The word “orthotics” comes from the Green work meaning to align or straighten. This origin gives you a basic idea of what these devices do for your feet. Orthotics can make a big difference in your comfort and your walking abilities, and Dr. Marc Goldberg, Dr. Michael Frank, and Dr. Adam Lowy, your podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland in Kensington, Olney, Silver Spring, and Camp Springs/Clinton, MD, have had great success prescribing orthotics for their patients. Learn about the various types of orthotics in this post.
How can orthotics help me?
Orthotics from your podiatrist are rarely a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Although minor bunions or mild cases of plantar fasciitis can be relieved with over the counter shoe inserts, problems with the anatomy of the foot or balance and gait issues typically require a custom-made device. These specially made appliances provide support or weight redistribution for a foot with structural problems, making it easier to move around. If necessary, orthotics can also restrict movement to help injuries heal faster and more effectively. Regardless of the type of orthotic you need, the main goal is to allow you as much comfortable, normal mobility as possible.
What are the types of orthotics available?
There are several types of orthotics that your podiatrist routinely prescribes; they may be made from flexible or rigid materials. Orthotic devices that are worn on or around the foot are known as foot orthoses. Ankle-foot orthoses (AFO) are larger and help to compensate for ankle weakness, deformities, or to immobilize the area after an injury. Athletes also wear these to help optimize performance in their sport of choice. Another type of AFO is for people who have foot ulcerations and need something to facilitate healing; these are known as UHO devices (ulcer healing orthoses).
If you're in the Kensington, Olney, Silver Spring, and Camp Springs/Clinton, MD area, and you think you might need an orthotic device, Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland is here for you. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with one of the members of our podiatry team!