Choosing the Right Orthotic Fit
Reasons to Consider Orthotics?
Do your patients have foot, ankle, or heel pain? This is the number one reason why your patients should consider custom orthotics! Whether it be prefabricated orthotics or custom, there are many orthotic choices that can help resolve their pain.
Custom orthotics are fitted to the shape of the foot and can be used to align the body into its proper position to promote healing. They can also be used to correct foot abnormalities and
reduce the risk of injuries or fractures.
If that is not enough of a reason then maybe the overall health of their feet will be enough. Insoles can improve:
The Alignment of their feet
The body’s ability to sense and respond quickly to nerve impulses(or sensory feedback) coming from the feet.
Orthotics are also capable of helping with a wide variety of different pains besides just foot and ankle pain. If the feet are not aligned properly, it can cause uneven weight distribution and can contribute to knee, hip, back, and spinal column pain. The better aligned the patients' feet are and the straighter their posture is, the less overall pain that patient will experience.
Foot pain can also be linked to pain in the neck and shoulders as well as headaches. Many musculoskeletal problems can be improved by resolving problems with the foot and ankle. Basically, the more stable your patient’s feet are, the less pain they will experience.
Common Types of Pain Issues
Here is a list of common foot pains so that you can better inform your patients of what may be the best way to help their pain:
Pronation – Pronation is what happens when your feet roll inward too much as each foot hits the ground. This can cause wear and tear on the tendons and muscles as well as flattening of the arch over time.
Supination – Supination is what happens when your feet roll outward too much. This can cause sprains and even ligament ruptures.
Heel pain (Plantar fasciitis) – This is one of the most common causes of foot pain. It occurs when you strain the ligament that supports your arch.
Bunions – When your big toe swells up at the first joint, it is likely you are suffering from a bunion. Bunions can be caused by genetics, arthritis, different lengths in the legs, and other reasons.
Hammertoes – Hammertoes are a condition where the toes always look like they are slightly curved down. This is often due to genetics or a weak muscle, or even shoes that don’t fit correctly.
Calluses – When you have gait issues, sometimes your weight falls unevenly on the balls of your feet, causing calluses (thickened areas of skin) to develop. Other conditions like neuropathy (peripheral nerve damage to the feet) can also lead to the development of calluses.
Understanding Different Orthotic Choices
The next step, after understanding your foot pain, is understanding the different types of orthotic choices. Some are designed to help treat just one specific issue while others are multi-purpose in their design. There are even orthotics made specifically to help athletes. Here is a list of the most common types of orthotics:
Insoles for Comfort – These insoles are designed to minimize wear and tear on feet from daily life, standing for work, exercise or athletic activities, and other regular pursuits. You can think of these more like preventative inserts.
Insoles for Support – This category of insoles recognizes that the time for prevention has passed. Foot pain is now a reality, so it is a matter of identifying what type(s) of foot pain you are having and how best to relieve it. The common reasons for foot pain listed in this guide can all be addressed through the addition of support insoles.
High or Low Volume Insoles – This type of insole is specifically designed to adjust the fit of shoes. Both types of insoles are designed to minimize free space within the shoes so your feet and ankles bear less risk of injury. High-volume insoles are often used with hiking or ski boots or other athletic shoes. Low volume insoles are better paired with work or casual shoes (depending on whether you are wearing pantyhose or socks and how thick they may be).
The Right Fit
The great part about custom orthotics is that any of the orthotics can be made to fit your patients! Since orthotics are made per order, as the doctor you must work with your patients in order to choose what type of orthotic will fit their specific needs.
Once that is figured out, the final step is to send us your order and leave the rest up to Forward Motion's Custom Orthotic lab!