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Types of Orthotics Available and How They Can Help Your Feet
By Family Foot & Ankle Associates of Maryland
April 28, 2016
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Orthotics  

Many people unknowingly take advantage of walking without pain or other complications every day. However, if you are one of the countless people worldwide who suffer from foot pain, you probably understand just how important this simple everyday task is. OrthoticsYour Olney, Clinton, Silver Spring, and Kensington, Maryland podiatrists at Family Foot & Ankle Associates of Maryland can help you beat foot pain and get back to walking normally with the help of custom orthotics.

What is a custom orthotic? 
An orthotic is usually an insert which fits inside your shoe to help evenly distribute the body’s weight onto the foot. Orthotics align the foot and ankle into the most beneficial and efficient positions for your gait (the way you walk). Orthotics can be compared to eyeglasses, which reduce the amount of strain necessary for your eyes (or feet, in this case) to do their jobs. Conditions such as bunion, hammertoe, heel or arch pain, or even leg or knee pain benefit from orthotics.

Types of Orthotics in Olney, Clinton, Silver Spring, and Kensington, Maryland

  • Over-the-counter: These orthotics are sold at drug stores. While they may provide some relief from foot pain, they are not custom made and, thus, not as effective as customized orthotics.
  • Functional Orthotics: Functional orthotics help support the feet’s abnormalities. Usually, these come in the form of inserts worn inside of the shoes. They can be made from various materials, and usually have a rigid form. Arch supports and heel liners act as shock absorbers for people with irregularities such as flat feet (foot pronation). Functional orthotics treat countless foot deformities.
  • Accommodative Orthotics: This is an umbrella term for orthotics which physically align the feet and ankles such as casts, splints, braces and night orthotics. These orthotics help relieve pain and align the bones and tissues in the foot.

Orthotics are especially beneficial to people who are often on their feet, such as nurses or athletes. X-rays and other imaging technology help your doctor see the tissues, bones and muscles inside the feet and, along with a physical examination, are usually enough to diagnose what is causing your foot pain. Your podiatrist can help you determine which line of treatment is best for your situation.

For more information on orthotics and how they can change your life, please contact Dr. Christopher Farnworth, Dr. Michael Frank and Dr. Marc Goldberg at Family Foot & Ankle Associates of Maryland in Olney, Clinton, Silver Spring, and Kensington, Maryland.