Our clinic is somewhat unique in that we can offer the right patient a custom made orthotic to help treat their individualized condition. We build these custom braces and orthotics in-house and fit them specifically to your foot, which can really help drive home recovery or prevent an injury altogether. In today’s blog, we explain why custom orthotics and braces offer added benefits to the patient compared to generic assistive devices.
Why Choose Custom Orthotics
Here’s a look at a number of reasons why custom orthotics are oftentimes a better choice than one-size-fits-all device.
Tailored to Specific Needs - Every person has a different foot structure, and having a brace that is fit specifically to your foot ensures your foot has support in all the right places. For example, a person with a wide foot and mid-level arches needs a different orthotic than someone with a standard size foot and high arches to treat plantar fasciitis. Pressure is distrubed differently based on our foot design, and we need an orthotic that can account for every person’s unique foot size and shape.
Load Distribution - One of the key reasons a person needs a brace or an orthotic is to help ensure force is distribution safely and evenly across the foot. A custom orthotic can do a better job at distributing force because it can be designed based on pressure imaging that allows the doctor to see how force is being managed in your foot without a brace. They’ll then design an orthotic to shift forces and take pressure off injured areas.
Stabilization - A specifically designed orthotic or brace can also do a better job at stabilizing the injured foot than a generic orthotic. Stabilizing certain ligaments to keep them from becoming overstressed may be part of your rehab, and a custom orthotic can help keep structures where they should be.
Better Proprioception - Proprioception is our body’s ability to recognize itself in space. Our brain interprets signals to determine where our feet and hands are in relation to our body in order to make specific movements, and custom orthotics can improve our body’s ability to be aware of its location relative to space. An orthotic or brace that hits the foot or ankle in specific spots helps to relay nerve signals to improve proprioception.
Better Balance - All of the above factors help contribute to this final point, which is an improvement in balance. Being able to maintain balance is especially important for older individuals who may be at risk for a fall, and a custom orthotic may be able to help improve your balance and reduce your risk of injury from a fall. If you’re concerned about your balance, reach out to the staff at the Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center to learn more about custom orthotics and braces.