Orthotic devices are inserts for your shoes that can protect a part of your foot or help correct the position or function of the foot. At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM, we have found that many patients experience increased comfort and protection through orthotics for standing, walking and participating in sports and fitness activities. In fact, a recent study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that custom orthotics can decrease the risk of stress fractures by 41% and the risk of overall injury to the legs, feet and ankles by 28%.
Types of Orthotics
There are many different shapes and sizes of orthotics and different materials used to produce them as well. Orthotics can be made of soft or rigid materials (depending on their purpose) or a combination of both (known as “semi-rigid”). Generally speaking, orthotic devices fall into 3 categories: those designed to be protective, those designed to alter the function of the foot and those that combine both features.
The Perfect Fit
Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco may recommend orthotics after examining your foot and your gait and also hearing about the activities you normally do and the symptoms they produce. Orthotics can help with a number of different foot conditions, including: flat feet, overly high arches, bunions, hammertoes, claw toes, in- or out-toeing, plantar fasciitis, forefoot pain, calluses or corns. If the foot doctor prescribes custom orthotic inserts for you, a plaster mold or computer scan of your foot will need to be taken. This will then be sent to an orthotics laboratory where an orthotic insert will be custom designed to fit your individual foot.
For many patients, custom orthotics can reduce pain and greatly increase comfort and the ability to participate in a sport or fitness regimen. To learn more and find out if you might be helped by custom orthotics, contact our Somers Point office by calling: (609) 927-4894.