Custom inserts (orthotics) help to straighten your posture and reduce areas of pain and inflammation in your lower extremities and back caused by poor alignment. If you're ready to receive the level of care you deserve, call us at (415) 353-5715 or book online to the right. If not, read on to see how we can help! Hope to see you soon!
Here at Magdalena Blasko DPM, Inc., we have the experience and technology to create custom orthotics for all of our patients here in the Bay Area. Custom orthotics can treat a variety of ailments, from foot problems, to even lower back pain. They can improve and extend overall mobility and quality of life. Scheduling an appointment with a podiatrist will help you decide if custom orthotics are right for you.
Types of Orthotics
Custom, or prescription, orthotics can be organized into two categories: functional orthotics and accommodative orthotics.
Functional orthotics are used to help patients with abnormal motion of their lower extremities or injuries often caused by these abnormal motions, like shin splints, arch pain or ankle pain. At Magdalena Blasko DPM, Inc., we use GaitScan™ technology for a comprehensive, accurate, biomechanical evaluation for each patient in combination with computerized balance testing for the appropriate patients. Once the evaluation is concluded we use traditional plaster casting techniques to create a mold specifically for your foot. The cast is then sent to the lab where each insert is corrected manually for a perfect fit.
Accommodative orthotics are meant to provide cushioning and mild non-specific support. People with foot discomfort due to certain medical conditions benefit from accommodative orthotics. For example, people with diabetes with foot ulcers, with prominent areas of the foot that cannot be managed by other means, people with fat pad atrophy at the bottom of their feet, and other painful symptoms benefit from accommodative orthotics. These inserts are meant to make walking “cushioned” but in essence they will not change the way a person walks, providing pain relief without changing the alignment of your joints.
Depending on the cause of the pain, orthotics can also relieve back pain, knee pain, ankle pain, improve posture, and help align joints to relieve tension on other muscles and ligaments.
Shoe Inserts / liners / pads vs. Custom Orthotics
A shoe insert (over-the-counter inserts) are mass-produced, non-prescription foot supports that are designed to be slipped inside of a shoe when worn. Many people are familiar with the most common types, like arch supports, insoles, heel liners, and foot cushions.
While shoe inserts are helpful for some people who need a quick fix, many patients need something more than a temporary solution. For example, people with arthritic changes in their feet or knees need custom devices tailored to their feet to improve how they walk and, in more severe situations, to reduce the risk of ulcers and infections. People with a history of surgeries or foot ailments, like club foot, would also need custom orthotics to fit their unique shape.
One of the other major differences between shoe inserts and custom orthotics is customized fit. Custom orthotics typically cost more upfront due to the manual labor and time investment to fabricate each insert individually as well as the experience of the maker. Over-the-counter inserts are cheaper because they are mass produced by machines without any healing goal in mind, usually from lower quality materials. Custom orthotics can last for years, and insurance companies will often help pay for a portion of the cost.
Getting Custom Orthotics
The first step to acquiring custom orthotics is to visit a podiatrist. They will get a thorough health history, ask you questions about your activity, goals, and concerns, and perform a physical exam. The evaluation in our office includes computerized testing for gait and balance which not only allow for an accurate prescription but also for monitoring of your progress.
If we recommend orthotics for your specific situation and you decide that they are appropriate for you, we will create a mold of your feet and send it off for manufacturing. When you return, bring all the shoes you plan on wearing regularly and we will help you try on your new orthotics, teach you how to wear them, and answer any questions you may have.
Custom orthotics are effective, durable devices that can help relieve a variety of ailments. At Magdalena Blasko DPM, Inc., we have the technology and the experience to offer high quality custom orthotics. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today at 415-353 5715.