Custom Orthotics

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You know that feeling you get when somebody gets you the perfect gift—the feeling that it was specially made just for you? Custom orthotics are like that, except for your feet. Unlike mass-produced insoles, custom orthotics are created from a precise mold or scan of your feet—literally made just for you! As a result, they can provide much more effective and lasting pain relief than store-bought alternatives.

The Value of Custom Orthotics: Are They Really Worth It?

The short answer: yes!

The longer answer? Because they’re made to fit your feet exactly, and come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and styles, custom orthotics can help significantly reduce pain and stress on the feet. Orthotics can be used for a wide variety of conditions, ranging from deformities (like bunions and flat feet), to diabetic wounds and ulcers, to sports injuries. They can even help correct problems with how your feet move and turn. We frequently prescribe orthotics for these reasons, and more, and in many cases they’re going to do a vastly better job than anything you could buy yourself off the rack. In fact, by bringing your whole body into better alignment, custom orthotics often result in significantly reduced knee, hip, and back pain as well.

That said, we won’t prescribe them if you don’t need them. Sometimes, a simpler store-bought or prefabricated insert might do the trick for you, especially if your pain is less severe and you only need extra cushioning, rather than motion correction. Each foot needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

It is true that a good set of orthotics are much pricier than the pharmacy-rack alternative—in some cases a few hundred dollars vs. $10 or less. However, the financial proposition is closer than it appears: a good pair of custom orthotics can last years and provide much better pain relief, while cheap inserts must be replaced much more frequently. Insurance may also cover at least a portion of your custom orthotics, as well.

Types of Orthotics

There are almost as many types of orthotics as there are types of feet! They range in terms of how large they are (from simple heel wedges or arch supports to full-length molds) as well as construction materials (soft, semi-rigid, or fully rigid). However, all orthotics tend to fall into one of two broad categories: accommodative or functional.

Accommodative Orthotics: Softening the Blow

You can think of accommodative orthotics as the “new and improved” version of store-bought inserts. Made from soft materials, they are designed to provide extra support and/or cushioning for feet that aren’t distributing weight and pressure properly, or even protect a diabetic wound. In other words, they accommodate an injury or structural defect so that it doesn’t cause problems.

Functional Orthotics: Keeping You on the Straight and Narrow

By contrast, functional orthotics are meant to correct painful function or motion. For example, say your feet roll too far inward when you step (a problem called overpronation). This can lead to pain and increased incidence of injury, but a functional orthotic can help keep your movement and gait biomechanically efficient. 


Helping You Make the Best Choice for Your Feet

If chronic foot, knee, hip, or back pain has been a constant source of discomfort and worry for you, there’s a great chance the biomechanics of your feet are playing a role—and custom orthotics are the right answer. Even so, every foot is different, which is why it’s important to get your feet examined by Premier Podiatry Group.

We’ll help you figure out the source of your pain and help you make an informed decision about your treatment options. Make an appointment with our Ebensburg or Johnstown offices by calling (814) 472-2660 today or contact us here.