A foot doctor, or podiatrist, can help you with problems that affect your lower legs or feet. Podiatrists are qualified to care for your feet because of their education and training. They offer a variety of services that can be helpful if you have issues pertaining to the ankles and feet. Read on to find…
Getting Custom Orthotics from a Podiatrist
Foot problems can be very irritating and impact your daily life, but custom orthotics from a podiatrist can help relieve the pain associated with irregular walking patterns. A podiatrist, who is a specialized foot doctor, can help you correct your foot pain.
What are they?
These devices are much different than premade orthotics. They are prescribed by a podiatrist that makes them specifically for the patient. Many podiatrists make a plaster mold of the foot then allow it to harden.
The mold is sent to a laboratory, where technicians pour plaster into the mold, then allow it to harden. It is an exact replication of the bottom of the patient’s foot. The technician will then make a custom device that will suit the patient’s needs.
What kinds of orthotics are there?
There are three main types of orthotics: rigid, soft, and semirigid. Rigid orthotics, also known as functional orthotics, are composed of plastic or carbon fiber. They are ideal for everyday walking shoes or dress shoes with closed toes and minimal heels. This type of orthotics can help relieve pain in the feet, as well as up into the legs and lower back.
Soft orthotics, also known as accommodative orthotics, are composed of softer compression material. The cushioning helps relieve pressure on uncomfortable or sore spots due to varying foot conditions. This type of orthotic usually requires prescription footwear.
Semirigid orthotics are usually used for athletes. The layers are composed of softer materials that integrate rigid materials for optimal functionality. It works to facilitate the efficient function of the muscles and tendons in the feet and legs.
How expensive are they?
Custom orthotics range in cost, usually starting at around $200 to $800. Other charges will be associated with the visit to the podiatrist, fitting, fabrication, and replacements. As the footwear begins to wear out, resurfacing will be necessary. Resurfacing can cost between $50 to $100.
Your health insurance may cover this cost. If it does, you may only need to pay 10 to 50 percent of the total price. For the most part, insurance does not cover the costs associated with this procedure.
Who needs them?
People who experience severe foot pain or other issues surrounding the feet may find relief with custom orthotics. They may also relieve pain associated with pain in the knees, hips, and lower back. Several types of foot pain may be relieved using orthotics, including:
- Arch pain
- Plantar fasciitis and heel pain
- Pain from bunions, a sprain, or an injury
- Pain from running, sports, or walking
- Pain associated with diabetes
- Pain-related to changes from age
They can be very beneficial for people that suffer from foot pain or pain connected to issues with the feet. In some cases, however, people may find they can fix their pain by using premade orthotics, which are much cheaper than custom-made orthotics. If premade orthotics don’t do the trick, custom-made orthotics from a podiatrist are an excellent option.
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