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Don't be fooled by the shoe inserts you see while checking out at the grocery store;-- they claim to be the cure all for foot pain. They are helpful in providing comfort and support, but they cannot correct or cure your foot problems. Despite what the packages say, unless the product is prescribed by your doctor and customized for your feet,  it isn't an orthotic.

What Are Orthotics?

A custom, molded device that you place in your shoe is called an orthotic. They are made to align and support your foot and ankle, prevent or correct your foot deformity, and improve the overall function of your feet and ankles. Prescribed by your podiatrist, they match the exact contours of your feet.

Going custom may be more expensive than off-the-shelf shoe inserts but they last much longer and are considerably more effective in treating your foot condition. Prescription orthotics are made of professional grade materials.   

What Types Are There?

These custom devices come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are also made from many different materials. 

Rigid Orthotics are effective in controlling abnormal foot motion. Molded from the joints of your ankle, these inserts are effective in improving strains and leg pains as well as lower back aches. Primarily used for walking and dress shoes, they are made of firm plastic or carbon fiber.   

Soft Orthotics  are meant to provide cushion and support. This soft, cushioned orthotic device absorbs shock and relieves pressure. Also molded, these devices are worn against the sole of your foot and extend from your heel to your toes. They can be used to treat diabetic foot ulcers, painful calluses, arthritis, deformed feet, and other conditions. 

Semi-Rigid Orthotics orthotics serve in providing your foot with the proper balance for walking and exercise. This type of orthotic is made up of multiple layers of soft material and reinforced with rigid material. Athletes use these to relieve pains such as shin splints. Young children may have to wear semi-rigid orthotics to treat in-toeing or out-toeing disorders.

Who Wears Them?

Dr. Howard Schaengold prescribes foot orthotics to decrease foot pain and improve function. They are commonly worn by, but are not limited to individuals with one or more of the following foot conditions: bunions, corns, calluses, high arches, flat feet, stiff big toe, hammertoe, forefoot pain, limb length deformity, neuromas, ulcers, plantar fasciitis, and knee pain.

Where Do I Get Custom Orthotics?

Selecting the wrong type of device may exacerbate your painful foot condition rather than cure it. If you have pain or discomfort, schedule an appointment with Plateau Foot And and Ankle Clinic. By making an appointment, Dr. Schaengold can assess your health and look for contributing factors to your pain. Your gait and feet will be examined and questions or concerns will be addressed. If you need custom orthotics, your podiatrist will capture a three-dimensional image of each foot. These images will provide your expert with the measurements and unique features of your feet. Custom orthotics that accommodate your unique foot structure will be casted, and you will be on your way to improved foot movement and comfort.

Additional treatment to improve overall foot health may be recommended along with custom orthotics. Combining orthotics with stretching and exercise programs will alleviate stress and pain most effectively.

At Plateau Foot and Ankle Clinic, your feet are our top priority. Dr. Howard Schaengold is a board certified foot surgeon and sports medicine specialist who will provide you and your feet with lasting comfort.  If you're interested in custom orthotics, or need to be evaluated, make an appointment with our office in Sammamish, Washington today by calling (425) 868-3338! You may also make an appointment by clicking on our appointment request tab.