The human foot is an incredible structure, designed to naturally flex and pronate, absorb impact shocks, keep your body balanced and aligned, and propel you forward.

Unfortunately, not all feet do this equally well. Many people have structural or biomechanical inefficiencies or deformities, such as flexible flat feet, high arches, or overpronation. These issues can make the feet less effective at their jobs and more prone to injuries and pain. Because feet are the foundation of the body, these biomechanical problems can even create misalignments and pain further up the body, including in the knees, hips, and back.

If this is the situation you find yourself in, a carefully selected set of orthotics will often be the best treatment option. Orthotics can provide the optimal level of support, cushioning, and stability your feet need to alleviate the discomfort and get back to working properly again.

At InStride Crystal Coast Podiatry, we offer high quality premade arch supports as well as prescription custom orthotics to meet the unique needs of our patients.

Conditions Treated by Orthotics

Because many common conditions can be caused, at least in part, by structural or biomechanical abnormalities in the feet and ankles, orthotics are frequently recommended for a wide variety of diagnoses. These include but are not limited to:

  • Heel pain, due to plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and Achilles tendinitis
  • Ball of foot pain (metatarsalgia), Morton’s neuroma and capsulitis
  • Flat feet
  • High arches
  • Sports injuries
  • Foot deformities (including bunions and hammertoes)
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Back pain

It is also important to understand that orthotics may not be recommended for every instance of the above conditions. A complete evaluation will tell us whether orthotics are a good choice for your unique circumstances, depending on what specifically is causing your symptoms.

close-up of young woman feeling pain in her foot on stair, Have ankle pain, Health concept

Prefabricated Shoe Inserts

An over-the-counter arch support is often a good choice if you have mild-to-moderate symptoms, and a fairly typical foot shape with a neutral arch. If this describes your situation, chances are good that you will do very well with one of our prefabricated inserts.

Although over-the-counter inserts are not as precise as prescription custom orthotics, we are able to adjust and personalize the fit to a limited degree by adding material to increase stability and further balance the foot. If this adequately solves the initial problem and you are able to return to your active lifestyle without pain, there is no need for prescription orthotics.

It is important to understand that going to the pharmacy and picking a set of insoles off the shelf is not the same as coming to us and getting a set of higher quality prefabricated orthotics. Store-bought insoles are generally designed more for cushioning rather than support, and provide only temporary relief at best. If you want lasting results, you are much better served by having a professional evaluate your feet and match you with a set of quality orthotics picked out specifically for you.

Orthotics and Arch Supports

Prescription Custom Orthotics

If you are experiencing more severe symptoms or have a more pronounced deformity or imbalance in your foot structure or gait mechanics—such a severe flexible flatfoot—we will likely recommend custom orthotics.

At your appointment, we will take neutral, non-weight-bearing impressions of your feet and send them, along with our prescription, to a lab where the orthotics will be made for you. Once your orthotics return from the lab, we will have you back to our office to check the fit, make any last-minute adjustments that may be necessary, and give you some follow-up instructions to ensure the “break-in” process goes as smoothly as possible.

Because custom orthotics fit your feet exactly and have a wider variety of shapes, designs, and materials available, they can be much more effective for certain conditions. They also tend to last much longer (several years in many cases) and can usually be adjusted over time to ensure they continue to fit correctly.

Give Your Feet the Support They Need

Just like the right pair of glasses or contacts can help even those with extreme refractory errors see with perfect clarity, the right set of orthotic inserts can help feet of all shapes and sizes stand up to daily stresses and function at their full potential.

If you are struggling with chronic pain and your feet are to blame, trust Dr. Thomas Bobrowski and the team at InStride Crystal Coast Podiatry to provide the support you need. You can reach our New Bern office by phone at (252) 638-4700, or request an appointment online.