What are custom orthotics?

Visiting a local chiropractic office for chiropractic therapy is an effective and safe way to treat back pain and restore mobility. But did you know that’s just the beginning of what a full-service chiropractic care center can do for you? Many chiropractic offices also offer patients a range of treatments, including custom orthotics. Orthotics work as medical shoe inserts designed to support abnormal foot movement. These simple devices can help people experiencing a variety of foot and ankle related health problems.

But what exactly is orthosis? And how are they different from custom orthotics? Here we take a closer look at the world of chiropractic care and orthotics to learn more about the impressive health benefits that can be experienced from these relatively simple medical shoe inserts. After all, the best things in life are simple, right?

Exactly what are these orthotics?

Let’s start from the beginning. What do we mean when we say “orthose”? According to Neuhaus Foot & Ankle, orthotics are medical shoe inserts that support abnormal foot movement that can be caused by a variety of health problems or injuries. Orthotics essentially support the movement of your foot to complement what your shoe is already doing. Orthotics can relieve pressure on the foot or ankle and relieve discomfort or pain you feel while standing or walking throughout the day. Orthotics serve as a relatively simple way to provide comfort and support for your feet, ankles, knees and legs.

What are the two main types of orthotics?

When considering orthotics, there are two primary types you can choose from: general orthotics or custom orthotics. General orthotics are your more common and widely available option that you can even pick up at a local pharmacy. These general orthotics will usually be cheaper than the alternatives, but there is also a reason for this. Most patients note that the generic version of orthotics are not as effective in providing support, stability and pain relief as they may find from the custom version.

Why is this? Well, it’s pretty simple. General orthotics are mass produced, and unlike custom orthotics, they are not designed specifically for your body and needs. Of course, the lower cost may make this option more appealing to some consumers, but most would agree that the health benefits outweigh the initial sticker cost. Of course, it is advisable to first talk to your doctor to determine which orthotics are ideal for your care needs.

The main benefits of custom orthotics

Why do people even use orthotics in the first place? Apart from providing relief from pain, there are quite a few benefits of using these devices. Getting the right custom orthotics designed for you offers a number of benefits.

Some of these top benefits include:

  • Helps improve your gait.
  • Supports good posture.
  • Maintains proper musculoskeletal alignment.
  • Provides relief from pain.
  • Relieves pressure, especially for those with arthritis.
  • Corrects foot abnormalities.
  • Increases comfort when walking and staying active.
  • Keeps you active and independent.

How do custom orthotics work?

By now you’re probably thinking that custom orthotics sounds like a good and safe way to deal with a range of health problems. But how does it all actually work? Well, instead of picking up generic orthotics at your local pharmacy, the custom orthotic process is a bit more intensive – but it’s definitely worth the extra effort.

First, visit your doctor or chiropractor who will check your shoes. Why? Because most doctors will agree that custom orthotics are only as good as the shoes they are used with. Your doctor will assess your shoes to determine the level of support they offer and if they bend exactly where they should. For some patients, simply wearing better shoes may be effective to provide comfort and pain relief. If new shoes are necessary, they can even make recommendations to get the right pair for your gait and needs.

Next, your doctor will work on realigning your feet. Then they form the custom orthosis for your feet inside the shoes. Once fitted, you can take a quick walk around the office while the orthotics are fitted. You can also rate how they feel and the overall level of comfort you feel. Last but not least, your doctor will check the orthosis to see if any minor adjustments are needed. Your doctor will not complete the process until they have created the perfect custom orthosis for your needs.

Conclusion – What are Custom Orthotics?

Health problems involving the foot, ankle or legs can cause pain, discomfort and even limit what you can do with your day. In fact, with poor posture and pain felt when you walk or just stand, it can point to a bigger health risk that affects your entire body. Over time, this discomfort can affect your hips, knees, spine and more which can only get worse. But if you’re looking for an effective way to treat gait problems, you may owe it to yourself to check out custom orthotics.

Compared to the generic option, there are many advantages to using custom orthotics for your needs. Custom orthotics are specially designed to fit the unique structure of your foot and to respond to your unique needs. Whether it’s a foot problem, ankle problem, or you’re recovering from an injury, custom orthotics can be designed to address the exact source of your pain or discomfort. When you start wearing your own orthotics, many patients notice that they experience pain relief, better mobility, and simply the ability to find yourself active just like you once were. And while custom orthotics may be a little more expensive and time-consuming than the generic option, your freedom is definitely worth the cost.

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