How to Know If Custom Orthotics Are Right for Your Feet

If you have medical problems or pain that you are experiencing when moving or standing, you might benefit from custom orthotics. This will depend on your gait, level of activity, foot type, and the status of your hips, knees, and ankles. 


What Are the Types of Orthotics?

There are a wide variety of orthotics available for different conditions. However, there are three major categories.


 • Soft Orthotic Devices

These orthotic devices help reduce pressure on uncomfortable sore spots, improve balance, and absorb shock. Their material is compressible and relatively soft. When there is a loss of protective fatty tissue on the foot side, like in arthritis, doctors prescribe this type of orthotic. They may also be helpful to people who have diabetes.


• Rigid Custom Orthotics

These orthotic devices are built of a strong material like carbon fiber or plastic. Doctors prescribe them when they want to control the structure of the foot. They control structure by supporting the 3 major arches in the foot. They help to eliminate pain that is caused by the abnormal functioning of the foot. The pain may develop in the lower back, thighs, and legs. However, they typically do not allow for normal motion and biomechanics of the various foot bones.


• Semi-rigid Orthotic Devices

Athletes usually employ these orthotic devices because they help balance the foot dynamically during running. They help tendons and muscles to perform more efficiently because they guide the foot through proper function. They are built with soft materials and reinforced with rigid materials, thus providing adequate support as well as improved function. These are the type of orthotics used in Dr. O’Neill’s office.


How Do You Know You Need Custom Orthotics?



• Your Feet Are in Pain or Inflamed

Orthotics help with problems that develop in the feet because of impaired function. The doctor will run tests to know the cause of your pain and swelling and may recommend orthotics or a different treatment method.


• Sharp Heel Pain

If you experience sharp heel pain when you wake up, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. It results from the inflammation of the tissue band that runs from the heel to the toes. This band of tissues is called the plantar fascia. It may swell because of several factors, like being overweight, flat feet, high arches, or if you stand for long periods. Doctors can alleviate the pain by using custom orthotics to cushion the heel.


• Abnormal Gait

If you have an abnormal gait caused by the irregularity of the pelvic symmetry, you may benefit from orthotics. It would be best if you had custom orthotics designed to correct your specific cause of abnormal gait.


• Shoes Unevenly Worn Out

When your shoes wear out on one side, it may mean that you are a supinate or pronate. In other words, your feet turn out or inwards. You may benefit from custom orthotics to help realign your feet.


• Balance Problems

Older adults may suffer from collapsed arches that predispose them to balance problems related to flat feet. Custom orthotics can help restore balance and prevent falls. 

For more on how to know if custom orthotics are right for your feet, visit Dr. Patrick O’Neill Chiropractor at our office in North Charleston, South Carolina. Call (843) 865-6500 to book an appointment today.

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