From heel pain to bunions to acute and chronic sports injuries, many of the most common foot and ankle conditions can often be traced back to underlying flaws in your feet—either in the way they’re structured, or the way they move.
When that happens, the best solution is usually to support, control, cushion, and comfort those feet with a new pair of shoes, insoles, or custom orthotic devices. Accommodate or alter the misalignment or abnormal motion with better footwear, and you can relieve the source of the pain and stress.
At Comprehensive Foot Centers, our team of foot and ankle specialists will help you find your perfect fit, so you can enjoy all-day relief from foot pain regardless of your lifestyle!
Conditions That Can Be Treated with Orthotics
Orthotic devices are often recommended or prescribed to assist with the management, treatment, or prevention of a wide variety of painful conditions, including:
- Heel and arch pain
- Forefoot pain and neuromas
- Foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes
- Chronic sports injury pain, including tendinitis, shin splints, or stress fractures
- Flat feet in children
- Gait abnormalities
- Foot and ankle arthritis
- Diabetic foot wounds
- Knee, hip, and back pain—since feet are the foundation of your body, foot flaws and misalignments can affect muscles and joints resting above them.
Helping You Find the Right Support For Your Feet
During your initial visit, we’ll make a thorough assessment of your foot structure, your biomechanics, and any injuries you might be suffering from. We’ll also take a good look at your shoes, ask you about your symptoms—when did they start, what triggers them, etc.—and also ask you about what activities you’d like to be able to perform, but can’t due to pain.
From there, we may recommend one of several different “levels” of additional support your feet may be lacking:
- New shoes. In some cases, this may be all you really need. If you’ve been wearing shoes that aren’t the right fit for your feet or your activity, finding a few better pairs can often make a huge difference.
- Over-the-counter orthotics. Non-prescription insoles are designed to (approximately) fit a variety of common foot types and provide them with additional cushioning and arch support. They can often help with mild-to-moderate foot and leg pain from ordinary, daily activity. We can provide or recommend specific insoles that we believe will be appropriate for your situation.
- Custom orthotics. If you have a longstanding or recurring foot problem or abnormal biomechanical gait that needs to be corrected, you will likely need custom orthotics. They are also often the best choice for people who play high-impact sports or have occupations that require a lot of walking and standing.
What Makes Custom Orthotics Different? Are They Worth It?
Custom orthotics give us the greatest degree of flexibility and versatility to provide your feet with exactly what they need to minimize pain or abnormal function.
First, we’ll determine what type of orthotic device you need (functional, accommodative, soft, semi-rigid, etc.) based on our expert analysis of your condition. Then, we’ll take molds of your feet and send it to the lab so that they can create a set of orthotics to fit the contours of your feet exactly—not just approximately.
Custom orthotics generally fall into one of two broad categories:
- Accommodative orthotics are all about support, cushioning, and comfort. In other words, they accommodate an existing foot flaw so that it doesn’t cause pain anymore. They tend to be made from soft materials, and are great for conditions like arthritis and wounds.
- Functional orthotics are all about stabilizing and controlling abnormal motion so that your feet and joints move in a biomechanically efficient way. They tend to be made of semi-rigid materials and are often the best choice for chronic sports injuries, among other issues.
Because they are doctor-prescribed for diagnosed conditions and can be matched to exact need and foot shape, custom orthotics offer the most advanced and effective level of care for those with more severe or recurring pain.
And because they are made from high quality, durable materials, custom orthotics can typically last much longer than over-the-counter insoles, and can even be adjusted (to a degree) over time as your needs change. This helps offset some of the higher up-front costs.
That said, not everyone will need custom orthotics. Some conditions can be managed with an over-the-counter insole, or even a new pair of shoes. It’s our job to match you with the level of support and care that you actually need for your lifestyle.
To schedule an appointment with one of the foot specialists of Comprehensive Foot Centers—at any of our six convenient Metro Kansas City locations in Kansas or Missouri—please call (816) 455-1155.