Everyone suffers from some type of foot or ankle pain at some time in their life. Our feet are the foundation for our mobility and the main weight-bearing part of our body. Painful or injured feet affect our quality of life.
Pain in the ankles can often be treated with special inserts called orthotics. These custom-made medical devices are inserted into your shoe to correct the ankle. A doctor’s prescription is required for custom orthotics and they cannot be purchased from a store.
Custom Orthotics vs. Premade Orthotics
Premade orthotics can be found in most stores that sell shoes or medical supplies. They are mass-produced, created to fit an average foot, and can be cut to size. They are less expensive than custom versions and may initially offer some pain relief. However, they do not provide proper support and can actually cause more harm.
Custom orthotics, prescribed by a doctor, are made for your foot. Most providers use plaster to make a mold of your foot that is sent to a lab. The lab technician will pour plaster into the mold, which creates a perfect replica of the bottom of your foot. From there, they will use the prescription to meet your specific needs.
Benefits of Custom Orthotics
There are several benefits to using custom orthotics including:
- Correction of foot deformities
- Helps the foot or ankle function better
- Provides support for the ankle
- Reduces the risk of further injuries
- Correction to a faulty gait
No one likes to be in pain and many issues stem from conditions or injuries with the feet and ankles. People with arthritis, back pain, bunions, bursitis, diabetes, flat feet, hammertoes, heel spurs, high arches, plantar fasciitis, ankle instability, injuries, and more can find non-surgical relief from custom orthotics.
Custom Orthotics and Ankle Treatment
Ankle instability is a condition in which the ligaments and muscles that support the outer ankle are weak. This can happen in people who have had regular sprains or an ankle injury that did not heal correctly. A neuromotor condition, where the body fails at controlling what your ankle does, can also cause instability in the ankle. Orthotics treat both conditions.
Orthotics can also treat ankle sprains. A wedge is placed under the outer heel, which relieves ankle pain by taking pressure off the injured tissue, allowing the ligaments and muscles time to heal. The ankle is also kept from rolling, which could lead to re-injury.
Chronic ankle instability, in which the ankle regularly rolls outward without control, requires retraining of your muscles and ligaments. Someone with this condition doesn’t have the proper sensory function with their feet because their feet don’t usually make full contact with the ground. Orthotics are used to increase the foot's contact with the ground. A formthotic is molded to the sole of the foot, which helps to activate all the sensors on the foot and allows the foot to recognize balance and prevent ankle sprains.
Diablo Foot and Ankle Specializes in Custom Orthotics
Needing help with a foot or ankle condition or injury? Dr. Eman Eli, DPM is a specialist who is passionate about helping his patients find relief.
Here at Diablo Foot and Ankle, we specialize in custom orthotics to relieve ankle pain without surgery. We understand your concerns and are here to determine if custom orthotics are right for you. Call us today with any questions or to schedule an assessment.
Common Podiatry Questions
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.
What does a Podiatrist treat?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.
What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?
A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.