Orthotics: Effective Support for Your Feet

Sometimes feet need a little extra help to function at their best. Normal, healthy biomechanics allow your feet to move and absorb force efficiently, so you walk or run without pain. However, wear and tear over time or faulty foot mechanics can cause injuries—and thus discomfort. Orthotics help your foot correct and compensate for these issues, so you’re able to participate in your favorite activities pain free.

Not All Inserts Are the Same

Custom orthotics are unique insoles that have been prescribed to fit your individual feet and needs by an experienced expert, like Dr. Paul C. LaFata. They are designed to fit the specific shape of your foot and correct or compensate for your personal biomechanical issues. These special inserts fit into two categories: functional and accommodative.

Functional models are crafted to control abnormal motion. They prevent your lower limbs from moving in a way that strains or harms your foot structures. Accommodative models support your lower limbs and provide additional padding where it’s needed. They help reduce painful pressure on the lower limbs. Both of these custom insoles can be used to treat issues like plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, overpronation when running, and diabetic foot conditions , among other things.

These are different from the inserts you see in general stores or pharmacies. Over-the-counter inserts are prefabricated insoles that you buy off the shelf and slip into your shoes. They’re crafted for average limb needs based on average foot sizes, so they are not unique to your specific lower limbs. This also means they are limited in what they can do for your feet and ankles. Over-the-counter inserts benefit many types of foot discomfort, including aching arches and heel pain. However, they cannot correct biomechanical issues or appropriately accommodate complex foot health concerns, like diabetic foot complications.

Choosing the Best for You

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to orthotics . Some people have their needs met with simple over-the-counter insoles. Others need custom, prescribed inserts to correct conditions. Dr. Paul C. LaFata and our experienced staff will evaluate your lower limbs and determine what will benefit you and your pain the most. If you need custom orthotics, we will begin the process of crafting them for your unique feet or replacing them if you have a pair that's worn out .

We will need to make a cast or mold of your feet to get an accurate representation of your foot shape. Our staff will also examine your gait and determine how your custom inserts will accommodate your lower limbs. The cast and the analysis information are used to craft a unique insert that is then fitted to make sure it functions correctly. Once the orthotic is complete, you’re able to wear it regularly to correct your foot and ankle conditions.

Orthotics are one of the simplest ways of managing foot and ankle issues conservatively. They’re able to adjust your foot mechanics, pad painful spots, control abnormal motion, or simply add extra protection for your lower limbs. You don’t have to let discomfort continue controlling your activities or mobility. Let West Lawn Podiatry Associates outside of Reading, PA, help you. You can call us at (610) 678-4581 or use our website to reach our office for an appointment.