Custom Orthotics vs. Over the Counter Shoe Inserts: Which Are Best?

Posted by Dr. Brian Nagy on September 5, 2017

custom orthotic shoe insertOrthotics are used to provide additional support over and above what a normal shoe will provide. They are used to not only increase comfort but also support the arch and take pressure off of certain structures within the foot and ankle. Orthotics can be purchased over the counter or you can have them custom made by a New Hampshire podiatrist at Nagy Footcare. Sometimes the reduced cost of an over-the-counter orthotic isn't worth the problems that a poorly fitting support can eventually cause.

Why Customize?

Every person's foot is different. Although the overall structure is the same, the subtle nuances of the arch and curves of the foot are unique. The way you walk is also unique to your body structure.

An over-the-counter orthotic forces the foot to conform to it, while a customized orthotic is formed to fit the curves and arches of your foot. Having an orthotic customized to your foot addresses specific areas where pressure may cause pain and discomfort. It can also eliminate the discomfort that's sometimes associated with conditions like plantar fasciitis and bunions.

The Benefits of Custom Orthotics vs. Over the Counter Shoe Inserts

Having Dr. Nagy create orthotics that are custom for your feet provides many benefits over and above just conforming to the contours of your arches and curves. Using custom made orthotics not only offers benefits to your feet, but they can also displace pressure on other joints of the lower leg. When your feet are properly supported, it takes pressure off of the bones in your feet and ankles allowing them to function normally.

If you experience foot pain, it can alter the way you walk and especially the way you carry your body weight. Over time, this can cause intense pressure to be forced on your arches and the fascia of your feet.

When custom orthotics are put in place, this corrects the abnormalities in how your feet hit the ground. The support that is provided to your feet, will actually extend through the ankle joints and upward into the legs. Gradually, your gate will begin to become more natural, taking unnecessary pressure off of your knees and hips. 

What Conditions Will Custom Orthotics Address?

Custom orthotics can be used to correct many conditions that cause foot pain and discomfort.  

Plantar fasciitis is often treated with orthotics because they are capable of providing support exactly where it is needed the most. This allows the fascia to relax and function normally.

Using orthotics after an injury can hasten the healing process, providing natural support that allows the area to heal as it should without undue stress or strain. A good example of this is when a runner is dealing with an injury. A custom orthotic reduces the stress and pressure placed on the feet, encouraging healing and getting the runner back on track.

While an over-the-counter orthotic may work well for someone who has no real issues but wants the comfort of a shoe insert, a custom orthotic is best used when you have issues with your feet that prohibit you from walking without pain.

If you have arthritis or any other health condition that affects the joints, a custom orthotic can dramatically help when it comes to controlling pain and inflammation. The more you walk, the more inflammation builds within the joints. An orthotic works to relieve that pressure and eliminate inflammation.

Custom orthotics are extremely beneficial and can help you overcome much of the pain and comfort you feel when you walk or run. They are able to address many different issues that throw your body off balance and create excessive amounts of pressure on your feet, heels, ankles, and knees.

When you experience any type of foot pain on a regular basis, schedule a consultation with a New Hampshire podiatrist at Nagy Footcare to evaluate the health of your feet and determine whether or not custom made orthotics are right for you!

At Nagy Footcare, our best day is when you wake up with no foot pain.

10 Common Causes of Foot Pain eBook

Topics: Orthotics

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