Your feet are, quite literally, the foundation on which you stand and walk. If the way you stand and walk is not correct, this can cause pain in your feet, ankles, legs or back.
One tool for correcting the way a person stands or walks is the use of medical-grade shoe adaptors known as “orthotics”. Some of them look like shoe inserts, or insoles, commonly sold at pharmacies. However, there are key differences:
Most “over the counter” inserts are made of rubber, foam or gel and offer comfort but not support.
Orthotics help the patient have better motion control and support.
Orthotics are tailor-made to fit the patient, like prescription glasses.
Orthotics last longer
Each set of orthotics is designed to treat a specific, diagnosed, condition
Orthotics must be prescribed by a podiatrist.
In addition to examining the feet, podiatrists are trained to observe how the patient walks and moves. This helps them understand what underlying issue is causing pain. If necessary, the podiatrist can order imaging and other tests.
Once a diagnosis is made, the podiatrist can pinpoint what type of treatment is needed. If the podiatrist prescribes orthotics, impressions or molds of the feet may need to be taken. If orthotics alone won’t solve the problem, additional treatments, such as rehabilitation therapy, may be prescribed.