Custom Orthotics vs. Over-the-Counter Shoe Inserts
Have you ever suffered from shin splints, arch pain, or plantar fasciitis? Perhaps it’s time then to consider wearing custom-made orthotics inside your footwear. These can be a highly effective strategy for reducing pain and discomfort caused by biomechanical imbalances which affect your feet and your gait, and are often a worthwhile investment for your general well-being. Want to learn more? Then read on for some expert advice from The Centre for Physiotherapy in Toronto.
Common Conditions that May Require Orthotics
It’s best to first understand some of the common ailments you may run into without orthotics:
Shin splints are a progressive injury characterized by a sharp pain felt along the entire area of the shin; arch pain occurs when too much stress is placed on the foot's supportive arch structure; and plantar fasciitis is a condition where there is too much inflammation along the bottom of the foot, resulting in heel pain.
How Custom Orthotics Can Help
The purpose of a custom orthotic is to provide support for the structures of the foot by bringing the heel, arch, muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments into proper biomechanical alignment. By repositioning these components to work together more effectively, they provide relief from stress, strain, and pain, therefore addressing the aforementioned ailments. Additionally, because these are custom-crafted by certified professionals, you can rest assured that your orthotics will help you exactly as advertised.
On Over-the-Counter Shoe Inserts
Some people seek to alleviate the symptoms of their foot conditions with over-the-counter shoe inserts, and while this can seemingly be helpful, there are some important points to keep in mind. While readily available (over-the-counter inserts can be purchased in just about any drug or grocery store), they typically only provide limited support for your feet. This means that in many ways, inserts cannot correct biomechanical disorders the same way custom orthotics can.
In fact, if you choose to use-over-the-counter shoe inserts for a foot disorder, you may actually risk injuring yourself even further. Since they don’t correctly reposition the structure of your foot, progressive conditions can simply continue to get worse.
An example where over-the-counter shoe inserts can be a good idea is if you're about to spend several days in a theme park, running around and standing in line on your otherwise healthy feet. The extra support and comfort provided as you spend more time on your feet than usual can offer protection from potential foot injuries in the future. Keep in mind, however, that you would be receiving the same kind of support from custom orthotics, and if you’re unsure of whether or not you have a pre-existing condition in your feet or heels, it may be best to play it safe and avoid the over-the-counter solution.
Call or Visit Us Today to Learn More!
Interested in finding out more about custom-made orthotics? Book an appointment with The Centre for Physiotherapy in Toronto today. We are proud to provide custom orthotics for patients and get them back to living their daily lives and sport activities without experiencing constant foot pain, so don’t hesitate! We look forward to meeting you!