Advances in Orthotic Technology
Douglas Livingston, DPM, FACFAS
Presented by Livingston Foot Care Specialists
Technology has finally come to the fabrication of custom-made orthotics. Orthotic devices are shoe inserts intended to correct an abnormal or irregular walking pattern. Some people refer to orthotics as arch supports but they are much more than that. Arch supports are simply over-the-counter devices that provide some cushioning under the arch area. Orthotics are typically custom molded devices that are designed to control and improve foot function. A simple analogy is to compare the difference between an off-the shelf sunglasses and a prescription pair of sunglasses. One is general and the other is fabricated just for the individual.
Orthotics can help with such conditions as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, chronic irritations, shin splints, leg length discrepancies, bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, bursitis, tendinitis and flat feet. They control the motion between the forefoot and the rear foot, evenly distributing the weight and pressure exerted on the foot. They reduce excessive motion that may occur, they can act as a binding force that absorbs strain as pressure is exerted on them, and they can accommodate and cushion painful or injured areas.
Many podiatrist offices now have the most technologically advanced modality for the fabrication of orthotics. A three dimensional computerized scanner is used to capture the position of the foot to provide the best possible orthotic for your feet and your condition. This scan is then utilized by the lab to create a customized orthotic to provide you with the most relief possible. Talk to your doctor about custom made orthotics to get the relief your feet need!
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