If you are experiencing foot pain, you might be thinking about shoe inserts. Shoe inserts can help ease foot pain, but you might need orthotics. This would depend on the problem that causes pain in your foot.

Shoe inserts can be bought in stores without a prescription. They are made with gel, plastic, or foam that provide cushioning and support for your feet. They simply fit into shoes and come in standard sizes, not custom-made for your feet. These inserts are made to provide extra cushioning on the heel, around the toes, or the whole foot. It can also provide arch support. They are designed to provide you comfort but are not made to be a solution for existing foot problems.

Orthotics are different from shoe inserts. They are medical devices that are prescribed. They are placed inside shoes to correct biomechanical foot issues. They are worn inside shoes to help improve the way a patient walks, stands, or runs. Orthotics help with foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis, bursitis, and arthritis. It is often prescribed to athletes or patients with underlying medical conditions that cause foot problems like diabetes. Podiatrists also prescribe orthotics to correct flat feet and avoid surgery.

There are two types of orthotics, rigid and soft. Rigid or functional orthotics are made from plastic or carbon fiber. It is designed to help with foot aches and strains. This type of orthotics doesn’t just help with the feet but also for proper posture to ease pain in the legs and lower back. Soft orthotics or accommodative orthotics are made from soft materials. It is designed to provide cushioning and take pressure off sore spots caused by plantar fasciitis or ulcers. The design can be bulky so patients might need to wear prescription foot wear along with the orthotic.

If you are experiencing foot pain, consult with a podiatrist right away to discuss possible treatment options. A podiatrist can prescribe you orthotics to ease your foot pain. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our podiatrists!