Orthotics are medical devices that are used to support the feet, treat foot deformities, and rectify abnormal foot movement. They are the best non-invasive solution to many foot problems. If a foot ailment is interfering with health and feet function, customized prescription orthotics can help rectify the problem.
How Are Orthotics Different from Shoe Inserts?
Shoe inserts can be bought over the counter or off the rack and don’t need a prescription. They fit into your shoes and provide cushioning and support for many foot problems like sprains, strains, and tears. They provide some amount of relief, but they are not designed to correct foot problems.
Orthotics are prescription medical devices that you wear to correct biomechanical foot issues related to foot length, form, and movement. They can also help with foot pain caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, and arthritis. Orthotics might even help you avoid surgery.
Types of Orthotics for Treating Common Foot Problems
- Rigid orthotics, or functional orthotics, are made for simple everyday foot problems, for instance, to ease foot aches and strains, as well as pain in the legs, thighs, and lower back. They are usually made from heavy materials like plastic or carbon fiber and can be inserted into walking shoes or dress shoes that have closed toes and low heels.
- Soft orthotics, or accommodative orthotics, are finer orthotics that are designed to deal with problems that arise from conditions like plantar fasciitis or diabetic foot ulcers. They are made of softer compression materials.
- An ankle-foot orthosis is a prescription device that also has an upright portion that runs from the heel upward to the calf. This helps support and corrects a weak or deformed ankle.
- Athletic orthotics are popular among athletes, to correct any foot problems that could potentially affect their performance.
If you are simply looking for extra cushioning or support, you may wish to try an over-the-counter shoe insert first. If you have serious pain or discomfort, top podiatrists in Los Altos will be able to assess your foot health and offer orthotic devices for treating common foot problems in Los Altos.