Arch supports are devices that are placed in shoes to help support the foot and lower extremity. They can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including foot pain, heel pain, flat feet, high arches, and shin splints. They can also be used to improve alignment and reduce stress on the joints. Of course, not all arch supports are created equal and can’t provide the targeted treatment most people with foot conditions need.
To find out what type of arch support you need, it is highly recommended that you talk to a podiatrist who specializes in treating all types of foot and ankle issues and often provides orthotics as a non-surgical treatment method. Since your foot has features that are unique to you, it’s best to see a foot and ankle specialist for effective relief from foot and ankle pain.
Here, we will talk about the two most common types of arch supports and what they are used for.
Over-The-Counter Arch Supports
Full arch supports are a type of shoe inserts that are used to provide support for the entire arch of the foot and prevent the arches of your feet from absorbing the impact of three times your body weight. They are often used in cases such as foot pain, heel pain, and knee and lower back pain. There are many different arch supports on the market, and what they do is provide extra cushioning inside your shoe, which helps make your shoes fit more comfortably.
These arch supports can be purchased over-the-counter and are commonly found in pharmacies and shoe stores. However, the results may not be as dramatic compared to custom-made orthotics. Since they are mass-produced, they are not able to address unique issues that contribute to foot pain.
Orthotics are shoe inserts that are meant to treat existing problems of the foot. This is usually recommended for patients with more severe foot problems, and they are usually customized to the patient. Structural issues such as high arches and flat feet, make you prone to developing foot problems such as corns and calluses, plantar fasciitis, bunions, arthritis, and Achilles tendonitis. These are custom-made for you and are only available at the podiatrist’s clinic. Therefore, they can be made to be rigid or soft, depending on the type of material that will be used in construction. It also depends on the prescription of the podiatrist. Rigid custom orthotics are usually designed to limit abnormal movement of the foot, while soft ones ease pain and provide greater comfort to the wearer.
The technology to create custom orthotics has become very advanced over the years. Patients can have their feet scanned within minutes while being seated, producing a three-dimensional image of each foot. The results are then quickly sent to a laboratory to manufacture the orthotic shoe inserts.
Podiatrist in Cincinnati, OH
If you seek specialized care for your foot issues, choose the podiatrists at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care. We offer a wide range of treatment methods, including 3D technology for the creation of custom-made orthotics. Our physicians create comprehensive treatment methods that are tailored to you, so you can experience lasting relief from symptoms.
We are the largest podiatry practice in Cincinnati, with 18 locations to choose from. To schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists, call our podiatry clinic nearest you or use our convenient appointment request form.