Orthotics are devices that you can wear in your shoes to help place your feet in better anatomical alignment. This helps you function in a way that reduces stress and strain on your feet. Orthotics help support the arch and this in turn will help distribute the pressure more evenly across the bottom of your feet. If there are certain areas of your feet where you tend to have more pressure or even build a callus, the orthotic will help reduce the pressure here.
There are many foot pathologies where orthotics will be of help. For example, orthotics are commonly used to treat flat feet. If you have flat feet your arches will naturally flatten out. This places the bones and joints in a poor position resulting in excessive pressure and pain along the arch that can even extend to other parts of your feet. Long term, you can injure surrounding tendons and ligaments and develop arthritis resulting in chronic pain. Using an orthotic early on will reduce pain and give you adequate arch support so that you are at least risk for complications that can arise from flat feet.
There are two types of orthotics, custom and over-the-counter (OTC). Custom orthotics are made specifically for your feet and generally are more supportive then OTC orthotics for this reason. Custom orthotics can be further modified to better address the specific foot issues you have. OTC orthotics can be purchased off the shelf. They may be helpful in giving you some support, but because they are prefabricated they may not address the specific issue you may have.
We offer both options here at Aloha Foot and Ankle Associates and can create orthotics to address your specific needs. If you are interested in learning more about orthotics or think you may benefit from them, call our office today!