Custom orthotics are inserts which are specifically designed for your foot. Now they’re different from over the counter insert because with a custom orthotic there is a cast made of your particular foot and from that cast an orthotic is designed. Where as the over the counter orthotic is made for a generic foot type for many people. And it may not be specifically for your foot.
That’s why many people say, from my office, that with a over the counter orthotic they get maybe 40-45% better, where as with a custom orthotic they’ll get 85-90% better. That’s a tremendous difference just due to the fact that a custom orthotic is specific for your foot and your pathology.
Now, with that being said, custom orthotic insoles address biomechanical deficiencies. Now a lot people have these biomechanical deficiencies and they don’t even know it. They’ll have foot pain for years. They’ll be walking around for years with foot pain and it’s just a way of life for them. And you give them a pair of custom orthotics and their pain, you know, goes away in a period in 4-6 weeks and they don’t know what to say, they’re flabbergasted. They’ve never felt a step without pain and these custom orthotics are the reason. They not only align your foot and ankle and put it on the most efficient way possible for gate but they indirectly they help your knees and they help your hips if you have hip and knee pain.
I can’t tell you the number of patients that have come into my office and they’ve told me “Doc, ya know, my knee pain’s gone! My hip pain’s gone! Ya know, what’s going on?” And it’s natural if you think about the kinetic chain of human body if you think about locomotion. If you align the foot and the ankle, you’re going to align your knees, you’re going to align your hips, you’re going to be more efficient in general. And that’s where the custom orthotics make the biggest difference from over the counter inserts. Cause there’s not that change in the kinetic chain with the over the counter inserts as with the custom orthotics.
Now with that being said, technology in orthotics is also advancing. There’s different materials, we can fit them in different shoes. It used to be where we could only fit orthotics in tennis shoes. And people would say, I don’t want to wear tennis shoes all the time! Now you can fit orthotics in more dress shoes. The materials are getting thinner, more rigid, more cushion.
So, with technology today, custom orthotics are definitely a cornerstone of treatment in my office. I recommend them to anyone. I recommend them to anyone who has had pain for many years, just to try them, to see if we can pinpoint that biomechanical reason why you’re having that pain. Because pain is not normal, you shouldn’t be in pain. And this is one way, a very easy way, which we can get you out of pain.