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Orthotics

Orthotics are shoe inserts intended to reduce foot pain. They do this by providing support, correcting poor alignment, or by reducing pressure in problem areas in the feet.  Orthotics are not just “arch supports,” but rather inserts that direct forces in the foot to improve function and reduce pain. It’s important to understand the difference between the various types of arch supports and inserts available. Not all arch supports, or even custom orthotics, are the same. Consequently, it’s not accurate to lump all of these devices into one category.

Custom Orthotics: Custom orthotics are manufactured from a mold or image of your feet. Our office uses a sophisticated software and camera system to create a three dimensional image of your feet. A custom prescription is created and the information is sent to our orthotic lab. They manufacture the orthotic by hand and from scratch. In other words, they do not use pre-fabricated molds or devices. Every orthotic comes back matching the nuances of your feet and altering foot position and foot pressures according to the prescription we send with the mold. The advantage of custom orthotics is their comfort, fit, and their ability to alter foot biomechanics. They can be customized in hundreds of ways. This allows us to create an orthotic for your specific needs, whether that be a running shoe, casual shoe, dress shoe, or boots. In addition, they are more durable than other types of inserts – generally lasting from three to five years and sometimes longer.  Custom orthotics cost $350 for a pair. Some insurance companies cover orthotics while others do not. We can check to see if your insurance covers them in your case.

Pre-fabricated Orthotics: Speciality running stores carry orthotics that have been pre-fabricated with the intention of providing more support and comfort than general over-the-counter devices. Their advantage tends to be their comfort and they generally last longer than over-the-counter devices – generally 6-12 months. Our office carries a line of pre-fabricated orthotics we’ve found to be superior to other devices.

Over-the-Counter: Drug stores and shoes stores offer a variety of arch supports intended to support the soft tissues in the arch and foot. The advantage of these devices is their cost – generally in the $25 – $50 range. The downside is they are generic in shape and they wear out after three to six months of use.

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