Thursday, October 8, 2009

Types of Arch Support Inserts and How They Can Help Your Over-Pronation

In general terms, there are three different types of orthotic shoe inserts to consider when thinking of making a worthwhile investment for the health of your feet. Each of these types of devices has different characteristics, and are used depending on your particular condition:1) Customized (rigid) orthotics: These orthotic shoe inserts are for patients with intense biomechanical disorders that are more intense than the usual degree of excessive pronation that a lot of us experience. Custom-made, rigid orthotic shoe inserts are only available from a podiatrist. For example, some people deal with \'supination\', which is the contrary to pronation. Their feet roll outwards or \'supinate\', and the arch remains high and stiff when contacting the ground. This condition is known as a high-arched foot or cavus foot, and only affects 5 percent of the world\'s population. Supinators will call for a custom-made orthotic that fixes this type of problem. Additionally, individuals with very large bunions, foot ulcers, foot deformities or entirely flat feet should see a podiatrist. After first diagnosis of flat feet, or any of the before mentioned ailments, the podiatrist will select the proper custom-made prescription orthotic. After that, a negative-impression plaster cast of the person\'s foot is made, and this cast is then shipped to an a special laboratory for manufacturing orthotics. Using this cast, a positive cast is formed by pouring plaster into the negative mold. The end product is an accurate replica of the underside of the foot. From this copy, the orthotist (orthotics technician) will create a custom-made orthotic, including the needed adjustments, as instructed by the podiatrist. The end product is a rigid (or semi-rigid) orthotic device. Although these devices are biomechanically correct, many people find it very hard getting accustomed to them.2) Heat-moldable orthotics: Heat-moldable orthotics are a less expensive option to the costly custom-made orthotics, which usually cost several hundreds of dollars per pair. They are a standard, prefabricated, pliable product made of medium-firm density E.V.A. material. The product then can be warmed to slightly alter its shape. On occasion wedges are added for a more customized result. Heat-moldable arch supports cost around $100 to $140 and are to a large extent easier to get used to than custom-made rigid orthotics.3) Off-the-shelf Orthotic Inserts: Off-the-shelf orthotics are a soft-medium density insole, found at pharmacies, online from specialist websites, and also from some physiotherapists and chiropractors. People will get used to these orthotics almost right away, and the cost ranges from $30 to $50 per pair. Research proves that for 80% of individuals afflicted with overpronation, a prefabricated insole will offer adequate a few days of wear, these types of insoles will customize to the patient\'s foot shape, due to their body weight and body heat. Most pre-made orthotic shoe inserts are made of EVA, a supple but firm substance that holds up the foot without hurting the arches. Children and the elderly will especially benefit from a softer type of arch support, since they tend to be less tolerant of anything stiff below the foot.It is always a good idea to get the opinion of a specialist when you are making this type of decision. You need to make sure you are making the best choice for your particular problem.--Orthotic insoles are devices that are designed to correct biomechanical imbalances in the feet and lower body by providing arch support and decrese excessive foot pronation.Source:

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