How Custom Foot Orthotics Enhance Mobility and Wellness

Foot health is often overlooked, yet it plays a crucial role in our overall well-being. Whether you’re an athlete looking to optimize performance or someone struggling with chronic foot pain, a custom orthotic can be a game-changer. In this article, we’re going to delve into the world of custom made foot orthotics—why you may need them, their benefits, the role of a physical therapist in the process, how orthotics work, and what the associated costs may be.

Do you need a custom foot orthotic?

Determining whether you need foot orthotics involves understanding the signs and symptoms your feet may be exhibiting. If you experience persistent foot pain, heel pain, arch discomfort, specific foot imbalance, or issues with your gait, it’s time to consider the potential benefits of custom foot orthotics. 

Common conditions alleviated by a custom orthotic include: 

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Runners knee
  • Limb length differences
  • Lower limb pain (i.e., back pain, hip pain , knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain)
  • Heel spur
  • Shin splints
  • High arches/Flat feet

Additionally, athletes and individuals with physically demanding lifestyles can benefit from the added support and stability that custom foot orthotics provide.


When do you require foot orthotics?

Foot orthotics become necessary when the natural biomechanics of the feet are compromised. This can be due to various factors, including structural abnormalities, overpronation (rolling inward on your feet) or supination (rolling outward on your feet), and repetitive stress on the feet. If you find that your regular shoes aren’t providing the support you need or if you’re experiencing chronic discomfort, it’s a signal that foot orthotics may be beneficial. Seeking professional advice from a certified orthotist or a physical therapist is essential in determining whether custom orthotics are the right solution for your specific needs.

Image Credit: Nigro Ankle & Foot Care

Benefits of foot orthotics

  1. Pain Relief: Custom foot orthotics are designed to alleviate pain by providing additional support and redistributing pressure across the foot. This can be particularly beneficial for conditions such as plantar fasciitis and arthritis.
  2. Improved Alignment: Orthotics help correct biomechanical imbalances, promoting better alignment of the feet and ankles. This, in turn, can address issues in the knees, hips, and lower back
  3. Enhanced Performance: Athletes often turn to custom orthotics to optimize their performance by ensuring proper foot alignment and reducing the risk of injuries related to overpronation or supination
  4. Increased Comfort: The tailored design of custom orthotics ensures a personalized fit, enhancing overall comfort and reducing fatigue, especially for individuals who spend long hours on their feet.


Why do I need a physical therapist for orthotics?

While over-the-counter inserts are available, the expertise of a physical therapist is invaluable when it comes to custom foot orthotics. A physical therapist can conduct a thorough assessment of your biomechanics, gait, and specific foot-related issues. This personalized evaluation ensures that the orthotics are crafted to address your unique needs, offering maximum effectiveness.

Physical therapists also play a crucial role in educating patients on proper footwear, exercises, and lifestyle modifications to complement the benefits of orthotics. The holistic approach provided by physical therapists ensures that the orthotic intervention aligns with broader strategies for improving overall foot health and functionality.


How do orthotics work?

Custom foot orthotics work by providing additional support, cushioning, and alignment to the feet. They are crafted based on an individual’s unique foot structure, gait, and specific concerns. The orthotic device is placed inside the shoe, where it works to:

  • Stabilize the Foot: Orthotics help stabilize the foot by preventing excessive pronation or supination, reducing the risk of injuries and enhancing overall stability.
  • Distribute Pressure: By redistributing pressure across the foot, orthotics alleviate stress on specific areas, reducing pain and discomfort associated with conditions like plantar fasciitis or bunions.
  • Correct Biomechanical Imbalances: Orthotics address issues with foot and ankle alignment, promoting proper biomechanics and preventing strain on the musculoskeletal system.


What is the cost of custom orthotics?

The cost of custom foot orthotics can vary based on factors such as the materials used, the complexity of the design, and the healthcare provider’s fees. On average, custom orthotics can range from $200 to $800 or more. While the initial investment may seem significant, the long-term benefits in terms of pain relief, improved function, and prevention of further complications often justify the expense.

If custom foot orthotics are the best treatment for you, then you cannot afford to go without them. At Synergy Rehab we have been diligent to keep our prices comparable and reasonable. It’s also of note that some insurance plans may cover the cost of custom orthotics, especially if they are deemed medically necessary! Checking with your insurance provider and consulting with a healthcare professional can help you explore potential coverage options.


Soft orthotics vs. rigid orthotics

Soft orthotics are made from soft materials such as foam or gel. They are designed to provide cushioning, support, and shock absorption. Soft orthotics are often recommended for individuals with conditions like plantar fasciitis, arthritis, or diabetic foot problems. 

Rigid orthotics on the other hand are made from more structured materials such as plastic or carbon fiber. They’re designed to control abnormal foot motion, provide stability, and support the arch. Rigid orthotics are often prescribed for individuals with overpronation, supination, or certain biomechanical issues.

In many cases, a combination of soft and rigid elements may be used in custom orthotics to address specific needs. It’s important to communicate any discomfort or issues you may be experiencing during the fitting process so that adjustments can be made to ensure the orthotics provide the best support and comfort for your individual situation.

Get custom orthotics in Surrey today!

While one-size-fits-all orthotics are available at most local drug stores,  the superior customization of custom orthotics makes them a preferred choice for those seeking targeted relief, enhanced stability, and a personalized approach to foot health. Custom made orthotics are not just a luxury; they are a valuable tool in enhancing your overall well-being and quality of life.

Schedule a consultation with our experts today.