Structural foot problems can cause chronic foot pain that interferes with walking comfortably. These conditions can also cause knee and back pain, which can affect your ability to perform daily activities and maintain a normal lifestyle.
Custom orthotics can provide relief from chronic pain by supporting your feet and encouraging proper alignment. Made specifically for you, these devices can offset the problems caused by your unique condition and provide personalized and effective support.
Like other medical devices, custom orthotics require a prescription from a medical professional. Marshall L. Lukoff, DPM, FAAFS, of Foot Care Specialists, PC, in Quincy and Dedham, Massachusetts, provides expert fittings for custom orthotics. Dr. Lukoff has the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure that your custom orthotics effectively address the source of your chronic pain.
Types of orthotics
Custom orthotics typically consist of in-shoe inserts that support your heel, sole, or both. They help position your foot for appropriate foot alignment and distribution of pressure when you walk.
Using state-of-the-art computer diagnosis, Dr. Lukoff can analyze the source of your chronic pain. By examining the biomechanics of your feet, he can analyze your gait, pressure points, and strengths and weaknesses. This information can help Dr. Lukoff determine the areas lacking appropriate support or proper alignment. He can then choose the orthotics most appropriate for your needs. There are basically two types of orthotics:
Functional orthotics use semi-rigid materials, such as plastic or carbon fiber. These devices can help absorb shock and relieve pain caused by foot aches and strains. Functional orthotics can also help relieve leg pain, thigh pain, and lower back pain caused by problems when the bones in your feet don’t align properly. They can accommodate sneakers, walking shoes, some closed-toe dress shoes with low heels, and most types of athletic shoes.
Accommodative orthotics use soft materials. These devices provide extra cushioning for patients who have uncomfortable sore spots from foot ulcers, plantar fasciitis, or other conditions. Wearing accommodative orthotics may require the use of prescription footwear because these devices can have too much bulk for average shoes.
Conditions that custom orthotics can treat
Orthotics relieve chronic pain by providing support to offset damage or deformity to the bones, nerves, ligaments, or muscles in your feet. Depending on your condition, Dr. Lukoff may prescribe custom orthotics in conjunction with other treatments, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or physical therapy exercises.
Custom orthotics can help offset physical deformities, such as flat feet or high arches, by providing proper support. They can also relieve heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
The extra support can also help alleviate the chronic pain of certain conditions, such as hammertoes, bursitis, shin splints, and tendinitis. By providing support in the right areas, custom orthotics can reduce pressure and inflammation on the affected areas and prevent these conditions from worsening.
Custom orthotics can also provide relief from the chronic pain associated with rheumatoid or osteoarthritis by reducing pressure on sensitive areas. The devices can also play an important role in diabetic foot care. Custom orthotics can help counteract the effects of diabetic neuropathy, a condition caused by diabetes that can affect sensations in the feet and cause instability.
Benefits of custom orthotics
Custom orthotics offer a treatment option that can give you relief from chronic foot pain without surgery. By changing the biomechanics of the way your foot rests when you stand or walk, custom orthotics can also relieve back and leg pain caused by misaligned feet. In many cases, you can achieve these potentially life-changing results discreetly and comfortably while you continue to wear normal shoes.
It’s important to recognize the difference between custom orthotics and inserts. Custom orthotics are medical devices prescribed by a professional to correct problems caused by faulty biomechanics or physical deformities. You can purchase inserts at the grocery or drug store to make your shoes more comfortable. However, while inserts may provide extra cushioning or arch support, they can’t achieve the same results as custom orthotics, because they’re not customized for your feet.
Though custom orthotics typically cost more than off-the-shelf inserts, custom orthotics usually last longer because they’re manufactured from higher-grade materials. They may also be covered by health insurance.
To see if custom orthotics can relieve your chronic pain and help you walk more comfortably, book an appointment online or over the phone with Foot Care Specialists, PC today.