Have you been suffering from pain in your heel or foot for ages, and you haven’t even run a marathon? Does your foot pain get worse in certain types of shoes? There’s a chance you may need custom orthotics to handle these issues. Why? Chances are if you need custom orthotics, you likely suffer from problems in how you walk, stand, or run. That’s right, and it’s not something you’ve done wrong through injury or overuse.
The good news is that Dr. Yeargain and Dr. Agyen should be able to remedy your issue in no time by creating custom orthotics for your left and right foot. At Yeargain Foot & Ankle, we work closely with you to develop custom orthotics that suit your daily activities and put you on the road to pain relief. The earlier we catch the problem, the sooner you will feel better.
We take a closer look at custom orthotics in the below post and answer the question: what are custom orthotics and any other questions you may have surrounding custom orthotics.
What Are Custom Orthotics?
If you’re struggling with biomechanical foot issues, like how you walk, stand, or run, custom orthotics can help. These are specially-made prescription devices designed to support your feet inside your shoes. What’s great about them is that they are custom-made, meaning they are made for you and no one else. At Yeargain Foot & Ankle, we use 3D scanning technology that precisely measures your foot and allows us to adjust the arch height, add additional padding, modifications and more.
Custom orthotics are divided into two categories:
- Accommodative orthotics: These are typically for treating painful calluses on the bottom of your feet, bony prominences and diabetic foot ulcers. They are soft and meant to provide additional support and cushioning inside your shoes. The 3D technology we use can accurately relieve these sites of increased pressure.
- Functional orthotics: These are crafted to control abnormal motion while standing, walking or running. We’ll do a thorough physical examination, and once we understand the abnormal activity causing your pain, we can correct this issue with a functional orthotic. These devices can also be used to treat bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, shin splints, flat feet, arthritis and more.
The Benefits of Custom Orthotics
- They are custom-fitted for your specific foot shape and particular needs.
- The right and the left orthotic is uniquely designed for your right and left feet.
- YF&A will work with you to determine what sports or activities you like to participate in, as well as your daily work or leisure shoe requirements, to determine the best type of orthotic device for you.
What Do Custom Orthotics Treat?
Besides helping with the mechanics of how you stand, walk, or run, custom orthotics can treat various foot and ankle ailments. Depending on the type of device needed, orthotics can be used to correct flat foot deformities, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, bursitis, diabetic ulcers, and foot, ankle, and heel pain. And one huge bonus is that orthotics can also help you avoid surgery by trying to realign and correct the issue or deformity causing your pain. Another thing orthotics can help with is relieving lower back pain and knee or hip issues. Custom orthotics realign your body from the ground up and support you where you may be weak or out of alignment. Now that sounds like an excellent investment all around.
Who Should Use Custom Orthotics?
If you need to change how you walk, keep your joints in alignment, or correct mild to moderate deformities, orthotics are an effective way to do this. Those who will benefit from having a custom orthotic created include:
- People with generalized foot fatigue, plantar fasciitis, flat feet, diabetic ulcers, and more.
- People suffering from recurrent injuries, orthotics can prevent or reduce the risk of further injuries. For example, if you have a history of having ankle sprains and feel weakness in your ankle, orthotics can help realign the forces going through your feet and increase the stability of your foot to reduce the risk of you rolling your ankle.
- People with arthritis, bunions, or hammertoes can benefit from these devices. Supporting the arch is the primary way to reduce the underlying cause of these deformities.
- Athletes and even weekend warriors can benefit from custom orthotics. Whether you’re trying to recover from an injury or prevent further damage, orthotics can help you get back to doing the activities you enjoy the most. A custom-made orthotic can optimize your lower body to perform at its highest level while reducing your chance of injury.
Will I Need to Wear My Custom Orthotics All The Time?
Like most health issues, it will depend on your condition. For example, with an accommodative custom orthotic, you may find yourself wearing this every day in all your shoes to help alleviate pressure or offload an area of concern. You may also like to wear them in your shoes every day because they provide comfort. There is no harm in doing this, as we know supporting your feet allows you to enjoy life and prevents injury in your lower extremities and spine.
