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Custom Orthotics for the Long Run

Custom Orthotics for the Long Run

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Many people experience foot and heel pain during their day to day activities.  It is a very common issue. But it is not a normal condition.  The pain often is associated with previous injury, defects, or abnormal movement of the foot or ankle and its joints. When you are experiencing pain in your foot, ankle, or arch, it can be a signal that there is something off and should be corrected.  Ignoring the issue will only cause it to get worse over time.  And many people have turned to orthotics to give them some relief.  Orthotics are a non-surgical treatment for foot and ankle injuries or conditions.  They are inserts that people use in their shoes to alleviate their pain and discomfort.  

So what should you be looking for in an orthotic insert?  You will want to have one with good support.  You may be focused on relieving the pain associated with the foot initially.  Of course, there are shoe inserts that offer comfort and extra cushion.  These will give you temporary relief and not address the cause of the pain you are experiencing.  Memory foam and flexibility do not aid in providing additional support.  Your best bet is to choose the sturdier option for your orthotic.

How can you tell if the insert has the support needed?  Try bending it.  How flexible is it?  If you can bend it in several locations it is probably more of a comfort insert and will not offer much support.  On the other hand, if you try bending the insert around the area where the arch of the foot would sit, and it does not bend - you have an insert designed for support.  Pain in your arch area is a sign of a misalignment in the foot.  It needs to be corrected by support, to stop or minimize the abnormal movement of the foot.  Cushion inserts, while they may help for a little bit, do not help correct or restore the movement of the foot.

So where do you get good orthotic shoe inserts?  Over the counter options are plentiful.  You have probably seen a few different ones in the drugstore, supermarkets, and even shoe stores.  These can make a lot of good claims but seldomly deliver.  These inserts are made of memory foam and do not hold up long or offer support needed.  You may find more sturdy ones in the store but these are made to accommodate the mass majority of feet - and not necessarily yours.  If you can buy it off the shelf, most likely these are not custom orthotics - regardless of what they say.  Or what the salesman may tell you.  They are not licensed in any way to make medical claims or offer medical advice.  A true Custom Orthotic is customized to you specifically.  They are, in a sense, one of a kind!

Firstly, your foot needs to be analysed for abnormal movement.  This involves 3D imaging and examination.  A mold needs to be created to provide the adjustment required to help the condition.  And then the custom orthotic is created specifically for you.  This is a prescribed orthotic - prepared and created in a podiatric lab.  This is a medical grade orthotic - which is the key difference between the other "ready made" orthotics in the stores. And your insurance provider could offer coverage up to a certain amount on prescribed inserts.  They will not cover over the counter ones.  Which is important to recognize.  Because the price of the non-prescription orthotics can run from $10 to $1000 - with little improvement as reward.  

When you are experiencing foot pain, the first step is always to consult a medical practitioner to get a correct diagnosis.  As all feet are not created equally, yours are unique to themselves.  You will want to ensure any shoe insert that is prescribed for you - is designed for you.  

If you are looking for custom orthotics in Edmonton, you can visit Strive Spine and Sport.  They are qualified technicians who can have inserts produced by a medical lab and they will be tailored to your specific foot and ankle.  Direct billing for insurance claims is available.  Simply enquire to find out what coverage you currently have.

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