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What Are Orthotics And When Do You Need Them?


Nearly 80% of people say that they’ve dealt with severe foot pain at some point in their lives.

There are countless reasons for pain in the feet: misalignment, poor posture, excess body weight, injuries, problems in the joints, and even long-term foot conditions to name a few.

The good news?

You don’t have to continue to live with foot pain that can make it difficult for you to do the things you love. Instead, rely on custom orthotics to help you live a more comfortable life.

But what are orthotics, exactly?

Also, how do you know if you need them, and why should you consider getting them in the first place?

Keep reading this post for the answers to all those questions and more.

What Are Orthotics?

Let’s start by answering the most important question of all:

“What are orthotics?”

In the simplest terms, they’re inserts that go inside of your shoes to offer your feet support, added comfort, and even corrective action.

Orthotics don’t just provide a “cushion.” They actually work to change the way you walk, move, and distribute your weight throughout your feet and body. Over time, they can gradually and safely improve your pain, posture, stress, and much more.

For many people, custom orthotics can even eliminate the need for invasive and potentially dangerous surgeries.

To get the full benefits, you should opt to have a customized pair of orthotics made just for you. Going with a standard orthotic that wasn’t designed for your specific feet can sometimes actually cause more problems than they help to alleviate.

Many people incorrectly think that orthotics are designed to conform to your feet to keep you comfortable. Really, they’re designed to help you to walk and stand more effectively and safely.

Signs You Need Orthotics

Now that you have a better understanding of what are orthotics, let’s discuss some of the most common signs that now is the time to get them.

The best way to tell is by looking at the soles of your shoes. Notice if one side of the sole is more worn down than the other. If so, this is a sign that your foot is rolling inward or outward.

If you leave overpronation or oversupination, you may be at risk for serious joint damage and discomfort down the line.

Sometimes, this happens because one leg is a bit longer or shorter than the other.

There are other, more obvious, ways to tell if orthotics are the right choice for you.

Are you dealing with throbbing or even stabbing pain in your heels and feet? If so, you could be at risk for developing Plantar Fasciitis. Additionally, you may have already damaged your feet by wearing shoes that didn’t really fit you.

You should also consider orthotics if you’ve recently suffered from an injury, especially within the legs. When you’re injured, it’s incredibly easy to misalign your walk.

This can make the injury worse, lengthen your healing time, or even lead to the development of other serious issues down the line.

To learn more about the current shape of your feet, you can also try what’s called the “wet test.” Dampen your feet and create footprints on a piece of newspaper. If you have a small c-curve in your arch, you likely have oversupination.

If your foot doesn’t have any sort of a curve at all? You may have overpronation in the foot.

The Benefits of Orthotics

There is certainly no shortage of benefits when it comes to investing in over the counter orthotics.

First of all, they offer serious foot support. To stay healthy, you should spend at least four hours every day standing.

That can put some serious pressure on your feet. Without proper arch support provided by orthotics, you’ll be at risk for collapsed arches, extreme foot pain, and even problems in your knees.

With the proper orthotics, you may even find that you suffer from far less back pain than in the past.

In some cases, the right orthotics can also stop you from developing uncomfortable and unsightly corns and calluses on the foot. They can even help you to avoid bunions.

Plus, orthotics are also corrective.

If you have pronation (arches that are so collapsed that your ankle moves towards the middle of your body) orthotics help to correct your posture and take pressure off your feet. They can also correct supination, or high arches that can lead to an imbalance in the body.

You can even invest in sports orthotics to keep you comfortable on the court and lessen your likelihood for injury.

Whether you enjoy walking, working out, or just want to keep doing your standard daily activities, orthotics allow you to stay on your feet for longer without feeling the pain.

Custom Arch Inserts for Shoes

So, you can now answer the popular question, “What are orthotics?”

You also have a much better understanding of when you need to consider orthotics, and the benefits they can offer.

However, it’s important to avoid taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach to orthotics.

At PTI Orthotics, we offer you more than 30 types of orthotics so that you can get the best possible solution for your needs.

We have lots of different materials to help us create a custom orthotic insert to treat your pain points, injury, offer corrective solutions, and much more.

Once you’ve received a diagnosis and orthotics prescription from your primary care doctor, podiatrist or another healthcare provider, schedule an appointment with us to get the best possible orthotics.

We can’t wait to help you get back on your feet again.

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