What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are orthopedic devices made of lightweight materials that range in complexity from simple shoe inserts bought over-the-counter to intricate custom-made devices crafted specifically to fit your needs.

These orthotics can help restore your ability to walk, run, and jump by reducing pain and swelling while also increasing the stability of unstable joints and providing better arch support. They can also ease problems in other parts of the body such as the back and hips, as well as improve the overall health of the foot and ankles.

It’s important to remember, however, that not all orthotics are created equal as there is often a large disparity in both quality and effectiveness between over-the-counter and custom-made orthotics.

Over-the-counter orthotics can serve the needs of some people adequately, but in many cases a custom-made orthotic is required for optimal pain relief. It’s important to remember that over-the-counter orthotics are made for a very general foot type while a custom orthotic is specifically made to match the contours of your feet precisely and designed for the way you move.

The quality and durability of the materials, coupled with the custom molding process, contributes to a higher price tag for custom orthotics, but their durability and comfort often outweigh the cost. Like most things in life, when purchasing orthotics, you get what you pay for.

Unlike its over-the-counter cohort, a custom-made orthotic can only be manufactured after a podiatrist has conducted a complete evaluation of your feet, ankles, and legs, so the orthotic can accommodate your unique foot structure and pathology.

By utilizing a dynamic walking scan analysis, Dr. Goldbaum is able to create a holistic picture of the forces acting on your feet and throughout your body as well as pressure distribution and foot motion as you move. Additionally, a static analysis assessment of your feet and posture is done while you are standing motionless in order to learn about your weight distribution and the forces going through different regions of your feet.

Once it is decided that an orthotic is right for you, the casting process will take roughly 20-30 minutes and the final product will take anywhere from a few days to three weeks to complete. With Dr. Goldbaum, these orthotics are built to last and can often be easily adjusted over the years.

In addition to these custom-made orthotics, Dr. Goldbaum also works with several other types of orthotics that are classified by the region of the foot for which they are meant. For example, AFOs, or ankle-foot orthotics, are designed to control the ankle directly, controlling its position and motion while compensating for weakness or deformities.