Wichita Podiatrist Explains the Benefits Of Orthotics

Orthotics,  or orthoses, are footwear inserts worn to provide foot support and alleviate the discomfort, pressure, pain, imbalance, and other symptoms caused by foot and ankle deformities, injuries, misalignments, and degenerative diseases. But did you know that doctor-prescribed orthotics are more durable and provide more support and correction than off-the-shelf versions? At Central Kansas Podiatry Associates, Dr. Weaver and our team help people find the comfort and support they need to stay active. 

How Orthotics May Help You

Foot orthotics are used to treat a range of foot and ankle conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Big toe ailments
  • Bunions
  • Claw toe
  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Flatfoot
  • Forefoot pain
  • Heel pain
  • Hammer toe
  • High arches
  • In-toeing/out-toeing
  • Neuropathic ulcerations
  • Plantar fasciitis

Orthotics are frequently a less-invasive, low-risk treatment solution for many of these conditions. For example, some studies indicate that patients who choose orthotics to help alleviate plantar fasciitis pain and improve function do so within one to three months. Other studies into foot and ankle orthotics recommend using them combined with other clinical methods to improve rehabilitation. 

Choosing the Right Orthotics

The two main classifications of orthotics are accommodative and functional.

  • Accommodative orthotics are softer and provide extra support and cushioning for improved comfort and reduced distress on a problem area of the foot.
  • Functional orthotics are more rigid and treat problems and pain associated with foot and ankle motion. 

Shapes, sizes, and materials used to construct orthotics vary, depending on the needs of the patient. Common types of orthotics are arch supports, insoles, heel pads, and foot cushions. 

While you can try over-the-counter accommodative orthotics to treat minor discomfort, most people experience the best success with custom-molded options prescribed by a podiatrist. Prescription orthotics are designed to address a patient’s specific foot structure, gait, and ailment, fitted and constructed using innovative technology that scans your foot, providing podiatrists and orthotic laboratories with a computerized analysis of the foot that addresses the patient’s unique foot structure and walking style. They can also be crafted from a mold generated from a plaster cast of the foot.

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