Custom orthotics are prescription medical devices that you wear inside your shoes designed specifically for your feet to meet your unique needs. They can help with a wide array of foot and ankle conditions, correcting structural and biomechanical foot issues such as problems with how you walk, stand, or run. They can also help to manage painful foot conditions.
At Peninsula Podiatry, the most up-to-date technology is used to acquire digital scans of the foot. This creates the most accurate mold of your foot possible. Dr. Neitzel is able to customize these orthotics completely to fit in all shoes, even heels, and provides complimentary adjustments if needed.
Are there different types of custom orthotics?
There are two main types of custom orthotics, functional and accommodative. Functional orthotics help to correct faulty foot function, so they are typically semi-rigid to help keep your foot in the proper position and help normalize foot movement.
Accommodative orthotics are less rigid and softer than functional orthotics. They are used to redistribute weight and provide cushioning to take pressure away from problem areas.
How do you know if you need orthotics?
You could benefit from functional custom orthotics if you are an athlete, if you have flat feet, high arches, shin splints, or heel and arch pain. They are also beneficial for patients who have foot pain caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, and arthritis.
Alternatively, you may benefit from accommodative orthotics to help manage conditions like painful calluses, neuromas, bunions, and hammertoes.
Can custom orthotics help with heel pain?
Yes, custom orthotics can help with heel pain because they are designed to cushion and support the back of your foot to reduce the pressure and stress on your heels.
What can you expect during a consultation?
During your consultation, Dr. Neitzel will analyze the overall motion of the joints of the foot and the way you walk noting how your feet, ankles, legs, and hips move. She will also examine your foot structure and then determine which orthotic would best address your specific needs.
Once that determination has been made, Dr. Neitzel will measure your feet with a state-of-the-art 3D computer scan. The scan along with your custom prescription is then sent to a local orthotic lab to create your made-to-order orthotics.
Does insurance cover custom orthotics?
Since your orthotics are prescription medical devices, your insurance company might help cover the cost. Check with your health plan provider to see if they provide coverage.
How long do custom orthotics last?
Generally, custom orthotics can last anywhere between 7 to 10 years, depending on the wear and tear of the orthotics over time.
Are custom orthotics worth it?
Custom orthotics are a conservative treatment approach to alleviate foot pain and discomfort, and may be able to help decrease rates of bunion formation and address plantar fasciitis. For some patients, this conservative approach helps patients avoid foot surgery. While custom orthotics generally cost more than over-the-counter inserts, they are worth the investment because they are made to fit your individual foot and provide the corrective action you need to alleviate any discomfort.
Can custom orthotics be worn in any shoe?
Custom orthotics can be transferred between similar types of shoes. If they were made for running shoes, they will most likely fit in your walking or hiking shoes. They may not, however, fit in a pair of lady’s dress shoes–this requires a specific type of orthotic which can also be made upon request.
Are custom orthotics better than over-the-counter inserts?
Custom orthotics are better than over-the-counter options because the custom orthotics provide more than just cushioning and a tad bit of sole support. They are made to correct functional deformities fully and provide extra cushioning and sole support in all the right places to meet your specific needs. While over-the-counter inserts may provide arch support or extra cushioning on the heel, they are not designed to correct foot problems.
Do you have to wear your orthotics all the time?
Dr. Neitzel recommends that you wear your orthotics as much as possible, especially if you have a biomechanical issue. Your custom orthotics are designed to help support your feet and correct any abnormal motion.
Understandably, your feet have gotten used to an unhealthy way of functioning, so it may take time for you to adjust to them. This adjustment period is normal. You may want to start wearing your orthotics a few hours a day to get used to them, and then gradually start to wear them more and more to get the most benefit from wearing them. Over time, most patients feel more comfortable wearing their orthotics than not wearing them.
If you are interested in custom orthotics, please give us a call at (360) 245-2248 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Neitzel.