What Exactly Are “Custom Orthotics?”

Think of it as a tailored fit for your feet: custom shoe inserts, a.k.a. orthotics, can correct everything from too-high arches to painful hip joints to mismatched shoe sizes, and give you—finally!—the pain-free feet you’ve always wanted. Even better, orthotics can be made to fit any kind of shoes, even sandals, so you don’t need to sacrifice style for comfort.

There’s a world of difference between a pre-fab off-the-shelf shoe insert and an orthotic molded to your own foot: not only are your feet different from anyone else’s, but your two feet are also probably a little different from each other.  The purpose of an orthotic is to provide balanced support for your whole body by redistributing the load and providing correct alignment to your lower extremities which can reduce pain in your feet, knees, hips, and spine.

With 26 bones and 33 joints, the human foot is a complex piece of engineering, which is why orthotics have their own specialists called pedorthists (Rick Puckett, CPED, COF, Triad Foot & Ankle Center’s staff, is board certified and has received specialized training in lower extremity biomechanics and pathologies). An orthotic fitting begins with a thorough examination of your feet, ankles, and legs; followed by a custom mold and/or a 3D image of your feet, which will be used by lab technicians to shape your special inserts out of durable and flexible materials.

Unlike store-bought shoe inserts, custom orthotics typically last two or three years but it’s a good idea to have them checked every six months or so to make sure they’re still doing the job.  Many insurance companies will cover some or all of the cost of custom-made orthotics.

Want to explore whether orthotics are right for you?  Schedule an appointment with one of Triad Foot & Ankle Center’s highly skilled podiatrists in Greensboro, Burlington, and Asheboro; call 336-375-6990 or click here to request an appointment.

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