People who have issues with balance or who find walking and running painful may benefit from the extra support and cushioning provided by orthotic devices such as insoles and shoe inserts. Since pain is often caused by faulty bio-mechanics – poor foot function – addressing the bio-mechanical defects will often see the pain abate swiftly.
What are orthopedic insoles?
Orthotic insoles are often prescribed to help correct foot function to get the feet move in the correct fashion; however recent research suggests that these orthotic devices do not actually correct structural defects in the feet, but just make sure that proper support is provided to make up for what is naturally lacking.
Benefits of orthopedic insoles
Orthotic insoles may be used as a preventative step to stop foot problems from arising or as a therapeutic solution for foot problems. Most people assume that orthotics are just used for the treatment of specific foot conditions, and while this is certainly the case, they can be used simply to improve comfort when walking, running or participating in sports. Statistics show that approximately seventy percent of people suffer from faulty foot mechanics which caused the foot to pronate too much. This is the excessive rolling of the feet when walking and running. This gait abnormality can often be corrected with these orthotic devices.
Treat plantar fasciitis
Orthotics can treat plantar fasciitis, damage to the Achilles tendon, arthritis, foot corns and heel spurs and many other foot and lower body problems. Orthotic insoles can also help with the treatment of shin splints; the most common running injury. Visiting your podiatrist to get a physical examination of your feet may be required to help you choose the best orthotics for your feet. However, these shoe inserts alone may not be all that is required. Many people will also need to take medication to relieve inflammation, swelling and pain. Additionally, the services of a chiropractor may be recommended to manipulate the feet back into the correct position.
Softer materials used for greater comfort
The material used in the construction of orthotic insoles varies from brand to brand, with tough and rigid materials used for maximum correction, and softer materials used for greater comfort. They are put together in a way that helps cushion the bones and provide support to ensure optimal balance when walking and to support the foot arches and cushion the heel and balls of the feet. While it is possible to buy insoles without a prescription, for the maximum correction and comfort, custom orthotic insoles may be prescribed by a podiatrist. These are made based on a foot pressure analysis and will ensure that the feet are properly supported and cushioned.
There are many orthopedic devices that are made specifically for the treatment of foot problems, and you should seek out a model which will treat your specific problem. Some will be better than others, and a doctor or podiatrist will be able to tell you the types and brands which will be most beneficial.
Shoe inserts and arch support devices can be purchased without a prescription, but are different from custom-made models which cannot be found in stores. The costs of these devices depends on many different factors, such as the amount of arch and heel support they offer as well as their specific composition. Podiatrists may actually recommend a custom-made orthotic device for maximum support, although these will cost considerably more than the standard over the counter models. These custom orthopedic devices vary in cost from two to five hundred dollars, whereas standard insoles will cost around 10 percent of that.
Orthopedic shoe inserts on the hand are made exclusively for functional purposes, i.e. they correct biomechanical function of feet. While some manufacturers produce Solelab Insoles that provide arch support, they are mostly insufficient as they are most often made from soft materials.
Orthotic insoles have many different features, such as additional foam or gel to aid cushioning or rigid components for support and balance. The different materials in these corrective devices allow for bio-mechanical correction of movement no matter what type of foot structure you have. When choosing foot orthotics, although cost may be a concern, you should think about how they will benefit the health, and not how much of a dent they will make in your wallet. Foot health is why they should be worn, and a price cannot be put on that.