If you are suffering with foot pain, foot orthotics can be a great way to allieviate pressure and resolve the problem. Whether you are struggling with plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, foot ulcers or sports injuries, there are orthotic inserts to help.
However, with a bewildering choice of options, orthotics can seem unapproachable. When choosing orthotics, you’ll need to consider everything from your own specific foot issues to whether you want accommodative orthotics or rigid orthotics.
At Foot Solutions, we are specialists in custom foot orthotics. We’d recommend you seek professional advice before purchasing any kind of orthotic – but if you feel that an orthotic could help you, here’s our experts guide to choosing the right custom orthotics to resolve your foot and ankle pain.
What is an orthotic?
Orthotics are shoe inserts designed to redistribute weight and relieve tension in certain areas of the feet. They can also provide cushioning for tender areas, or come as more rigid orthotics designed to hold the foot at a certain angle to improve alignment and posture.
There are two main categories of orthotics – over the counter solutions, and custom orthotics. While over the counter options are easily available, they can’t provide the customised help and support that specially made orthotic insoles can. Custom orthotics are created uniquely for your feet, and so will specifically address the issues you are facing. This makes them much more effective.
Which foot and ankle problems can be helped by custom orthotics?
Most foot problems can be helped with the application of the right orthotics. However, it is important to select the correct devices for the job. The wrong orthotic could actually do more harm than good.
The right orthotics will be designed to address your specific foot problems. So whether you have heel pain or flat feet, your shoe inserts will be perfectly tailored to help.
Issues that custom orthotics can help with include:
- flat feet
- heel spurs
- foot ulcers
- plantar fasciitis
- arch support
- foot rolls
- overpronating foot
Orthotics can also be designed to correct abnormalities in the gait, which can reduce pain and provide relief from sore or injured areas.
What are the types of different orthotics available?
The nature of a custom orthotic is that it is unique – designed to help specifically with whatever foot problems you have. However, the different types of orthotics can be broadly categorized depending on need:
This type of orthotic is designed to provide shock absorption and extra cushioning.
These are often used to help foot conditions such as flat feet, providing both cushioning and stability.
These provide support and stability, preventing movements that can cause pain.
Additional to the nature of the structural support provided by the orthotic, they can also be categorised by size and function.
AFO – ankle foot orthoses
There are many types of AFO including rigid AFO, Hinged AFO, Dynamic AFO, prefabricated AFO, and silicon AFO. AFOs can be beneficial for conditions such as foot drop or reduced ankle stability.
Orthotic insoles can be beneficial for many conditions including plantar fasciitis, knee pain. back pain, foot and ankle pain. Your foot specialist will customise the materials used to make the insoles depending on the weight of the client, the reason for the insoles, and the type of footwear that the inserts are to be used with.
There are many different type of splints to help support a drop foot, from prefabricated, to custom made or silicon models.
Proper pediatric footwear can help with a range of foot problems including swollen feet, bunions, toe deformities, lymphodema, rheumatism, diabetes and osteoarthritis. Shoe adaptations can also be made to perform an orthotic function, and can be made to fit most shoes. Adaptations include compensatory raises, rocker soles, wedges, flares and many more.
What should you consider when selecting types of orthotics?
In order to get perfect orthotics, you will need the services of a professional foot specialist. They will make a full assessment of your feet and your medical conditions before helping you select your orthotics. Things they will help you consider in order to make the choice include:
Whether you have high arches and need good arch support, or you suffer from heel pain, it’s important to understand how your foot type affects your functional foot problems. You will likely undergo a gait analysis in order to determine how your body and the way you move may be contributing to any pain you are experiencing.
Knowing your foot type, especially which areas experience extra stress, is vital for choosing the perfect orthotics to help.
Your activity level should also be considered when selecting types of orthotics. If you are committed to an active lifestyle, you might select orthotics that are suitable for wear during high levels of activity. Likewise, if you have an active job that involves spending a lot of time on your feet, it’s important to mention this to your foot specialist, so that they can factor it in to your orthotics choice.
It’s vital that your orthotics fit properly. You probably want to ensure that they can be worn inside your favourite shoes, and this might affect your overall selection.
Who can help me select the right orthotics?
In order to get the perfect orthotics, it’s important to seek specialist help. Over the counter remedies might help for minor conditions, but if you require orthotics created specially for your feet, you will need to visit a professional.
At Foot Solutions, we are experts in creating custom orthotics and specialist footwear to help you overcome any issues you have with your feet. Our friendly service includes a full consultation and gait analysis, to get to the root of the problem, before taking careful impressions of your feet to obtain the perfect fit.
Each of our clients receives a service tailored to them, considered their specific problems and creating a unique and personalised solution.
Do you need orthotics to care for your feet?
If you’re struggling with foot and ankle problems, call Foot Solutions today. Whether you need ankle orthotics or new shoes with pediatric inserts, we can help you beat the pain and get back on your feet.