What is an Orthotic?


28 Aug What is an Orthotic?

One of the ways a podiatrist can treat a foot problem is with something called an orthotic. What is an orthotic? An orthotic is a specific type of foot insert that helps correct the conditions your feet suffer from. Not all conditions can be treated with an orthotic, but some can. The best way to determine if an orthotic can help you is to make an appointment with your podiatrist.

There are 2 main types of orthotics. They are:

  • Flexible – made of soft compression materials they usually provide some type of cushioning for your feet
  • Rigid – made of more solid material like plastic or carbon fiber. A rigid orthotic is best used with walking shoes or low-heeled, closed toe shoes to help with back, leg or thigh pain

While shoe inserts can be purchased over the counter at your local pharmacy, an actual orthotic is usually custom crafted by your podiatrist and designed to treat your specific medical condition. Because of this, they are usually more expensive. To build your orthotic, your podiatrist may want to take a mold of your feet and watch how you walk.

Conditions an orthotic can help include:

  • Bursitis – painful condition that affects the fluid filled sacs called bursae in the joints
  • Arthritis – inflammation and pain usually located in the joints
  • Plantar Fasciitis – inflammation of the tissue connecting the heel bone and toe bones
  • Heel spurs – painful calcium deposit on the heel bone
  • Bunions – a bony bump on the bottom of the big toe
  • Diabetes – too high a level of sugar or glucose in the body can damage nerves and lead to amputation
  • Back, leg or thigh pain – helps with gait and walking motion
  • Flat feet – a foot with little or no arch support
  • High arch – often shoes do not support an extra high arch causing foot pain

If you believe you need an orthotic or have any other concerns about your feet, make an appointment with Alta Ridge Foot Specialists at one of our three offices at 105 Chestnut Street, Mars Hill or 440 Alta Pass Highway, Spruce Pine or 2211 NC Hwy 105 Boone, NC. We are a proud member of the Instride Foot and Ankle Partnership, a statewide partnership of doctors dedicated to providing State of the Art care to our patients. Drs. W. Aaron Broyles, Robert L. Van Brederode and Thomas Verla and their staff will be happy to see and treat you. Contact us today!