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Custom OrthoticsIf you’ve been experiencing bothersome pain in your legs or feet, you should consider getting an orthotic. Orthotics provide fantastic foot support that can reduce discomfort and pain in your feet, legs, hips, and back. People young and old use orthotics to alleviate their discomfort. While some buy orthotics in the store, others choose to spring for a pricier custom orthotic. So, what’s the difference between the two? And are custom orthotics worth it?

What Are Custom Orthotics?

Custom orthotics are a medical device that you insert into a pair of shoes to support your feet, ankles, and legs as you walk. Custom-made orthotics are tailored to your feet, meaning they provide even more support by correcting unbalanced steps. They are used to treat a variety of conditions, such as:

Orthotics also act as shock absorbers and help to prevent injuries, which is why many athletes use custom orthotics. The shock absorption technology that custom orthotics use reduces pressure and stress from the feet and ankles, which can lead to healthier joints in the long-term. Custom orthotics also do a better job at providing support than store-bought orthotics because they are tailored to your foot, height, size, weight, and medical condition.


Is it Worth Getting Custom Orthotics?

While a regular orthotic may cost between $50 and $200, custom orthotics are usually much more expensive -- between $200 and $800. Although this seems like a lot of money, custom orthotics offer many benefits that store-bought ones do not; and they are much more effective. Why? The science of correcting your gait in a way that aligns and supports your foot, ankle, knee, and hip is very complex and extremely difficult. When you are being fitted for custom orthotics, the specialist will analyze each of these components to design an orthotic that is specific to you. This special design is what makes custom orthotics stand out over store-bought ones, and what makes them worth the higher price tag.


Are Custom Orthotics Better Than Store-Bought?

When pursuing a custom orthotic, a health professional will normally conduct a thorough assessment of your current health and medical history. They will analyze your height, weight, level of activity, age, and medical condition to determine the best orthotic for you. An assessment of the correct material and rigidity will be made before creating a mold of each foot to ensure a properly fitting orthotic. This process is much more involved than simply choosing a streamlined orthotic off the shelf, and the results are much more noticeable.

Custom orthotics are better than store-bought orthotics because they are more effective in preventing injury, improving performance, and providing alignment for your body. Store-bought orthotics can cause even more damage if they do not properly fit.


How Long Do Custom Orthotics Last?

The lifespan of custom orthotics depends on a variety of factors such as the material of the orthotic, your activity level, and your weight. Most orthopedic surgeons recommend getting your orthotic evaluated every year. Typically, a custom orthotic will last between two and three years, but some can last up over five years. Many companies that provide custom-made orthotics offer warranties as well, so be sure to ask about that if you decide to get a custom orthotic for your feet.


Will I Have to Wear Orthotics Forever?

Being told by a doctor that you need orthotics may sound like a life-sentence. But depending on your condition, you may not have to wear orthotics forever. In many cases, you may have to start off by wearing your orthotics all the time but can gradually wear them less and less, especially if they’re being used to correct something about your posture or gait. It all depends on how you improve while using your orthotic.

Your doctor may also tell you that you only need to wear your orthotics while doing certain high-impact activities like running or jumping. In some instances, you can completely stop wearing your orthotics if you’ve been using custom-made ones and your issues have subsided. However, you should always talk to a medical professional before making any decision regarding use of your orthotics. 


If You’re Feeling Pain, Do Something

If you’ve got a nagging pain in your feet, legs, or back, don’t ignore it. It’s always a good idea to intervene early and prevent any further damage. The longer you let a problem persist, the worse it may get. Call the specialists at OrthoConnecticut today to have your gait analyzed and assess whether you need a custom orthotic. 

Contact us today to learn more or to make an appointment.