Are Insoles and Orthotics the Same?

For healthy people, OTC gel or foam insoles or inserts may ease some minor foot soreness. But custom orthotics may be more helpful for those who suffer from serious foot diseases or disorders, including pain in the back or knees, or a posture or gait issue. Today Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center are sharing information regarding these options and how they differ.

A custom orthotic evaluation begins with a thorough physical exam by a podiatrist who will diagnose the cause and nature of the pain. If it’s determined that a custom orthotic will aid in the treatment of your specific condition, the doctor will use a mold of your foot or a 3D digital scan to produce a custom orthotic just for you.

Orthotics: Orthotics are inserts you can put in your shoes to help with a variety of foot issues such as foot pain or flat feet. While they provide comfort and relief for minor heel and foot pain, they can’t fix serious biomechanical issues in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts: Orthotics are available in a wide variety of OTC inserts used to treat heel pain, foot pain, and minor problems. For instance, arch supports are placed in your shoes to help correct flat or overarched feet, while gel insoles are typically used because they provide relief and comfort from heel and foot pain by alleviating pressure.

Custom Prescription Orthotics: If OTC inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more serious foot issue, your podiatrist can prescribe custom orthotics. These are high-quality inserts designed to treat problems such as plantar fasciitis, severe forms of heel pain, and abnormal motion. They can even help patients suffering from diabetes by treating painful calluses and foot ulcers. Custom orthotics are molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full comfort and support

If you are experiencing minor to severe heel or foot pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist regarding the possibilities of using orthotics. We can determine which orthotic is right for you and help you become pain-free.

If OTC insoles have not provided relief, or you are experiencing any ankle, leg, or foot pain, contact a podiatrist today.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to see if orthotics are right for you, contact the offices of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center. Click here to locate the office nearest you.

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