Did you know that several pains throughout your musculoskeletal system can be traced to issues with your feet?

Misaligned feet cause your sinus tarsi (space between two bones on your feet) to collapse, making your feet roll inward excessively. That is the reason why you are experiencing chronic pain. But once you address the root cause by wearing orthotics and using other chiropody services, the pain will improve. 

Orthotics are custom shoe inserts or a medical device inserted into a shoe used to manage many foot problems, including bunions, hammertoes, flat feet, heel pain, arthritis, etc. However, before you invest in orthotics, you have to understand their different types to determine which kind you need.

Types of Orthotics

Orthotics have three categories: those that are customized prescribed by doctors to address foot problems and act as protection, those that mainly attempt to optimize foot function, and ones that protect the wearer from potential injuries. For orthotics in Mississauga done right, check out Feet In Motion. They can accommodate weekend and evening appointments to suit your busy schedules. Click here to know more about their general foot care services.

1. Rigid Orthotics

Rigid orthotics are designed to control the motion of two major foot joints that lie directly below your ankle joint to help improve strains, aches, and pains in your thighs, legs, and lower back. They are also often used as dress shoes. These medical devices are long-lasting, don’t change shape, and are not easy to break.

Their main characteristics are:

  • They are made up of firm materials like plastic or carbon fiber.
  • You don’t need too much alteration to fit your shoe size.
  • They are extended from the sole of the heel to the toes or ball of your foot.

2. Semi-rigid Orthotics

These orthotics are usually used by athletes or individuals participating in sports because they are designed to provide foot balance for walking. They may not offer a permanent solution to foot problems but can help support muscles, joints, and tendons.

Their characteristics include:

  • Composed of layers of soft materials, reinforced with rigid materials
  • Perfect for athletes and sports enthusiasts

3. Soft Orthotics

Soft orthotics are designed to help absorb shock, maximize balance, and remove pressure off sore or uncomfortable spots. They are molded by your foot’s walking action or fashioned over a plaster impression of your feet. They are usually used to treat deformed, arthritic, and diabetic foot problems.

Soft orthotics are:

  • Used to absorb shock, increase balance, or release pressure.
  • Made up of soft, compressible materials.
  • Often recommended in addition to prescription footwear and may need extra room in shoes.
  • Worn against the sole of your foot, extending from heels to toes.

4. Orthotics for Children

These medical devices are utilized to treat children with foot deformities. Most podiatric doctors recommend that children with such problems be placed in orthotics soon after they start walking to stabilize the foot. These can be placed directly into standard or athletic shoes.

The child’s orthotics are usually replaced when their foot has grown two sizes. As the child’s feet develop and change shape, different types of orthotics may be needed.

5. Other Types of Orthotics

Many other types of orthotics can be used as protection for many sports like skiing, inline skating, and ice skating. They can also treat back problems caused by foot imbalance.

For more complicated foot and ankle deformities, custom or non-custom bracing is recommended to relieve pain and improve function. It can stabilize your foot and ankle and may include an orthotic-like footplate. It can also fit a standard shoe and may avoid surgery for foot and ankle problems. 

Practical Tips for People Wearing Orthotics

If you are advised to wear or are currently wearing orthotics, you may follow these tips:

  • Every time you need to buy a new pair of shoes, bring your orthotics.
  • Wear shoes, which work well with your orthotics.
  • Wear stockings or socks similar to those you plan on wearing when you buy a new pair of shoes.
  • Always contact or follow your physician’s recommendations and return for follow-up if required.