Orthotics are devices made to fit inside shoes that change or correct the way you move. They can be soft or rigid, made from a range of materials and allow people who have biomechanical deficiencies to move without pain. Orthotics are available over the counter in very non- specific forms, or your doctor may make an orthotic device molded to the shape and size of your foot, to fit your specific need. This is referred to as custom orthotics, which allows doctors to treat a wide range of abnormalities. Custom orthotics can be made in a wide range of sizes, shapes and materials allowing your doctor the ability to meet your unique needs.
The main function of orthotics is to:
- Change the way the foot works
- Protect the foot
- Combination of change and protection
Orthotic devices are made from different materials depending on the requisite firmness. They can be rigid, soft or semi rigid and have different functions. Rigid orthotics are made from plastic or carbon fiber material fit easily inside of street shoes. They control joint motion directly below the ankle. Control and improvement in this joint function can eliminate or greatly reduce aches and pains in legs and lower back. Dr. Vargas makes them after making a cast of your foot, or using other technology to create an image. They are meant to improve form and function.
Soft orthotics are made from cushioning material that fits comfortably against the bottom of the foot and worn without irritation. They usually fit the length of the foot extending all the way up to and including the toes. Their function is to eliminate sore spots, improve balance and provide cushioning to absorb impact. These are also made from a cast or image of your foot. This type of orthotic can best help people who struggle with the effects of diabetes, or arthritis.
Semi-rigid orthotics, like the name suggests, are made up of a combination of cushioning materials layered with more rigid material. They improve balance making it easier to walk and participate in more rigorous activities. This type of insert is the one most commonly used for athletes as a means of controlling or relieving pain allowing them to maintain training and competitive schedules.
If the simple acts of standing or walking are causing you pain, call Dr. Vargas at (281) 313-0090 in Sugarland, or (281) 342-8700 in Richmond/Rosenberg. He can evaluate you and discuss whether custom orthotics are right for you. With his in office high technology allowing for gait analysis he can see digital images allowing him to customize to meet your unique needs.