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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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Orthotics, also known as orthoses, refers to any device inserted into a shoe, prefabricated/or over the counter devices or custom-made shoe inserts that correct for an abnormal or irregular, walking pattern. Sometimes [and somewhat incorrectly] called arch supports, orthotics allow people to stand, walk, and run more efficiently and comfortably. While over-the-counter orthotics are available and may help people with mild symptoms, they normally cannot correct for the wide range of symptoms that prescription foot orthoses can since they are not made to fit an individual's unique foot structure.  In addition, many people have differences between the left and right sides, so each foot has its own needs.

Orthotic devices come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. They tend to be categorized by flexibility, being classified as rigid, semi-rigid, and flexible.  Each person has their own needs based on their foot structure, activities where the orthotics are to be used, along with the styles of shoes that are being worn.  There are analogies to eyeglasses in thet they need to be used as much as possible whenever you are on your feet--and help you walk or run better with the feet you have as opposed to changing your feet.
 
Rigid Orthotics
Rigid orthotic devices are designed to control foot function and are used primarily for walking or dress shoes. They are often composed of a firm material, such as plastic or carbon fiber. Rigid orthotics can be made from a plaster mold of the foot but at Clark Podiatry Center, we utilize a 3-dimensional digital scanning device which makes for the most accurate images of your feet. Rigid orthotics control motion in the two major foot joints that lie directly below the ankle joint and may improve or eliminate strains, aches, and pains in the legs, thighs, and lower back.

Soft, flexible (accommodative) Orthotics
Soft orthotics are generally used to increase balance and take pressure off uncomfortable or sore spots such as callsues. They are usually effective for diabetics in reducing pressure and shear forces that can cause blisters or ulcerations. Soft orthotics are typically made up of soft, cushioned materials so that they can be worn against the sole of the foot, extending from the heel past the ball of the foot, including the toes. Like rigid orthotics, soft orthotics are also made from images of your foot, including markings made to relieve pressure spots.  Softer orthotics do not provide as much mechanical control of the feet and therefore are used more for protection.


Semi-Rigid Orthotics
Semi-rigid orthotics provide foot balance for walking or participating in sports. The typical semi-rigid orthotic is made up of materials that are more flexible that the rigis orthotics, allowing for the extra forces and stresses involved in sport activities. These orthotics are also used to help athletes mitigate pain while they train and compete.

 

Children's Orthotics

Children have their individual needs mixed in with the fact that grow (often, it seems, right before your eyes!)  There are different developmental stages for children from 1-4, 4-7 and 7+ and as such have different orthotic needs at each stage.  It is a common missconception that children "grow out of" may foot problems.  Even though they may not have pain, many intoe, outtoe and flat foot deformities will not change and will result in additional deformities and arthritic pain in their 20s and 30s if left untreated.

 

 Depicted here is the difference in the alignment of your feet and legs with and without orthotics. 

Note the alignment of the right foot and leg, with all the stress being placed on the inside of the ankle.  On the left, the alignment is much better and it is easy to see how the mechanical stress and strain can be reduced by using an orthotic.  Biomechanical function is more efficient and less likely to cause pain or deformity.

 

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Call Today 732-382-3470

1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470