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Health & Fitness Wellness

What are Custom Orthotics?

Visiting a local chiropractic office for chiropractic therapy is an effective and safe way to treat back pain and restore mobility. But did you know that that’s just the beginning for what a full-service chiropractic care center can do for you? Many chiropractic offices also offer patients a range of treatments, including custom orthotics. Orthotics function as medical shoe inserts designed to support abnormal foot movement. These simple devices can help people experiencing a range of foot and ankle related health issues.

But what exactly are orthotics? And how do they differ from custom orthotics? Here, we’re taking a closer look into the world of chiropractic care and orthotics to learn more about the impressive health benefits that can be experienced from these relatively simple medical shoe inserts. After all, the best things in life are simple, right?

What Exactly are These Orthotics?

Let’s start at the beginning. What do we mean when we say “orthotics”? According to Neuhaus Foot & Ankle, orthotics are medical shoe inserts that support abnormal movement of the foot that can be caused by a variety of different health problems or injuries. Orthotics essentially support the movement of your foot to supplement what your shoe is already doing. Orthotics can relieve pressure on the foot or ankle and relieve discomfort or pain that you feel while standing or walking throughout your day. Orthotics function as a relatively simple way to provide comfort and support for your feet, ankles, knees, and legs.

What are the Two Main Types of Orthotics?

When considering orthotics, there are two primary types you can choose from: general orthotics or custom orthotics. General orthotics are your more common and widely available option that you can even go pick up at a local pharmacy. These general orthotics will usually be cheaper than the alternative, but there’s also a reason for this. Most patients note that the general version of orthotics are not as effective at providing support, stability, and pain relief as they might find from the custom version.

Why is this? Well, it’s pretty simple. General orthotics are mass produced, and unlike custom orthotics, they aren’t designed specifically for your body and needs. Of course, the lower cost may make this option more appealing to certain consumers, but most would agree that the health benefits outweigh the initial sticker cost. Of course, it’s advisable to first speak with your doctor to determine which orthotics will be ideal for your healthcare needs.

Top Benefits of Custom Orthotics

Why do people even use orthotics in the first place? In addition to providing relief from pain, there are quite a few benefits to using these devices. Receiving the right custom orthotics designed for you offers a range of benefits.

Some of these top benefits include:

  • Aids in improvement for your gait.
  • Supports good posture.
  • Maintains proper musculoskeletal alignment.
  • Provides relief from pain.
  • Relieves pressure, especially for those with arthritis.
  • Corrects foot abnormalities.
  • Increases comfort while walking and remaining active.
  • Keeps you active and independent.

How Do Custom Orthotics Work?

By now, you’re probably thinking that custom orthotics sound like a great and safe way to address a range of health problems. But how does this all actually work? Well, instead of picking up general orthotics at your local pharmacy, the custom orthotics process is a bit more intensive—but it’s certainly worth the extra effort.

First, you’ll visit your doctor or chiropractor who will check your shoes. Why? Because most doctors will agree that custom orthotics are only as good as the shoes they’re used with. Your doctor will assess your shoes to determine the level of support they offer and if they bend exactly where they should. For some patients, simply wearing better shoes can prove effective for providing comfort and pain relief. If new shoes are necessary, they can even provide recommendations to get the right pair for your gait and needs.

Next, your doctor will work to adjust your feet. Then they form the custom orthotics to your feet inside of the shoes. Once fitted, you can then take a quick stroll around the office while the orthotics set into place. You can also assess how they feel and the overall level of comfort you feel. Last but not least, your doctor will then check the orthotics to see if any minor adjustments are needed. Your doctor won’t complete the process until they’ve crafted the perfect custom orthotic for your needs.

Conclusion – What are Custom Orthotics?

Health issues concerning the foot, ankle, or legs can cause pain, discomfort, and even limit what you can do with your day. In fact, with poor posture and pain felt while walking or even just standing, it could point toward a bigger health risk affecting your entire body. Over time, this discomfort can affect your hips, knees, spinal column, and more that can only get worse. But if you’re looking for an effective way to treat walking issues, then you may owe it to yourself to check out custom orthotics.

Compared to the general option, there are many advantages to using custom orthotics for your needs. Custom orthotics are specifically designed to fit the unique structure of your foot and to respond to your unique needs. Whether it’s a foot problem, ankle issue, or if you’re recovering from an injury, custom orthotics can be designed to address the exact source of your pain or discomfort. When you start wearing your own custom orthotics, many patients note that they experience relief from pain, better mobility, and simply the ability to find yourself active just as you once were. And while custom orthotics may be a bit more expensive and time consuming than the generic option, your freedom is definitely worth the cost.