Flat feet and an inflammatory condition called plantar fasciitis affect your comfort and ability to be active throughout the day. Is it time for orthotics? What kind do you need? To answer these questions, contact Dr. Marc Goldberg, Dr. Michael Frank, or Dr. Adam Lowy, podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland in Olney. Customized orthotics, or shoe inserts, are just part of their comprehensive podiatry practice.
What are orthotics?
Orthotics are simple devices inserted into shoes. Correcting functional issues, providing better balance and accommodating and protecting weak and sore areas of the foot, orthotics are a conservative, but very effective, way to enjoy healthier feet and a happier you.
In general, there are three kinds of materials your podiatrists in Olney use to craft orthotics. They are:
- Rigid These carbon or plastic materials correct balance issues and help keep the lumbar spine (lower back) well-aligned.
- Soft Often fashioned from cotton padding, these orthotics help diabetics and people with arthritis who have substantial deformities, ulcers, pressure points and other areas which need support and protection.
- Semi-rigid Athletics benefit from these inserts. They provide balance, take pressure off the back, and correct gait problems. Podiatrists like to use them for children who toe-in and toe-out. Semi-rigid orthotics combine soft and rigid materials, placing them for accurate support and balance.
What kind is right for you?
Your foot doctor at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland will tell you if you need custom orthotics (some people can use quality over-the-counter insoles and heel cups). To arrive at a diagnosis, he'll perform a comprehensive podiatric examination, X-ray imaging, gait analysis and more.
If orthotics are part of your treatment plan, the doctor will take plaster or digital impressions to get a precise mold of your foot. From there, your orthotics will be custom-crafted to fit, support, protect, and shape your foot properly. Periodically, your podiatrist will ask you to come into the office for a check on how your feet and feeling and performing--in other words, to assess how well your orthotics are doing their jobs.
Orthotics are a conservative but extremely effective tool in optimizing foot health and function. To see if they can help you, call Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland. There are offices in Olney, Camp Springs, Clinton, Kensington, and Silver Spring, MD, for your convenience.