery. They help to make joint movements stable and can take weight off of problematic areas.
Orthotics are broken into the following groups:
Rigid - These devices are often utilized to correct the misalignment of ankle and lower leg structures. As they’re composed of a firm material, repetitive use can degrade foot health when used improperly.
Semi-Rigid – These orthotics combine the stability and support of soft and rigid orthotics; they are often prescribed for athletic pain management and pronation issues in children.
Soft – As the name implies, these are cushioned and meant for shock absorption. This is the most common form of orthotic used often in arthritis and diabetic treatments.
Are orthotics going to help me?
If you currently have any pain or discomfort in your feet, custom orthotics are for you. For every individual out there, an orthotic can be made to alleviate their foot pain. Not all people who use orthotics are experiencing discomfort; many patients use them to correct foot conditions before they encounter pain and some athletes use them to enhance performance. In order to determine the best type of orthotic for your unique needs, our office may use a few diagnostic procedures to prescribe the device that suits you.
There is no reason to delay; foot and ankle pain will only get worse over time. By calling our Houston, TX office at 281-497-2850, you’ll start yourself on the road to recovery. Dr. Robert Parker will be able to help you choose an orthotic that will promote a pain free-life so that you can go back to enjoying every moment of your day.