Bolstering the Body
Sometimes pain in the feet, ankles, and even knees, hips, and back can be traced to problems with the way your feet land when you walk or stand. If they don’t naturally strike the ground the way feet were designed to, whether because of an injury, muscle weakness, or normal wear and tear over the years, eventually you incur some damage and pain. If your biomechanics could be corrected—or at least supported—and your foot cushioned, the source of your discomfort would be eliminated and you would feel better.
Custom vs. Pre-Made
That is the idea behind custom orthotics. Truly custom support pieces are different from the inserts you see at drug stores. The orthotics you receive from Pequest Foot and Ankle Specialists are prescription-based support pieces. They are made after we examine your feet and identify your specific needs. Then a cast is taken of your foot, so the insert fits your feet exactly. These orthotics are able to cushion, stabilize, and support you, as well as correct a number of biomechanical issues.
No matter what they may say on the package, any pre-made inserts you pull off the shelf at the store are not custom support pieces, because they were not designed for your unique feet. Neither are special inserts you order online: no analysis or mold of your foot was taken to make sure it would accommodate your needs, so it only offers general support. These over-the-counter inserts you find in stores or on the internet can sometimes be beneficial, but they can’t correct a pre-existing problem. Also, since they don’t fit your unique body, it’s possible for them to actually cause more harm than good.
Custom inserts have a couple of different purposes. They can be functional or accommodative pieces. Functional orthotics are meant to control abnormal motion. They are usually semi-rigid and hold the foot in the correct position, relieving stress on the affected structures and eliminating your discomfort that way. Accommodative orthotics are softer to provide extra cushioning and support. They help protect the foot from pressure on sore spots. Depending on your needs, you may need one kind or a combination of both.
Additionally, there are several basic types of orthotics: arch supports, insoles, heel liners, and foot cushions. Arch supports brace the inside of the foot and offer extra stabilization. Insoles line the bottom of shoes and provide extra cushioning. Heel liners are special pads for the back of the foot, designed to stabilize and pad the area. Foot cushions act as an extra layer between problem areas in your feet and your footwear. When you have a prescription support piece crafted, these general designs can be combined or altered to provide the unique correction or protection that you need to be comfortable.
Pain in the feet is often caused by something not working correctly or extra strain placed on the foot structures. A prescription support piece designed to fit your body’s needs and correct your conditions can make a huge difference in eliminating your discomfort. If you’re struggling with painful feet or ankles, don’t wait until you can hardly walk to take care of the problem. The solution could be as simple as a custom orthotic. Contact Pequest Foot and Ankle Specialists in Belvidere for an appointment or more information by calling (908) 475-8750 or by visiting the website contact page.