Orthotics and Shoe Inserts

What are orthotics?

Podiatrists prescribe and construct foot orthotics. These are specially designed devices that are worn inside the shoe to control abnormal foot function and/or accommodate painful areas of the foot. Properly designed foot orthotics may compensate for impaired foot function, by controlling abnormal motion across the joints of the foot. This may result in result in dramatic improvement in foot symptoms. Functional foot orthotics are usually made from rigid materials, especially plastics and carbon-fiber composites. Visit our podiatrist in Irvine

Orthotics are constructed upon a plaster impression of the feet done by your podiatrist, and modified based on the podiatrist's evaluation of your problem. They are normally quite comfortable, and do not feel hard or uncomfortable in the shoe. Rigid orthotics normally last for years, additions such as top covers and extensions may require periodic replacement. Some patients, for example the very elderly, may not tolerate rigid functional orthotics. Under these circumstances, the podiatrist will prescribe an orthotic made from softer materials with special accommodations for painful areas. Many different materials can be utilized, such as rubber, cork, leather, and soft synthetic plastics. The podiatrist is in the unique position of being able to evaluate, diagnose, and treat your foot or leg problems. If orthotics are indicated, he or she can utilize the most advanced methods of construction.

Who should prescribe orthotics

Orthotics should be prescribed by the podiatrist and custom made for your feet. These may help the occasional patient with minor arch discomfort, but they frequently fail because they do not properly control foot function and/or do not properly fit the patient's feet. The patient should beware of individuals with no or inadequate training, who hold themselves out as experts on foot problems and orthotics. Only the podiatrist or foot doctor can diagnose foot problems and offer orthotics.

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