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Do I Really Need Custom Orthotics?

Do I Really Need Custom Orthotics?

There may be a time and place for generic shoe inserts, but custom orthotics are one of the first — and best — lines of defense against podiatric problems. These prescription devices are made to fit your feet exactly and can address a wide range of issues.

In this month’s blog, Kelly L. Geoghan, DPM, highlights the important role custom orthotics play in foot care and injury prevention and who they benefit most.

When custom orthotics can help

Dr. Geoghan recommends custom orthotics for a range of foot and ankle problems. They’re even helpful when your leg or back problem stems from a foot or ankle issue. Some of these conditions include:

Custom orthotics complement our other podiatry services and are rarely the only intervention included in your treatment plan. Depending on your needs, you may benefit from physical therapy, prescribed exercises, bracing, medication, Multiwave Locked System (MLS) laser therapy, and shockwave therapy.

Do I need to have a foot problem to get custom orthotics?

Custom orthotics aren’t always a response to a problem. Competitive athletes often request custom orthotics to perfect biomechanics and foot, ankle, and leg function, avoid injury, and prevent problems in the future. 

Some skiers and ice skaters require custom orthotics to keep up with the demands of their activities. 

Why custom orthotics are better than store-bought

It might be tempting to grab a pair of gel inserts from the store, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice. Custom orthotics may require more financial commitment than store-bought inserts, but there are many reasons why they’re worth the investment.

Custom fit

The inserts on display at your store are for everybody and anybody. They’re not made with your specific foot shape, size, and mechanics in mind, and they’re certainly not designed to address your foot needs. 

Just as no two people are alike, no two podiatric abnormalities are the same. Because each patient experiences a condition differently, a cookie-cutter solution like store-bought inserts simply won’t suffice.

Dr. Geoghan prescribes orthotic inserts that match your foot's exact contours and shape, tuning them to meet the demands of your body weight and movements. 

Adequate support

Gel and foam inserts may give you some cushioning support for a short while, but only custom orthotics give you the long-term support and cushion you need exactly where you need it. 

Made for your lifestyle

When you’ve purchased inserts from the store, have you had to cut them down and wedge them into your footwear to make them fit properly? Dr. Geoghan considers your lifestyle and designs orthotics to fit your feet in virtually any type of shoe — even heels. 

Getting your orthotics

Your journey to improved foot and ankle function and reduced pain begins with a consultation. Dr. Geoghan thoroughly evaluates your feet, ankles, and legs and assesses the cause and severity of your condition. 

If custom orthotics are right for you, she discusses which of the three main types will serve you best — functional, accommodative, and semi-rigid. 

Over-the-counter inserts might address some mild foot and ankle problems. However, you shouldn’t expect long-term symptom relief, injury prevention, or improved foot mechanics. Only custom orthotics offer your body exactly what it needs. 

Ready to ditch your one-size-fits-all treatment plan and get shoe inserts that are tailored to you? Contact Kelly L. Geoghan, DPM, in Lutherville, Maryland, today to schedule an appointment.

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