Custom Orthotics

Function That Follows Form

Foot pain and heel pain can stem from a variety of different causes. However, many of these cases pertain to structure and force distribution, and in these cases, custom orthotics can be an effective form of treatment.

Custom orthotics provide very specific levels of cushioning and corrective support in areas of the foot that need it, helping to relieve areas undergoing excess stress. This can lead to better opportunities for the healing of soft tissue injuries, better distribution of weight across the foot, and overall improved long-term comfort.

While not recommended for every case of foot pain, custom orthotics may prove effective when there are specific abnormalities in the structure of the foot, including (but not limited to): flat feet, high arches, or toe deformities such as bunions.

How Custom Orthotics Work

For custom orthotics to work properly, we must first understand the underlying issues causing pain in the foot. This takes a full examination, which might include questions about what your feet go through at work, what activities you enjoy doing, and overall medical history. We might even ask you to bring a pair of well-worn shoes in with you. We can tell a lot about the way you walk by examining the treads!

Once the problem is determined, a cast or model of each foot is made and orthotics are prescribed to provide very precise amounts of cushioning and corrective measures in specific areas. We use “prescribed” quite literally here. Custom orthotics are designed for only one pair of feet, and no two pairs are exactly the same.

Orthotics can be divided into two general categories, based upon their purpose:

  • Accommodative orthotics are designed to provide cushioning and support, either to help relieve pain or to guard specific areas against damage. They naturally tend to be made of softer yet firm materials.
  • Functional orthotics are designed more to control abnormal motions of the foot, such as overpronation (the foot rolling too far inward while stepping). By assisting in maintaining normal motion, these orthotics can relieve much of the excess stress being placed on certain areas such as the Achilles tendon or plantar fascia. Functional orthotics tend to be made of relatively rigid materials such as plastic.

Some custom orthotics may combine elements from both types, depending on the situation.

What About Store-Bought Orthotics?

What makes custom orthotics different from those you can often find in a pharmacy or grocery store? A couple key factors!

First, store-bought orthotics will not provide the specified support your feet may need. They are of a “one-size-fits-most” variety. In a few cases, this means they will provide some relief. As much as a customized pair of orthotics would, though? That is not likely.

Also, custom orthotics are created from much sturdier materials and will last much longer than what you find at the store. With routine maintenance and refurbishment, a pair of custom orthotics can last 1-2 years; sometimes even further.

Get the Help You Need for Your Feet

Custom orthotics can be just what many patients need for lasting comfort and pain relief. It’s not the right form for all patients, though.

One thing is for certain: if you have been suffering from chronic foot pain, waiting will not solve the problem! In fact, it might pave the way for things becoming increasingly worse over time.

Call Eugene Foot and Ankle Health Center at (541) 683-3351 to schedule an appointment and take the first steps toward recovery. If you would prefer to contact us electronically, please feel free to fill out our online contact form and a member of our staff will respond.


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P: (541) 683-3351

F: (541) 683-6440


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