Obviously in podiatry, custom made orthotics are used to manage a number of foot problems. Many patients are hesitant to make that leap into custom orthotics and rightfully so as they can run hundreds of dollars. Take a minute and read our philosophy on custom devices.
- You should always try a quality over the counter device first. This is true in most cases. There are a few exceptions, in which we know from experience the OTC devices will be a waste of your time and money. Now let me emphasis QUALITY!! I recommended FootSteps, they run between $45 and $50. Not the ones you can grab from the drugstore and certainly NOT the Dr Scholls' custom scanner...don't be fooled, these are NOT custom devices. It’s a computer telling you (with very little knowledge) what OTC device you need.
- Think of the difference between Custom orthotics and OTC as the difference between Eye glasses and magnifying glasses. While the latter will help you see...it won't solve your problem. 3-Custom orthotics provide long term relief. While they are expensive, they will last you 2-3 years and typically keep your foot pain from recurring.
- Not everyone needs orthotics. If you are having pain that is not resolving with other treatments, that is when custom devices should be introduced in your care. If someone says you need orthotics right off the bat...you should be wary.
- They should be fitted by a foot specialist...a podiatrist. I am a firm believer that custom orthotic should NOT be prescribed by someone who doesn't specialize in the foot. The number of patients who come in and tell me that they got orthotics by someone who doesn't specialize in the foot and they aren't working well is astounding.
- The person who prescribes your orthotics, should actually wear orthotics. How can a mechanic fix a car if they don't own one? I have worn orthotics since I was a teenager and I know all the struggles, the break in, the problems adjusting, the shoe gear fit, too cushioned, not enough cushioning...I have had them all.
- Remember they are a custom device... just like anything that is made just for you it may take some time to adjust to it. We may need to make additions, subtractions...to make them just right for you. Most importantly, talk to your doctor to see what is best for you.