Treatments can serve many people for differing reasons. Classic aspirin, for example, might be recommended for relieving pain in one person, reducing fever in another, and preventing blood clots in a third.
However, bring up the possibility of custom orthotics to some people and the initial response is, “Who, me? Really?”
There is still some stigma around custom orthotics being only for older or less active people; that needing them means you must slow things down.
This is far from the truth! In most cases, custom orthotics are prescribed to manage the barriers that are keeping someone from moving optimally. Whether you’re seeking to improve your athletic performance, maintain mobility and independence, or just come home from work without being in agony from foot pain, orthotics could help with that.
A big part of this versatility is the “custom” part. Every orthotic is made specifically with the shape of a patient’s foot and their lifestyle needs in mind. That means wherever you are in life, custom orthotics may be able to address causes of pain or discomfort—and may even be recommended for preventing future problems from occurring.
Let’s dive a little deeper into how orthotics may benefit certain lifestyles and stages of life.
Physical activity is all about performance. You want your body to handle and perform at its best, whether your sport includes repetitive impacts such as running, hard pivots and turns such as in basketball, or something in between.
If you are “out of alignment” due to flat feet, high arches, or another abnormality, it can have negative impacts throughout the structure your body.
Often people don’t consider the fact that not only does an imbalance in your feet increase your risk of injury, it actually makes you less efficient with your movement and makes you expend more energy! Your legs, thighs, knees, and hips often must shift to accommodate your foot function, which can severely hinder your performance.
If pain or discomfort has been a persistent issue during or after your workouts, it’s worth an examination to determine whether the source of the problem lies in your foot structure. Addressing that can lead to more comfort, extended confidence, and fewer injuries wherever you play.
While sitting in a chair all day isn’t that good for us, those who spend all day standing, stooping, or otherwise on their feet often feel the negative effects of their jobs much more directly.
Manufacturing, construction, retail, hospitality, dining, and plenty other jobs can lead to plenty of daily strain on the feet. When there is a misalignment or lack of support, the forces of our own weight can be unevenly distributed across our feet and contribute to throbbing pain and fatigue at the end of the day.
Custom orthotics can provide both corrective alignment and cushioning that take excess stress off areas prone to pain, making for more comfortable work days. Orthotics may be recommended as part of a broader treatment plan that could include stretches and environmental changes, if possible (such as placing padded mats where workers must often stand for long periods).
People Who Live with Diabetes
If the effects of diabetes are a factor in your life, then foot protection becomes an extremely important consideration!
Diabetes can affect the body’s circulation as well as damage nerves. For the feet, this can mean that cuts and sores (such as blisters) can have a more difficult time healing. Even worse, these injuries might not be felt or noticed at all, allowing them to become worse over time and even dangerously infected.
When it comes to diabetes, custom orthotics and diabetic shoes are largely used as protective and preventative measures. By taking excess pressure off certain areas of the foot, the chances of injuries and sores developing there can drop.
Stability and comfort are also vastly important. We often want diabetic patients to stay active and moving, as this helps improve circulation and combat nerve degeneration. Orthotics can help ensure that the feet are properly cushioned against shock and avoid friction-based sores as they move.
Even if you are in the early stages of diabetes and have had a history of healthy feet to date, it is still important to have your feet professionally examined. Custom orthotics may not be necessary at this point, but even knowing what types of shoes will best accommodate your feet can help you and your feet remain healthier in the long run.
Whatever Your Walk in Life, We’re Here to Help
From children to adults, from athletes to stay-at-home parents, custom orthotics can be a helpful option for anyone who needs correction, comfort, cushioning, and relief from causes of pain.
Of course, orthotics is not a treatment for every condition out there. Depending on the problem and individual needs, other conservative methods might be suggested instead. In rarer cases, surgery might be required. Whatever our recommendations, our doctors will be sure to completely discuss all available options with you before deciding how to move forward.
The key (and we can never stress this enough) is that the sooner problems can be identified and addressed, the sooner you can find the relief and support you need!Our two conveniently located offices are always happy to see new patients. Call us at (480) 963-9000 to schedule an appointment or fill out our online contact form to have a member of our staff get back to you.