Over-the-Counter Orthotics vs. Digital Orthotics

Orthotics refer to padding placed within a shoe to improve an improper walking pattern. These assist people when it comes to standing, walking, and running with minimal to no discomfort in their feet. Foot & Ankle Center orthotics can remedy a wide range of symptoms that other versions cannot. Here’s why you should choose digital orthotics instead of over-the-counter orthotics.

A Google Diagnosis

It’s easy to be an educated consumer in the world today with search engines like Google giving us every opportunity to find the answers to our questions. At the same time, there also is a paradox of choice with so many varying opinions out there. If our feet are hurting, we can type in “feet pain” and self-diagnose ourselves. The issue is that you put yourself at risk for causing further harm by not seeing a podiatrist to recommend digital or over-the-counter orthotics.

Digital Orthotics

Digital orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts. These are produced by scanning all aspects of a foot, which helps create a computerized 3D model. This model is then sent for design. Podiatrists have the ability to work with individuals and make sure that no two feet are treated the same for their digital orthotics.

Over-the-Counter Orthotics

Over-the-counter orthotics are pre-made shoe inserts that can be found almost any place that shoes are sold. These are produced by taking common foot patterns and estimating which people will need which version. This type of orthotics is a cheap and short-term solution when it comes to foot pain.

Three Categories of Digital Orthotics

The Foot and Ankle Center offers three different categories of digital orthotics that will help you determine what’s right for you:

  • Rigid Orthotics control function utilizing a plastic or carbon fiber body. These improve or eliminate strains, aches, and pains in the legs, thighs, and lower back.
  • Soft Orthotics absorb shock and increase balance while removing pressure from your feet. Made up of cushioned materials, these are powerful for diabetic and arthritic feet.
  • Semi-Rigid Orthotics provide balance from layers of soft and rigid materials. These help athletes and children with foot pain.

Quality Over Quantity

According to OrthoInfo (from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons), “Although custom orthoses are considerably more expensive than off-the-shelf devices, they last much longer and provide more support or correction.” While it is true that the cost of digital orthotics is higher than most over-the-counter products, you will always get what you pay for. Ask yourself if it’s worth it to continuously go to the store and purchase a product you’re not entirely sure will even work.

Stop by the Foot & Ankle Center today and speak with one of our friendly doctors to find out if digital orthotics are right for you!