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Orthotics are custom shoe insoles that help with foot and ankle issues. They also help to prevent injuries. Here are common reasons you may need orthotics.

Custom orthotics are inserts that can be placed into shoes to help with various foot and ankle problems. Foot problems can be painful and can even affect walking and other aspects of everyday life. If orthotics are prescribed, it is likely to address a specific problem such as an injury or a genetic problem. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons that you should wear custom orthotics that are prescribed by a doctor.

Reduce Joint Pressure

When walking or running, the weight of your body and the pressure on your joints will be distributed with every footstep. Orthotics can help to properly displace this pressure on various joints so that the pressure is even and does not cause damage to the body. Orthotics are great for addressing pain and problems associated with bad posture or bone and joint placement. 

Better Mobility

Orthotics can also make walking or running much easier. This means that wearing orthotics can improve stamina and decrease pain while accomplishing certain tasks. They can also make it easier to stand all day for responsibilities such as a full day at work.

Relieve Back Pain

Since orthotics can help reduce pressure in the joints, they will also relieve pain and pressure in the back. Back pain can often be caused by an overcompensation of the spine for the feet and ankles. When the feet and ankles are working properly to redistribute pressure and weight, you will notice a substantial decrease in any back pain that you may have been experiencing.

Reduce Risk of Injury or Repeat Injury

Another benefit of orthotics is the ability to reduce the risk of further injury or repeat injury. This is especially true if the injury occurs due to posture, joint or bone placement, or overall positioning problems in the foot. If the foot and ankle are being held in such a way that they are kept in a healthy working position, there will be less risk of injury or repeated injury. Orthotics can also be used to position the feet in a way that promotes healing from a previous injury or surgery.


If joints, bones, muscles, or ligaments are out of place or mispositioned, orthotics can help to situate them in a way that allows them to grow into the correct position. This, however, tends to be a slow process and the orthotics should be worn consistently, and is more effective if started at an early age.


Orthotics for foot correction or ankle and foot orthotics are only effective if they are worn consistently. If you only wear them on occasion, they can damage the feet and ankles or exacerbate the existing issue. Wearing your custom orthotics is simple, however. Most of the time, they can just be placed in the shoes and changed to other pairs if needed. Some people also like to have several sets made so that they can keep them in multiple shoes at one time to make changing shoes easier.

The Process

When your doctor prescribes orthotics, you will be required to make an appointment to gather the information that they need to make them. This appointment will usually entail taking detailed measurements of your feet, ankles, and legs, as well as watching you walk to obtain all the detailed information about your biomechanics. Often an Xray will be analyzed to obtain additional measurements. Thereafter, either molds or digital scans of your feet will be taken so that the orthotics can be made to address your specific foot and ankle issues. These impressions will not be taken by you standing on a machine, as this will only capture the problem at hand that led you to get the orthotics in the first place. Rather, your Podiatrist will align your foot with his or her hands in the corrected position, by manually feeling and adjusting the joints as he or she sees fit. Other variances in anatomy will then be accommodated for. For example, it is not uncommon for one leg to be slightly shorter than the other. To rectify this, one orthotic insert will be slightly thicker than the other.

When to Get Them

If you feel aches, pains, and discomfort in your feet, ankles, or legs, you might need orthotics. It is always best to begin using them as soon as possible so that the issues can be rectified to allow you to start doing the physical tasks required of you each day.

If you are suffering from foot and ankle issues, don’t wait another day. Diablo Foot and Ankle is here to help. Call today to schedule an appointment. We are here for you!


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“I saw Dr. Elmi after a motorcycle accident that left my foot totally useless he was not only very knowledgeable what did a great job and give me back on my feet thank you unfortunately I am in need of his Services again it is so comforting to know I have such a skilled podiatrist taking care of me thanks again!”


“Dr. Elmi is very knowledgeable, kind, and works quickly.”


“I was amazed at how knowledgeable, kind, and quickly he solved my problem of having a callus on the bottom of my foot - I had seen a couple of other podiatrists - one being at UCSF - and neither of them seemed to know what to do to stop the pain.  My son had used Dr. Elmi and highly recommended him and being very tired of limping around in pain all the time, and without much hope, decided to at least try one more doctor.  As I said at the beginning of this review, I could hardly believe how quickly and easily he not only got rid of the pain but showed me exactly what was causing it and exactly what insert to get and where to get it (REI).  I've been just fine every since and we're so lucky to have Dr. Elmi right here in Strawberry/Mill Valley - he's the best!”


“Thoughtful.  Listened. Took care of my foot problem.  Will be glad to see him again when needed.”


“I went and saw Dr. Elmi for my heel pain, and am VERY happy with the care I received. I had seen 2 other docs in the area, and they never even took the time to explain what was going on, Plantar Fasciitis. Dr. Elmi explained in detail why I was in so much pain, and showed pictures of the anatomy and everything made perfect sense. I happy to say that after initiating his course of care, I was back to running within 2 weeks, and felt like I got my life back. I found out later from my primary care that he is actually the Chief of Foot & Ankle Surgery at Marin General Hospital, makes sense..he's a great doc, highly recommend him!”


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