Orthotics can benefit painful foot conditions, such as flat feet, plantar fasciitis, or high arches. While it can be incredibly tempting to pick up a readily available pair of orthotics from your local drugstore or on the internet, there’s no denying that custom orthotics offer some significant perks that over-the-counter options cannot quite live up to.
When it comes to orthotics, you’ve got two options.
You can locate OTC orthotics almost anywhere, available at your local pharmacy, supermarket, or drugstore. You can always find a pair on major retailer websites as well. OTC orthotics come in various shapes and sizes, and while you can likely find one that somewhat fits, it will not be a perfect fit like a custom pair will be.
Custom orthotics are prescribed to meet the size and shape of the individual foot. One of the best comparisons to make to understand better how orthotics are custom-fit is eyeglasses. When you visit your optometrist, they will create glasses specifically for your eye. Custom orthotics are similar in that no two sets are exactly the same.
What are the Big Benefits of Custom Orthotics?
We want to clarify that there’s nothing wrong with purchasing OTC orthotics, which may work very well for some. But those that are struggling with painful or annoying foot conditions will likely find that custom orthotics solve their physical issues.
1. The Custom Prescription Matters
Custom orthotic prescription inserts are made specifically for the patient’s foot, providing particular pressure points for pain relief. If gait is abnormal, custom orthotics can help to redistribute rate while walking, preventing excess strain.
Custom orthotics are necessary for preventing future injury in a way that OTC cannot. Custom orthotics evenly distribute stress, potentially improving athletic performance or back, knee, and foot pain. Diabetic patients can benefit greatly from custom orthotics, reducing the possibility of sores or irritation developing.
2. Custom Orthotics Last Longer
If you’ve ever purchased OTC orthotics, you probably know that they wear out quickly and can wear out in just a few months, depending on your use. Custom orthotics aren’t manufactured in mass amounts, so they’re often made with high-quality ingredients like graphite and plastics, causing them to last one to five years, even with intense use.
To effectively ensure that your custom orthotics are working for you, you should have a professional check them every few months to determine the amount of wear and tear you’re putting them through and when you’ll need replacements. Your feet can change over time, affecting how well your orthotics work.
3. Insurance May Cover Custom Orthotics
For most people, custom orthotics are a substantial investment. Even though they last longer than OTC orthotics, the initial cost could be intimidating. Luckily, many insurance companies cover the cost (or some of the cost) of custom orthotics. If you need custom orthotics, contact your insurance company today to determine if they’re covered and how often!
What Type of Orthotic May Be Best for You?
Understanding your symptoms and how they affect your life is just as crucial as the physical exam for determining the proper orthotics. Treatment plans can often involve OTC orthotics or custom orthotics for more complicated cases.
If you’re done dealing with foot pain or irritation that interferes with your quality of life, call our Berkeley office at (510) 647-3744 to schedule an appointment with us today! You can also fill out our online contact form if you prefer to reach out electronically.