For a functional custom orthotic, you may find you only need to wear the orthotics when you’re doing the activity that typically causes you pain. For example, let’s say you have shin splints only when you play soccer but not when you’re working out or during a typical day. Wearing a custom orthotic in your boot can mitigate the symptoms. Others may leave the custom inserts in their running shoes to prevent plantar fasciitis flare-ups.
It’s a case-by-case basis, but at YF&A, we usually advocate for patients to wear their orthotics as much as possible throughout the day to keep their bodies in alignment.
How Long Do Custom Orthotics Last?
Once again, this depends on the type of custom orthotic. But the good news is that custom orthotics average around 3-5 years. At YF&A, we’ve seen some patients bring in a pair over 10 years old and just need a quick refurbishment. Depending on your age, you may outgrow your orthotics. If you have noticed signs of damage, it’s time to have them repaired or even get a new pair.
Damage to look out for:
- When the top layer (cushion) compresses and starts to tear. A quick refurbishment of that layer will do the trick here, and you can have your orthotics looking and feeling brand new.
- Pain is always a sign that something is not right. If your orthotics eventually start causing pain or you notice the return of the original pain from a condition, it’s time for a new pair.
Are There Any Adverse Effects Of Having Custom Orthotics?
Adverse effects would only crop up if the custom orthotics are not made correctly, and according to your needs. It’s imperative to have a foot and ankle specialist evaluate your condition to properly assess the specific problems the orthotics are intended to correct. Of course, like with most new things, there’s also a slight adjustment period that may make your legs sore while your body is adjusting to being realigned.
At YF&A, we advise our patients to gradually break in their custom orthotics throughout a couple of weeks before wearing them full time. This will allow your body to adjust to the corrections being made. Breaking them in will also help prevent adverse effects or harm to your feet.
What’s the Difference Between Shoe Inserts and Custom Orthotics?
There is a major difference between custom orthotics and shoe inserts you buy online or in grocery stores. Prefabricated orthotics are not truly custom-made, but they can provide some benefit depending on the problem you have with your feet. They, of course, offer a “one size fits all” approach, and you purchase them based on your shoe size. Insurance companies usually don’t cover prefabricated orthotics, and they typically don’t last as long as custom orthotics. Custom orthotics are also made of top-notch materials that should last for many years when cared for properly.
Where Can I Get Custom Orthotics, and Do I Need a Prescription For Them?
Since custom orthotics are tailor-made just for your feet, they are considered prescription medical devices. You will need to see a foot and ankle specialist to have orthotics custom-made for you. And since they are prescribed, your medical insurance might help cover the cost—another bonus.
What Is the Process of Having Custom Orthotics Made Through Yeargain Foot & Ankle?
At Yeargain Foot & Ankle, we offer a variety of custom orthotics to help correct or accommodate your foot issues. We can make them for dress shoes, running shoes and all other shoes in between.
- After performing a thorough medical history and physical examination, we use modern technology to perform a 3D scan of your feet and then add the warranted modifications to help treat the issues that brought you into our office.
- Once the scan is sent in and the insurance is verified, our laboratory will hand-craft your orthotics and have them ready for you to try. Be sure to bring the desired shoes you would like the orthotics to be worn in to ensure proper fit.
- Appropriate break-in instructions will be provided to ensure your orthotics give the best outcome.
- Our goal is to craft custom orthotics that help improve your quality of life and get you back to enjoying the activities you love the most.
Contact Us Today
If you suspect you need custom orthotics, it’s best not to delay. Book an appointment with Yeargain Foot & Ankle today and we will customize the perfect orthotic solution for you. When you are experiencing any foot or ankle pain, it’s essential to see a specialist such as Dr. Yeargain and Dr. Agyen to access treatment that will put you on the path to recovery as soon as possible. As always, Dr. Yeargain, Dr. Joseph Agyen Jr and the clinic’s staff want their patients to heal as fast as possible while causing minimal disruption to their everyday lives. Our team wants you looking and feeling your best!
To learn more about any foot issues and the treatments we provide, have a look at our website. To book an appointment at Yeargain Foot & Ankle, call (214) 824-3851 or book an appointment via our contact page.
You’ll find Yeargain Foot & Ankle at 3801 Gaston Ave. Suite 330 across the street from the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.