People in Tucson seeking orthotics seem to have a few options, although only one of chose choices actually qualifies as a valuable option. If you live with pain or discomfort in your feet, you’re probably seeking a solution to provide you with long term comfort and to make walking, exercising, or standing for prolonged periods much easier.

Before you run out and grab a pair of orthotics off of a shelf, you need to understand the important distinctions between prefabricated solutions and custom solutions. You might find that prefabricated solutions are little more than expensive problems.

How Do Shoe Inserts From The Store Work?

Many drugstores and retailers carry cushions designed to fit the inside of your shoes. These are not the same as orthotics. These cushions, usually made of gel, foam, or a combination of the two, have a completely different purpose. They provide a little bit of extra padding to the shoes, making them slightly more comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

These inserts won’t do anything to correct the cause of foot pain if a structural deformity or an underlying condition exists. Plantar fasciitis, for example, cannot be corrected with a shoe insert from the store.

Shoe inserts are a great option for anyone who has been examined by a medical doctor or podiatrist who found no existing deformities or issues with the feet requiring correction. They may be useful for people who have to walk around in work shoes all day, but that’s the extent of their usefulness.

How Do Prefabricated Orthotics from the Orthotics Store Work?

You may have seen places that claim to be orthotics store. They sell devices for your shoes that they claim are suited to your needs. The most important thing to remember is that prefabricated orthotics do not exist. They may lead you to believe that they’re selling you the right solution, but that simply isn’t possible.

These stores sell orthotics that are ready to go right off the shelf. They do not properly examine your feet or tailor an approach specifically suited to your needs. The chances of one of these prefabricated orthotics providing you with the support you need is significantly lower than your chances of winning the lottery.

Orthotics Are Prescription Devices

Everyone’s feet are different. Your left foot might be significantly different from your right foot. Natural asymmetry can be quite significant. Some people experience different injuries or injury to varying extent that requires different types of support for each foot.

True orthotics are something that your doctor prescribes. An orthotist will accept this prescription, take detailed measurements and scans of your feet, and send that information to an orthotics lab that will create devices that are specifically designed with you in mind.  They are not something you can purchase right off the shelf and use immediately.

When you go to a store that claims to sell orthotics that you can purchase and wear the same day, they aren’t actually selling you orthotics. They’re selling you a generic shoe insert that comes at a similar price to a real, custom solution. Many people find themselves trying these devices, discovering after a few days that they don’t work as intended, and going back to the store. These devices are non-returnable.

This means that customers of these stores will often drop significant amounts of money on multiple pairs of orthotic inserts that aren’t actually designed to correct or treat the source of their pain. In the long run, this process will become expensive and frustrating. These stores are happy to take people’s money without regard to their specific needs, and the bills pile up rather quickly.

Getting Fitted for Custom Orthotics

The process of obtaining real orthotics starts with a prescription from your doctor. You can bring that prescription to a Tucson orthotics provider like Tony Martin Limb and Brace. We will then use state of the art scanning equipment to make an extremely detailed and highly accurate map of each foot. This information is processed by high tech software that will generate an inverse model of the bottom of your feet.

This map is sent to a special lab that will create orthotics designed to support and correct your feet according to these unique and individual maps. The chances of these orthotics “not working out for you” is slim to none, as they’re designed and created with every contour of your foot in mind.

Getting the Right Orthotics the First Time

If you believe you would benefit from the use of an orthotic device, speak with your doctor. If he or she agrees, they will prescribe orthotics for you. This prescription means nothing at an orthotics store, but it’s the most important thing for a professional orthotist. You’ll get the right solution the first time at Tony Martin Limb and Brace.