As our feet carry the weight and the burden of our everyday activities, it’s important that they remain healthy and strong. However, many people face foot and ankle problems that can make daily movements difficult, painful, or even impossible. This is where custom orthotic devices come in.
Custom orthotics are shoe inserts designed by a foot and ankle surgeon to support and align the foot and lower extremities. They’re different from over-the-counter shoe inserts, which are mass-produced and commonly used for cushioning or arch support. Custom orthotics, on the other hand, are created specifically for the individual’s feet, based on a plaster mold of their foot.
The process of making custom orthotics starts with a consultation with a foot and ankle specialist. Dr Gilbert Huang DPM, a board-certified podiatrist, specializes in the biomechanics of the foot and ankle, and can assess the patient’s walking and running patterns to determine if they need custom orthotics.
Custom orthotics can help with various foot problems, including:
1. Pediatric flatfoot: Flatfoot is a common condition where the arches of the feet don’t develop properly in young children. Custom orthotics can help support the arches and promote proper foot development.
2. Heel pain: Heel pain is a common problem that can be caused by various factors such as plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. Custom orthotics can provide cushioning and support to reduce pressure on the heel and alleviate pain.
3. Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD): PTTD is a condition where the posterior tibial tendon, responsible for supporting the arch of the foot, becomes inflamed or torn. Custom orthotics can help support and realign the foot to relieve pain.
4. Flexible flatfoot: Flexible flatfoot is a common condition where the arch of the foot collapses when standing or walking. Custom orthotics can help support the arch and realign the foot to improve walking and prevent future foot problems.
Custom orthotics are also helpful for athletes or people who spend a lot of time on their feet. They can improve balance, reduce foot fatigue, and prevent injuries caused by overuse or improper alignment.
In summary, custom orthotic devices are an excellent solution for various foot problems. They’re designed specifically for each person’s feet, providing support and alignment to improve walking and prevent future foot problems. If you are experiencing any foot problems, it’s recommended to consult with Dr. Gilbert Huang DPM to determine if custom orthotics are right for you.