Staying On Your Feet – The Importance of Orthotics.

For most people being on their feet is a joy.  Walking and running freely and without pain is something most of us take for granted, but for others with joint pain or abnormal gaits, simply standing can be an awkward and painful experience.   Thankfully, we have orthotics to help those people. 

Orthotics, also called orthoses, refer to any device inserted into a shoe to correct an ailment.  They come in diverse materials, sizes, and shapes and are designed to protect the foot, change the way the foot functions, or a combination of both.  While shoe inserts are often sold over-the-counter and might help those with minor symptoms they are nowhere near as effective as a prescription, custom made orthotics are.  Orthotic devices are created by taking a mold or image of the patient’s foot and building the orthotic to prescribed specifications. 

There are three common types:

  • Soft Orthotics – These are used to absorb shock, increase balance, and lessen pressure on sore spots.  These are generally used to assist diabetic, arthritic or deformed feet.
  • Semi-Rigid Orthotics – Built to provide greater foot balance for activity, and to mitigate pain while engaged in athletic training, these are often used to treat fallen arches and disorders that may create an abnormal gait in children.
  • Rigid Orthotics – These devices are built to control function and motion in major foot joints, and may improve or eliminate aches and pains from the feet all the way up to the lower back.

Custom, prescription orthotic devices a powerful tool in helping foot pain or correcting irregular walking patterns.  If you have these issues, you should schedule an appointment with podiatrist Sheldon H. Nadal D.P.M. at his Toronto office to assess if orthotics might be right for you.