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Family Foot Care & Surgery, LLC

3 Reasons Custom Orthotics Can Change Your Life

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When pain is a fact of life, your world starts to shrink. We’ve seen it over, and over, and over again.

That’s really the heart of the matter. People don’t see us because they have pain—not really, anyway. They see us because they can no longer play with their grandkids, or take their dog for a walk, or play a set of tennis, or go on one of those awesome hikes in Greater New Haven.

Often times, a big reason for that pain is poor foot structure and alignment. The biomechanical setup of your feet and legs is off kilter—either due to your genetics or due to years of wear and tear—and it’s causing all sorts of problems.

custom orthotics can change your life

Fortunately, there’s a great solution that can typically address these alignment issues quickly and efficiently: custom orthotics. We’re not kidding when we say a proper set of these is more than just “nice to have,” but can actually change your life.

Here’s how.

They Reduce Pain Throughout the Body—Not Just the Feet

The key thing to remember here is that your feet are your foundation. Everything, all the way up to your head, rests upon them and depends on them for support.

In other words, foot problems are almost never just foot problems. What happens to one part of the body affects other parts all way up the chain.

When your feet are misaligned, then the joints above it can get pulled out of position, or at the very least be forced to take on an extra portion of pressure and stress. As a result, knee pain, hip pain, and even lower back pain are extremely common side effects of misaligned feet.

But the right pair of custom orthotics can fix the problem at the source. They put your feet back in position and rebalance the biomechanics for your entire body.

low back pain

They Let You Do More and Explore Further

How many times have you had to cut your walk short because you knew you couldn’t make it even a few more blocks without serious pain setting in?

How many times have you had to turn down an invitation for a hike, hunting trip, or day trip for some shopping and sight-seeing because you just knew you wouldn’t be able to keep up with your friends?

How many times have you driven to a nearby location instead of walking—not because you’re lazy, but because you aren’t sure you can handle it?

Nothing holds you back like your feet wearing out before you’re ready to stop. But for millions of Americans, that’s reality.

It doesn’t have to be.

With a good pair of orthotics reducing the wear, tear, and pressure across your feet and throughout your body, those long hikes, tennis games, or shopping trips are no longer unattainable. You can go farther, explore more, and get that part of your lifestyle back.

They Let You Play Harder—and Better

If you’re an athlete betrayed by your mechanically flawed or misaligned feet, custom orthotics just might be the most important piece of equipment in your bag.

And by “athlete,” let’s be clear. We’re talking about anyone who loves to be active and makes sports and play a regular part of their lifestyle. That includes everybody from weekend joggers and pickup basketball players to collegiate and professional athletes.

When you play with poor biomechanics, all your movements become less efficient. Not only do you tire out faster and increase your risk of injuring yourself on the field, but you actually suffer a loss in performance. Speed, power, agility—they’re all much harder to generate with flawed feet.

But finding a good pair of orthotics that fit your athletic shoes can make a huge difference in all aspects of your game. With possibly just a little bit of retraining, the improved mechanical efficiency from your orthotic correction will help you run a bit faster and play a bit better than before.

Plus, since you’re less likely to get hurt and can push yourself longer during training before aches and pain begin to set in, you can improve even faster.

runners

Why Custom?

You mean aside from the three great reasons we just gave you?

Kidding aside, many people naturally wonder whether they need to invest in custom orthotics, or whether the popular (and relatively cheap) in-store insoles are good enough.

The most honest answer here is that it depends. For some people an off-the-rack insole might be a decent alternative. This is more likely to be the case if the pain you experience is fairly mild, the structural problems with your feet are very minor, and you just need a bit of extra cushioning and support—not biomechanical fixes.

However, there are many compelling advantages to custom orthotics that generic inserts can’t provide:

  • They’re an exact fit for your feet, rather than an approximate one. The results you can achieve with a custom are higher than with a generic insole, especially for more serious foot problems.
  • They can treat and correct functional and biomechanical issues and provide stability for the feet and ankles. This is almost never the case with off-the-shelf insoles.
  • They are made from high-quality materials that are more durable than cheap generic insoles, and they can typically be refurbished and adjusted periodically. This give custom orthotics a much longer useable lifespan on average, which makes up for (at least partially, if not fully and then some) the higher up-front costs.

Of course, ultimately you’ll need a specialist to determine:

  • Whether or not you need some kind of orthotic insert to relieve your pain;
  • If so, whether you truly need custom orthotics or if prefabricated insoles are worth considering first; and
  • What type and style of orthotics will ultimately work best for your situation.
To get answers to those questions, you should make an appointment with us! To see Dr. Sanjay Patel in either Milford or Hamden, give our office a call today at (203) 876-7736.
Dr. Sanjay V. Patel
Dr. Patel has over 20 years of experience in the field of podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery.
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