Topeka, Kansas Orthotics & Arch Supports
As a leading foot specialist in Topeka, Kansas, Dr. Gateley takes a personable approach that empowers his patients with information. Along with listening and answering questions, he clearly communicates options to develop the ideal treatment plan with each patient. Throughout his time in practice, Dr. Gateley has worked with countless satisfied patients while both non-surgical and surgical treatment options.
Many painful foot conditions can be traced back to how your feet are structured or the way your joints move when you walk. Arch supports, removable shoe insoles, and custom orthotics are tools that a podiatrist may use to provide the additional cushioning, support, or biomechanical correction.
If you are suffering from foot pain, there’s a good chance that one of these devices could help. However, only an experienced professional can help you determine which type of insert would be best.
What Are Removable Shoe Inserts?
Removable inserts are non-prescription orthotics that you can buy at a retail store or pharmacy. They are designed to help you alleviate general aches and pains you might experience in your everyday life. Prominent examples include:
- Insoles—these cover the full length of the foot and tend to be made from soft materials like gel or foam. They are meant to provide extra cushioning and shock absorption while you walk.
- Arch supports—these help support the natural shape of your arch in order to distribute your weight more evenly. They have a noticeable raised portion on the inside.
- Heel cups—these provide extra padding and cushioning under the heel.
Because they are mass-produced and not prescribed or customized for a specific individual, over-the-counter shoe inserts may not be sufficient for all types of foot pain. Dr. Gateley can help you determine whether your condition can be treated with non-prescription inserts or require custom orthotics.
What Are Custom Orthotics?
Custom orthotics are prescribed by a licensed foot specialist to provide a personalized fit. Your feet are carefully measured using a mold or digital scan to fabricate your orthotics according to your exact specifications. Because the fit is precise, custom orthotics can alleviate heel pain to a higher degree than over-the-counter inserts in most cases. They can also treat a broader range of foot and ankle conditions, including flaws in how you walk.
Custom orthotics are classified as either accommodative or functional:
- Accommodative orthotics are designed to reduce the pain and pressure from an underlying foot problem. They are generally made from soft materials, which provide padding and cushioning.
- Functional orthotics are designed to correct a problem with the way your feet, ankles, and joints move when you walk. Their goal is to help your feet function properly. They usually have a soft top cover but the function portion of the device is made from harder or semi-rigid materials.
Custom orthotics are more expensive upfront than prefabricated insoles or arch supports. However, this may be offset by several factors. Custom orthotics are built from higher quality materials and can often be adjusted or refurbished. So rather than being replaced, they may last several years. Second, some insurance plans cover a portion or the entire cost.
Which Device Is Best for You?
Many over-the-counter orthotics claim a “custom” fit. Stores may even have pressure-measuring devices or other tools designed to help you find the right fit. However, we advise against you self-diagnosing.
Instead, make an appointment with Dr. Gateley. He will be able to examine your feet carefully and make a specific diagnosis. That way, you’ll know whether you could benefit from an orthotic device and determine the right treatment plan to treat your problem. To set an appointment, please call (785) 730-3478