What Type of Orthotics Should You Wear for Your Condition?

Did you know that several pains throughout your musculoskeletal system can be traced to problems with your feet?

Misaligned feet cause your sinus tarsi (space between two bones on your feet) to collapse, making your feet roll inward excessively. This is the reason why you are having chronic pain. But once you address the main cause by wearing orthotics and using other foot and ankle services, the pain is eliminated.

Orthotics are custom shoe inserts or a medical device inserted into a shoe used to manage many foot problems, including bunions, hammertoes, flat feet, heel pain, arthritis, etc. But before you invest in orthotics, you need to understand their distinct types to determine which kind you need. If you’re on the watch for the best podiatry in Hamilton, check out Feet In Motion. They can accept weekend and evening appointments to suit your busy schedules. Feet In Motion relieves you of foot pain right after your initial consultation because they understand how this impacts your daily life.

Types of Orthotics

Orthotics have three categories: those that are customized prescribed by physicians to address foot problems and act as protection, those that mainly attempt to maximize foot function, and ones that protect the wearer from potential injuries. 

1. Rigid Orthotics

Rigid orthotics control the movement of two significant foot joints, which lie right below your ankle joint to help ease strains, aches, and pains in your thighs, legs, and lower back. They can also be used as dress shoes. These medical devices are durable, do not change shape, and are difficult to break. 

Their advantages include:

  • Made up of firm materials like plastic or carbon fiber.
  • You don’t need too much alteration to meet your shoe size.
  • They are extended from the sole of the heel to the feet or ball of your foot.

2. Semi-rigid Orthotics

These orthotics are usually utilized by athletes or individuals participating in sports because they’re designed to provide foot balance for walking. They may not offer a permanent solution to foot issues but can help support muscles, joints, and tendons.

Their attributes include:

  • Composed of layers of soft materials, reinforced with stiff materials.
  • Ideal for athletes and sports fans.

3. Soft Orthotics

Soft orthotics are designed to help absorb shock, maximize balance, and eliminate pressure off sore or uncomfortable spots. They are molded by your foot’s walking actions or fashioned over a plaster impression of your feet. They treat deformed, arthritic, and diabetic foot issues. 

They are:

  • Utilized to absorb shock, boost balance, or release pressure.
  • Made up of soft, compressible materials
  • Frequently recommended along with prescription footwear and may need extra space in your shoes.
  • Worn against the sole of your foot, extending from heels to toes.

4. Orthotics for Children

These medical devices are used to treat kids with foot deformities. Most podiatric doctors recommend that children with these kinds of issues be put in orthotics right after they begin walking to stabilize their feet. These can be placed directly into regular or athletic shoes.

Children’s orthotics are often replaced when their foot has increased two dimensions. Since their feet develop and change shape as they grow, different types of orthotics may be needed.

5. Other Types of Orthotics

Many other types of orthotics may be used as protection for people involved in sports like skiing, inline skating, and ice skating. They can also treat back problems brought on by foot imbalance.

For more complex ankle and foot deformities, custom or non-custom bracing is recommended to relieve pain and enhance function. It may stabilize your foot and ankle and might include an orthotic-like footplate. Most importantly, it can fit a standard shoe and may prevent surgery for ankle and foot issues.

Practical Tips in Wearing Orthotics

If you are advised to wear or are currently wearing orthotics, consider following these tips to avoid issues:

  • Bring your orthotics each time you buy a new pair of shoes.
  • Wear shoes, which function well with your orthotics.
  • Wear socks or stockings that are the same as those you intend on wearing when you purchase a new set of shoes.
  • Always follow or contact your physician’s recommendations and return for follow-up when needed.