The human foot is truly an amazing and complex part of the body. How we walk, step, and stand can all have a direct impact on the strain put on the rest of our body. Foot pain and discomfort can cause you to compensate by adding stress to other parts of your body, potentially causing medical issues down the road. If you’re experiencing these problems, then you may want to consult with your physician or physical therapist to explore the possibility of using orthotics. It’s important to note, however, that not all orthotics are created equally. In fact, the quality and make of your orthotics can make a huge difference. While you may be tempted to resort to the over the counter options for orthotics, custom foot orthotics could be the best choice for you. Read on to find out exactly why.
People who are actively on their feet often, such as athletes or service industry workers, are more prone to injury because of the amount of stress they place on their feet. Over the counter orthotics can comfort a lot of that pain by cushioning and supporting the foot, however they do not place the proper amount of support on the foot. With every foot being different, over the counter orthotics companies produce orthotics to fit the general public. They tend to evenly distribute the stress on the foot while custom made foot orthotics work to reduce the overall fatigue placed on the foot. By doing this, it can also evenly distribute the stress that is placed on your legs, knees, hips, and back, which greatly decrease your chance of injury. This is something that over the counter options simply cannot do as they are not made to fit your specific foot. If you’re looking for something to prevent injury and improve your overall performance, go with the custom made orthotics.
Over the counter orthotics definitely provide one important thing: instant pain relief. Placing a gel massage insert into your shoes will cushion the foot immediately, letting you feel a difference right away. Custom-made orthotics, however, takes some more time to be effective. It can be a difficult adjustment at first because orthotics are meant to fully support and help shape the foot in a way that is efficient for your entire body. You have to wear them for a few hours a day while you adjust and you may even experience some blisters. The difference, however, is that over the counter options only deliver instant gratification and cushioning. Custom-made orthotics are designed to actually help adjust your feet into a healthier and more helpful position that will help your overall physical health in the long run. Orthotics can help combat things such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and more. In fact, they could be a relatively permanent solution barring any extreme growth or weight loss. Over the counter inserts, however, are simply temporary solutions to a longer lasting problem.
One of the drawbacks of custom-made foot orthotics is that they can be a bit pricey. The reason custom orthotics are pricey is because of the time and work that goes into creating a custom-made piece including making a mold of your foot, analyzing the foot and all three arches, determining what kind of support you need and what you’re using it for. For example, an athlete’s orthotic will be totally different from a workman’s orthotic. Over the counter orthotics are most certainly cheaper in the short term, however most of them only treat one of the foot’s arches. This can cause overcompensation, create pain, and worsen certain types of injuries, leading to expensive treatment options. If you find that you need more specialized care than an OTC solution, don’t be afraid to ignore the price tag and put value into your future health.
In the end, the difference is simple: custom made orthotics will help your ailments in the long run while over the counter options are used more to provide relief to certain symptoms. If you are experiencing difficulty walking, a great deal of foot pain, or suffer repeated injuries, then it’s time to talk with your physician or physical therapist about getting custom made foot orthotics. If you’re looking for the best in the business, look no further than Impact Physical Therapy. Paul Thomas is trained to help you determine what is causing your pain and is able to assist in the creation of your orthotics. Aside from orthotics, we offer a variety of services and have dedicated ourselves to serving our patients to our full capabilities. With convenient locations in and around Chicago, we are members of these diverse communities who simply seek to help those in need. If you have any questions about orthotics, appointments, or any of our services, please feel free to contact us today. Take the first step in walking away from pain, visit Impact Physical Therapy today to get your custom-made foot orthotics.