Why Orthotics Help
Orthotics are medical devices customized for your feet. They can be used to provide the proper arch support you need, which corrects pronation abnormalities.
It is important to note that custom orthotics are not the same as shoe inserts you can buy at department stores or off the shelf at pharmacies. The key difference is that custom orthotics are carefully crafted to work in accordance with your unique foot structure and arch support needs. If you simply are looking for extra cushioning, inserts are fine. If you are experiencing foot pain and need a medical solution, come see us here at Sunshein Podiatry Associates.
Orthotics are certainly beneficial for correcting problems caused by high and low foot arches, but they are also used in treatment for a wide range of other conditions as well. Plantar fasciitis, bunions, diabetic foot ulcers, and other ailments can all potentially benefit from this particular form of conservative treatment. As with the case of arch abnormality, the shoe inserts found in stores cannot accommodate these conditions.
Types of Custom Orthotics
Custom orthotics come in various sizes and shapes, and are constructed from a variety of materials, in order to achieve any of several different objectives. Typically, orthotics are used to protect feet from injury, correct abnormal biomechanics, or combine protective function with motion control.
Types of orthotics include:
Soft Orthotics – Soft orthotics are typically prescribed to absorb shock, increase your balance, and/or relieve pressure on sore or uncomfortable areas in your foot. Foot deformities (bunions, hammertoes), arthritis, and diabetic foot care are all reasons you could benefit from soft orthotic devices. In order to provide superior cushioning, they are constructed from soft materials and may extend along the length of the entire foot.
Rigid Orthotics – Whereas soft orthotics serve to decrease pressure and protect the foot, rigid models are used to restrict or control abnormal biomechanical processes. In order to do so, this type of medical device has a solid construction necessary for regulating movement. Rigid orthotics are constructed from plastic, carbon fiber, or other firm materials. They are often intended to be worn in walking or dress shoes and can help alleviate or eliminate foot pain, aches, or strain in the lower limbs.
Semi-Rigid Orthotics – When you need both the cushioning benefits of soft orthotics with the motion-controlling aspects of rigid ones, Dr. Sunshein might prescribe a semi-rigid version. These usually combine layers of soft materials and are reinforced with rigid ones to provide structure, improve balance, and still offer a certain degree of cushioning. They are especially excellent for athletic use, and may be prescribed to athletes who experience pain while training or competing. Children with certain issues, including flatfoot conditions, can also benefit from this particular orthotic style.
Looking For More Info? Download Our Guide!
Exercise is just one component of living a healthy lifestyle despite your peripheral neuropathy. You also want to make sure you maintain a healthy diet, and of course work closely with your medical team (including the folks here at Sunshein Podiatry Associates) to make sure you get the advanced treatments you need.
To help you with the “at home” component, we’ve written a brief downloadable guide on health and wellness. Keep it on your phone or print it out to keep those diet and exercise guidelines easily accessible and top of mind!