Frequently Asked Questions
Unlike arch supports, over the counter remedies, or customized mail-order insoles, custom orthotics are custom made from impressions created by your feet, and from a prescription ordered by your health professional. Custom orthotics will help maintain correct alignment and function of your feet and lower extremity when worn in your casual dress, athletic, or even high-heeled shoes. By properly balancing your foundation, the pain you experience in your feet, ankles, legs, knees, hips, and back could be a thing of the past!
Remember, custom orthotics are custom made to your feet. Consider them like contact lenses for your feet. And like contact lenses, there may be short period of time during which the orthotics will be “broken in.” A period of 2-6 weeks is not uncommon. Once your body becomes properly aligned, you will not even realize you’re wearing them… but you’ll certainly know when you’re not!
There are many different types of orthotics. Our doctors can evaluate your foot type, specific skeletal or muscular problem, and style of shoe gear to determine the type of device that is best for you.
Seventy-five percent of Americans will experience foot health problems of varying degrees of severity at one time or another.
The foot is an intricate structure containing 26 bones, 33 joints, and 107 ligaments. Nineteen muscles and tendons hold the structure together and allow it to move in a variety of ways.
The 52 bones in your feet make up about one quarter of all the bones in your body.
Women are about four times as likely to have foot problems as men. Lifelong patterns of wearing high heels often contribute to difficulties.
The American Podiatric Medical Association says the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. That’s the equivalent of several miles. They all add up to about 115,000 miles in a lifetime. That’s like walking around the world four times.
While walking, the pressure on your feet can exceed your body weight. When you’re running, it can be three or four times your body weight.
Shopping for shoes is best done in the afternoon, says the American Podiatric Medical Association. Your feet tend to swell a little during the day, and it’s best to buy shoes to fit them then. Have your feet measured every time you purchase shoes, and do it while you’re standing. When you try on shoes, try them on both feet; many people have one foot larger than the other, and it’s best to fit the larger one.
Regular walking is the best exercise for your feet. It also contributes to your general health by improving circulation, contributing to weight control, and promoting all-around well-being.
Your feet mirror your general health. Conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in the feet. Foot ailments may be your first sign of more serious medical problems.
There are about 9,000 podiatry offices in the United States. There is an average of one podiatric physician for every 25,000 people. They receive more than 60 million visits a year from people with any number of foot ailments. Yet, that’s probably only a fraction of the number of foot problems. Mostly, say podiatrists, that’s because many people have the erroneous notion that their feet are supposed to hurt.
According to the American Podiatric Medial Association, a small percentage of the population is born with foot problems. Neglect, a lack of awareness of proper care and ill-fitting shoes bring on many of the problems. A lifetime of wear, tear, and neglect accounts for the fact that most podiatrists see older Americans as patients.
The podiatric physician (doctor of podiatric medicine, or DPM) is the health care professional trained in the care of feet. He or she receives conventional medical training plus special training on the foot, ankle, and lower leg. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico require podiatrists to pass rigorous state board examinations before they are licensed. Most require continuing education programs for regular license renewal. Colleges of podiatric medicine all have entrance requirements which, like institutions granting MD (medical doctor) and DO (doctor of osteopathy) degrees, anticipate completion of an undergraduate degree, though they will consider candidates who show unusual promise and have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours at accredited undergraduate colleges or universities.
About 19 percent of the US population has an average of 1.4 foot problems each year.
About 6 percent of the US population has foot injuries, bunions, and flat feet or fallen arches each year.
Consult your podiatrist to learn more about alleviating your pain.