Walking and standing cause pressure on our feet. Because the ground we stand on is usually flat and hard our feet adjust to meet the ground by lowering the arch and spreading the toes. Over time, uncontrolled fallen arches lead to stress and injury that can affect the feet, knees, hips, and lower back.
Providing proper arch support prevents posture imbalances, compensations and pain from uneven foot-to-ground contact. Custom Foot Orthotics support feet by controlling arch collapse naturally. Even foot support makes standing and walking more comfortable.
What are Foot Orthotics?
Foot Orthotics or Inserts, come in many different makes and styles. My PT uses a Custom Foot Orthotics that were scientifically created by foot specialists. They are made out of microcellular foam found in the midsole of most quality sports footwear. Depending on a person’s foot structure, one of the pre-designed styles will be selected before heat molding.
Each Insert is aligned to the arch and trimmed to fit the shoe. Then they are warmed up using a heat-gun one at a time. The PT positions the foot into a stabilized posture during the molding process.
After cooling, the client “test-drives” the Inserts with walking and standing. We listen and watch for indicators of success. The PT may add or subtract wedges, plugs, and pads to find the ideal support for each foot. The process of adjusting and test-driving continues as needed based on feedback.
I wear supportive shoes, why do I need Custom Foot Orthotics?
Great question. We spend so much money on supportive shoes like runners or clogs, can’t that be enough? It all depends on your foot type, wear patterns, and lifestyle. Some people have painful conditions develop because the “good support” they have is not enough for their needs.
Maybe the support is not in the right places. And other times the support has just worn out and was not updated soon enough. Dr. Tom’s experience has found that the right combination of shoe and insert is necessary to manage symptoms in the lower body like aches, pains, pressure points, and posture imbalances.
Are all Foot Orthotics the same?
No. There are three levels of Foot Orthotics: #1 The Cheap Pre-Made, #2 The Expensive Custom, and #3 The Good Pre-Made. The Cheap Inserts can be found for $20 or less in the pharmacy section of the grocery and big box stores. These gel and flexible Inserts offer a nice squish that feel great for a short period of time. They wear out quickly in days or weeks. You will need to buy over and over.
Then let’s look at the Expensive. For $300-800, a pair of Custom Foot Orthotics can be made through a specialist. Most of the time, these hard shell Inserts really work. The down side is that the hard plastic and foam material doesn’t give enough. They can feel like walking on rocks and can’t be modified. So they can cost a lot and sometimes not work out as expected.
Now, for The Good Foot Orthotics. Studies found that pre-made Foot Orthotics can be just as successful at managing foot pain compared to the hard shell expensive kind. Good quality pairs of Foot Orthotics can range from $45-250. From various makes, they usually have science backing their design. They may last 6 months to a year before needing another pair.
My PT offers what we think is best in affordable Foot Orthotics that can be Customized. For $85, we provide heat moldable Custom Foot Orthotics. We have used this product line for years because of awesome results seen in reducing pain.
What Foot and Ankle conditions benefit from Custom Foot Orthotics?
Some of the conditions that really need Custom Foot Orthotics include Plantar Fasciitis, Posterior Tibialis Tendinitis, and Metatarsalgia. All of these conditions, plus others, can develop from fall arches. Falls arches can happen from weak ligaments, weak tendons, and injuries.
What are other painful conditions benefit from Custom Foot Orthotics?
Custom foot orthotics can help with Patellofemoral Joint Syndrome, Hip Bursitis, and Sciatica. Because the feet are the first point of contact with the ground, support from the bottom of the body affects the posture of the upper body. Poor foot alignment causes the knees, hips, and back to shift. Overtime, this leads to uneven wear and pain
What makes the Orthotic “Custom”?
The Foot Orthotics used at My PT are specially designed by a group foot experts with years of experience in Podiatry and Physical Therapy. During the examination we look at your foot posture to determine where each foot collapses and compensates. We select a design based on your activity and footwear. Each Insert is heat molded for a customized alignment to each foot. If necessary, the PT will add or subtract specific pieces made for the Insert to find a comfortable fit.
How long does it take to get used to Custom Foot Orthotics?
We call this the “break-in” period. On average it takes people 3 to 10 days to get used to a new pair of Foot Orthotics. My PT recommends spending 2 hours on the first day with the orthotics in your shoes. Then, add 1 additional hour each day until you can tolerate wearing the Foot Orthotics full time. The small foot muscles, joints and tendons can get tired initially until they get used to the change. The best part is that these inserts are walk-out-the door ready when you have a fitting. They can be adjusted for comfort again if needed after the fitting.
What are some conditions that benefit from Custom Foot Orthotics?
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Back Pain from Car Accidents
- Runner’s Knee
- Patellofemoral Syndrome
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Calcaneal Bursitis
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Meniscus Tear
- Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
How much does a pair for Custom Foot Orthotics cost at My PT?
A pair of Custom Foot Orthotics cost $85 plus the cost of the session to measure and fit to each foot ($75-100/hour). We offer several styles that are helpful for fitting into sneakers, dress shoes, high heels, and sports shoes.