Orthotics are useful medical aids. They can help you recover from an injury or manage a long-term condition.
While you can buy some off-the-shelf orthotics online or in stores, you should consider getting a custom device from a podiatrist. What are the benefits of using a custom orthotic rather than a stock device?
1. Get a Better Fit
While off-the-shelf medical orthotics have some benefits, they have a big downside. These devices have a general fit. They are designed to fit any person who buys them. They have average sizes and shapes.
If you wear this kind of orthotic, then it might give you some relief or support. However, it can't exactly fit your body and target the areas where you need support.
So, if you have a problem with an arch in your foot, an off-the-shelf orthotic won't necessarily fit the shape of your foot exactly. However, a custom device will have a more exact fit; it is made to precise measurements.
2. See Better Results
You might get some relief and support from a stock orthotic, but you might not get the best results. For example, if you're using a device for pain management, you might not see as much of a reduction in your pain as you'd like.
Even if you just need the orthotic to give you additional support, you might not be able to wear the device as much as you should. You'll see limited benefits if you can't wear the orthotic for long periods because it is uncomfortable or because it hurts.
If you have a custom orthotic made, then you get a device that is easier to wear. An exact fit will give you both comfort and support. You'll be able to wear the device for longer periods.
This could help you manage pain and discomfort more effectively. If you're wearing a device while an injury heals, you could speed up the healing process.
3. Get Professional Input
If you buy your own off-the-shelf orthotic, then you rely on the manufacturer's guidance when you choose a product. You don't necessarily have the knowledge to choose the right device for your problem.
If you get a custom orthotic from a podiatrist, then you get professional help. For example, a podiatrist can judge whether you need a functional device that helps you improve foot problems or an accommodative option that gives you support.
To find out more about the benefits of custom orthotics, talk to a local podiatrist.