Custom Orthotics vs. Over-The-Counter Shoe Inserts

What are Custom Orthotics?

Custom orthotics are prescription made devices that go into your shoes and function to provide support and comfort to your feet. Custom orthotics are specifically made for your feet and for that reason, they exactly match the contours of your feet precisely and are carefully designed for the way you move. Given that custom orthotics are fitted specifically to your feet and your physical needs, Dr. Syamak Yamini located in Encino, Porter Ranch, and Los Angeles, CA will conduct a complete evaluation of your feet, ankles, and legs in order to prescribe a custom orthotic that can most optimally accommodate your unique foot strucutre and pathology. 

There are two types of custom orthotics. These include:

What are Over-The-Counter(OTC) Shoe Inserts?

Shoe inserts are any kind of foot support device that also go inside your shoes, but you can get them without a prescription, unlike a custom-made orthotic. Shoe inserts are mass-produced and only address structural and functional foot abnormalities in a very general sense. You might see "custom-made" insoles and foot supports which you can purchase online or at various retail stores, however, it is very important to be aware that these are not custom orthotics. Unless the foot device has been prescribed by a doctor like Dr.Syamak Yamini located in Porter Ranch, Encino, and Los Angeles, CA, it is a shoe insert, and not a custom orthotic-despite what the ads might say. 

Shoe inserts can provide relief for a wide range of foot ailments, such as flat arches and feet, and leg pain. They can provide increased cushioning, comfort, and support for your feet. However, since shoe inserts are not made to specifically address your foot ailment, unlike custom orthotics, shoe inserts cannot fix biomechanical foot problems or cure long-term foot conditions. 

Why Customize?

Custom orthotics can be used to treat a much wider range of foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, diabetic foot ulcers, and foot and ankle pain. Not only can custom orthotics treat more foot conditions, they are a long-term treatment option for many conditions, whereas most shoe inserts provide only temporarly relief. This is because custom orthoitcs fit the curves and arches of your feet, while with OTC shoe inserts, the foot is forced to conform to it. In fact, many clinical research studies indicate that custom orthotics prescribed by board certified podiatrists like Dr. Syamak Yamini located in Porter Ranch, Encino, and Los Angeles, CA decrease foot pain and improve function. 

Typically, custom orthotics cost more than OTC shoe inserts, however the additional cost is usually well worth it given the effectivness of custom orthotics. Additioanlly, the custom made orthotics prescribed by Dr. Syamak Yamini located in Porter Ranch, Encino, and Los Angeles, CA is made of high-grade material and can last many years when cared for properly, whereas OTC shoe inserts wear out much more quickly and have to be replaced more often. Therefore, in the long run, you might even save money with custom orthotics. In addition, insurance often partially or fully covers custom orthotics and the office of Dr. Syamak Yamini located in Porter Ranch, Encino, and Los Angeles, CA always checks your insurance benefits to determine if your insurance covers the costs.

What Are the Benefits of Custom Orthotics Vs. OTC Shoe Inserts?

What Conditions Can Custom Othoritcs Help With?

In the event of foot pain and discomfort , call the office of board-certified Dr. Syamak Yamini located in Porter Ranch, Encino, or Los Angeles, CA to get your feet evaluated and to determine whether custom orthotics may provide relief for you. 

Author
Syamak Yamini, DPM FACFAS Board Certified Foot and Ankle surgeon based in Porter Ranch, Encino, and Los Angeles

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