Start 2021 on the Right Foot with Custom Orthotics
Let’s be honest here. Most of us are looking for a bit of a fresh start in 2021. After the year we’ve all experienced, we expect a lot of people are going to be taking their New Year’s resolutions even more seriously than usual!
If you really want to get a spring back in your step for the new year, it’s important to think a bit about your feet. Where do you want them to take you in 2021? And are they up to the challenge?
Chronic foot pain is one of the most common obstacles to achieving your personal activity goals, and also one of the most overlooked. But fortunately, it’s something that can usually be treated successfully without surgery—and quite often, custom orthotics are part of the solution.
Whether you’ve never had custom orthotics before and are struggling with foot pain, or you already have a pair you wear regularly and love, now may be the perfect time to pick up a new pair!
Why Custom Orthotics Are So Versatile and Effective for Foot Pain
First, an important caveat: orthotics are not going to be the solution to every foot problem. Not everyone will require them. Some people do fine with over-the-counter, prefabricated arch supports. Others may not need arch supports at all.
But there’s a reason that custom orthotics are frequently a great solution to many kinds of foot, leg, and even hip and lower back pain, and it has to do with biomechanics and alignment.
A significant percentage of painful foot problems—including many forms of heel pain, overuse injuries, and even foot deformities like bunions—are often at least partially the result of feet that have fallen out of alignment with the leg. Weak or flat arches, overpronation, and other structural or biomechanical foot problems can increase the amount of pressure and stress on certain areas of the foot, and also force joints and muscles further up the body to work harder in order to compensate.
Wearing the correct set of orthotics for your foot shape and your condition helps restore proper alignment, relieving strain and pain throughout the feet and beyond. And custom orthotics are going to give you the best possible performance, since they are specially made to fit you and you alone, using precise molds of your feet.
They also last a ton longer than off-the-shelf orthotics—typically 3-5 years on average, as opposed to 6 months or less for cheap, off-the-shelf alternatives.
Why Two (or More) Pairs Are Better Than One
But maybe you already knew all of that—because you already have a pair of orthotics, and you feel the benefits every day! If so, we are very happy they’re working out for you!
Here’s a question to ponder, though: Have you ever considered picking up an additional pair?
We know, we just said custom orthotics last 3-5 years. That’s a pretty decent lifespan already. Why would you need to pick up a second set so soon?
There’s actually a number of very good reasons:
- They’ll last EVEN LONGER. When you have one pair of orthotics, they’re holding up your entire weight all day, every day. When you have two or more pairs, now the load is being shared. That 3-5 year expected lifespan for a single pair could easily become 6-10 years for two if you cut the wear and tear in half for each set!
- Your orthotics can be even more specialized to fit particular shoes or activities. No two pairs of shoes are exactly the same. Dress shoes, for example, might run a little narrower and have a little less give and “wiggle room” than casual athletic shoes. If you have only one pair of orthotics, they might fit really well in one pair of shoes, but not as well in another. If you have two pairs of orthotics, we can typically modify them at our office so you can have one pair for one type of shoe, one pair for another, and a great fit for both.
- They’re a lot less of a hassle to deal with. We typically recommend our patients wear their orthotics every day, all the time. So if you have several different pairs of shoes and boots that you wear regularly, that means you’re switching your orthotics constantly from one pair to another. More orthotics means fewer swaps, greater convenience, and makes it more likely you can just throw on your shoes and go!
There’s one more thing to consider, and that is—of course—finances. Many insurance plans will fully or partially cover a new pair of orthotics at regular intervals (often yearly), even if the “old” pair is still in good shape. You may be approaching a deadline to spend tax-advantaged FSA money as well. If you find yourself in either of these situations, getting a new pair of orthotics now can actually make a good deal of financial sense, too.
When you consider all the benefits, the reality is that for most patients, adding a second pair of orthotics to their collection provides more than double the value of a single pair.
Make a Valuable Investment in Foot Health and Comfort
Don’t let foot pain keep you from achieving your dreams in 2021. The team at Sunshein Podiatry Associates can help you restore comfort and mobility and get that spring back in your step.
Custom orthotics—whether they’re your first pair, or just a new pair—may well be the answer. Or, they may not be. Either way, our team of experts is trained to help you find the best path forward to total foot and ankle relief.
To set up an appointment with Dr. Sunshein give us a call today at (937) 435-7477, or connect with us online by clicking the button below.
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