Aching feet? You’re not alone. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, almost 80% of Americans experience pain and discomfort in their feet at some point. And while it’s normal to feel occasional aches and pains (like after a long hike), daily foot pain isn’t normal.
For most individuals, practicing good foot hygiene, wearing the proper shoes with adequate arch support, and stretching the feet daily is enough to keep those feet healthy and happy; for other people, orthotics are vital for maintaining proper foot health.
With years of expertise in treating foot conditions, experienced podiatrist Mark Forman, DPM, MBA, FAPWCA of Put Your Feet First in Scottsdale, Arizona offers comprehensive podiatric care — including custom orthotics.
If you’ve never had orthotics, keep reading to explore all the potential benefits.
What are custom orthotics?
Not to be confused with the one-size-fits-all insoles or gel pads available in your local pharmacy, custom orthotics are tailor-made for you based on your symptoms and the function and structure of your feet. Custom foot orthotics are much more than added gel cushions for your shoes. These inserts also provide functional and accommodative support.
Types of custom orthotics
Depending on your unique needs, we suggest the right type of orthotics for you — either functional or accommodative.
Functional orthotics, which are made of rigid or semi-rigid materials, regulate abnormal foot motion, address improper foot mechanics, or reduce pain.
Unlike functional orthotics, accommodative orthotics make use of softer material, ideal for providing support and extra cushioning where you need it most. Accommodative orthotics may be ideal for individuals struggling with painful foot conditions, such as diabetic foot ulcers and tender calluses.
5 benefits of wearing custom orthotics
Relieving foot pain is the most well-known benefit of orthotics (whether they’re custom-made or OTC), but if you opt for the custom-made orthotics, you’ll also experience these top five benefits:
1. Keeping the kinetic chain in good standing
All of the bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and joints that make up your feet must work in unison to get you comfortably from Point A to Point B. If any one of those bones, tendons, muscles, ligaments, or joints aren’t in their optimal position, you’re more likely to experience pain, discomfort, and fatigue. Because of the kinetic chain, foot pain isn’t isolated to just your feet. You might start to experience hip or knee pain too. Orthotics can help prevent a kink in the kinetic chain.
2. Improved ability to walk comfortably
When a functional disorder such as hallux valgus makes walking painful, an active lifestyle can quickly become a thing of the past. According to research published in PLoS One, functional disorders not only halt your active lifestyle, but they also increase your risk of falls if you continue to walk or run without proper podiatric care.
Because your custom orthotics provide personalized anatomical support (and, of course, increased comfort), you’ll see a reduction in pain that leads to improved mobility.
3. Restored comfort
While over-the-counter inserts promise comfort, the reality is that they just don’t provide enough support to tackle some of the more problematic foot conditions, including gout, chronic heel pain (plantar fasciitis), flat feet, and high arches. When the support is placed to address a specific problem, your feet benefit.
4. Improved posture
Did you know that shoes can affect your posture? Poor posture isn’t just about slouching while you sit. Posture refers to how you carry your body whether you’re walking or sitting. Wearing ill-fitting shoes increases your chances of developing the kind of poor biomechanics that can contribute to poor posture. Think about how a person wearing too-tall stilettos may slouch over to find a center of balance — not to imagine the increased risk of twisting an ankle!
By stabilizing your feet and supporting your body’s natural alignment, custom orthotics help support the kinetic chain by addressing faulty foot mechanics.
5. Pain relief
If you’ve ever developed a blister from ill-fitting shoes, you know that foot pain consumes you. It’s tough to ignore a throbbing foot.
Custom orthotics can help realign your feet into a healthier functional pattern that promotes healing, relieves pain, and takes the strain and pressure off your ankles, legs, hips, and back.
Cutting-edge technology yields a perfect fit
Here at Put Your Feet First, Dr. Forman utilizes advanced 3D digital scanning technology to capture accurate images. This ensures your custom orthotics are perfectly tailored to your feet and your symptoms.
If you have chronic foot pain, we can help you take the next step forward — call our Scottsville, Arizona clinic at 480-423-8400, or click online to schedule an appointment today.