So you or your family have one of the conditions such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, flat feet, Mortons Neuroma, or painful feet in general; and knowing that having orthotics is the way to resolve the condition. Now the question is: what and where you should get you orthotics. I recently bought two pairs of kids orthotics from EBay, and I compared them with medical graded orthotics.
Cheap and good quality orthotics- Do they ever exist?
No they don’t. Look at the first one I got from EBay. It was described as Children Kids Insole Pad – Orthotic – Shock Absorption -Foot Correction, the price was AUD 3.59. Cheap! But clearly the seller did not understand the word ‘orthotic’.
Wikipedia defines orthotics as ‘provide support for the foot by redistributing ground reaction forces as well as realigning foot joints while standing, walking or running.’ The ‘orthotic’ above has no supporting arch that would help to redistributing forces or realigning your feet. But, it is shock absorbent as it is cushioning.
Here is the arch support orthotics- Do they give the right support?
The second pair I got was :Orthopedic Orthotics Arch Support Shoe Insoles Inserts For Children, AUD 3.78. It is super supportive, that can definetely redistributing forces or realigning your feet, but might be in the wrong way. You would not know how your feet should be supported, only podiatrists or physiotherapists would be able to fit your orthotics professionally.
Medical Graded Off the shelf kids’ orthotics
There are many off the shelf medical graded orthotics available, and with dfferent designs too. This is a 1/2 length children’s orthotic with 3 degree medial rear foot post, the price is AUD 21.10. Although it is off the shelf orthotics, it is heat mouldable to certain degree. That is, it can be moulded to your feet. Sounds good? It also mentioned it is for clinicians use only. These medical graded orthotics should only be given out by health professions, such as podiatrists. We should not try to be our own doctor to self-treatment. The truth is, we do not need orthotics unless we have symptoms or pain in our feet.
Customized Orthotics by Podiatrists
Would you let dentist to check your eyes? Nope. Then, seek podiatrists for your orthotics. Do you know there are different designs of orthotics that provide instant relief for different kind of pain? However, wrong choice of orthotics would only like putting salt onto your wounds.
But it costs hundreds of dollar!
Yes it costs around $600-$700 or more for a pair of custom-made orthotics. Do you know why?
- It fits to your feet
- It requires techniques and knowledge
- The materials are plastics that will last for many years
And one more thing, your podiatrist will help you to fit the orthotics into your shoes and make changes if there is any discomfort.
Go online or what?
I would recommend seeking for profession advise before you buy any of the orthotics, or maybe you don’t even need orthotics! Who knows. Find out how orthotics can help with your pain here. Once you got your first pair of off the shelves orthotics, you can always go online to search for the same pair of the orthotics. But you miss out the part that your podiatrists will continue to monitor your conditions and make any alteration for your orthotics. We always pay what we get, right?