Custom Orthotic Treatment

Diablo Foot & Ankle

Dr. Elmi specializes in

Custom Orthotic Treatment

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Custom Orthotic Treatment

What are Custom Orthotics?

Custom foot orthotics are special inserts for your shoes that a doctor prescribes that have been custom made specifically for you and your particular needs.  A doctor may prescribe orthotics to treat foot, leg, or back problems.  They are not comparable to the shoe insert you can purchase at a retail store or athletic store.  They are highly customized inserts made specifically for your feet and your particular issues.  These custom orthotics will be prescribed only if an off the shelf device or other treatments, such as exercises at home, haven’t proven effective.  Custom orthotics can be used for:

  • Correcting foot deformities
  • Helping the foot or ankle function better providing support to the ankle
  • Providing support to the ankle
  • Reducing the risks for further injuries
  • Correcting faulty gait patterns

Diagnosing the Need for Custom Foot Orthotics

You may see a podiatrist, who is a doctor specializing in conditions of the feet if you’re experiencing significant foot and heel pain.  He or she will ask about your symptoms when you first noticed the symptoms, what makes them worse, what makes them better, etc.  Your podiatrist will then conduct a physical exam of your feet and ankles, looking for deformities and malalignment that are the source of your discomfort. 

Your doctor will likely need to observe your gait pattern, which would involve asking you to walk and perform other activities to determine how the feet and ankles are positioned during certain exercises.  Some doctors may even have special imaging or pads where you walk so that the images will show how and where your feet strike the ground and can help determine the exact location and type of problems in the structure and function of your feet.  

The doctor may also recommend traditional imaging of your feet, including an x-ray, bone scan, or MRI.  This can help him/her identify areas of arthritis, damage, or injury. All of these diagnostic methods will be taken into account when making treatment recommendations, including the specific prescription for your custom orthotics.

Conditions Treated With Orthotics

Doctors may prescribe orthotics to treat many medical conditions, including:

  • Arthritis--rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can cause discomfort in the feet and poor positioning that orthotics may help to correct
  • Back pain--sometimes poor positioning of the feet, such as rolling arches, or lack of cushioning can cause pain that orthotics can lessen.
  • Bunions- Bunions are painful bumps that can develop at the base of the big toe and cause foot deformities.  Orthotics with a wide toe box can help to reduce pressure on the big toe.
  • Bursitis --inflammation of fluid-filled sacs in the heels and toes can cause bursitis pain and discomfort.  Orthotics with heel and arch support can help to reduce bursitis discomfort.
  • Diabetes -- Sometimes, a person with diabetes can lose sensation in his or her feet, a condition known as diabetic neuropathy.  When this occurs, orthotics can help to reduce excess stress and pressure that can lead to foot ulcers.
  • Flat feet -- flat feet can cause foot, ankle, and back pain.  Orthotics can help to support the feet and promote proper foot positioning
  • Hammertoes-  hammertoes often occur as a side effect of bunions on the big toe.  They can cause second-toe pain and deformities on the ball of the foot.  Orthotics can provide additional support to the feet and reduce the likelihood that hammer toes will worsen.
  • Heel spurs--heel spurs are conditions where excess bone grows on the back or bottom of the heel.  Orthotics can support the foot and reduce inflammation
  • High arches --- Very high arches can stress muscles in the feet and lead to a number of conditions such as shin splints, knee pain, and plantar fasciitis.  Orthotics can help prevent a person’s feet from rolling excessively inward or outward.
  • Injuries --People who have experienced trauma to their feet and ankles may require extra support during the healing process with orthotics
  • Plantar fasciitis --Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain.  Doctors may recommend orthotics to support the heel and foot.

Doctors may prescribe custom orthotics for people who have positional concerns with their feet or legs.  As always, consult your physician for your personalized plan.

At Diablo Foot and Ankle, our specialists can assess if a custom orthotic treatment is right for you. Call us today to schedule your appointment. We are here for you!