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Posts for category: Orthotics

By Joseph M. LaCava, DPM
September 14, 2018
Category: Orthotics
Tags: custom orthotics   Foot Pain  

Custom orthotics are removable shoe inserts that provide greater arch support and stability to the feet and ankles. There are different types of orthotics available depending on the issue and level of support that is needed. Basic orthotics are sold over the counter, but a custom pair designed specifically for your foot will provide optimal support and comfort.

When are Custom Orthotics Necessary?

Podiatrists typically recommend custom orthotics for people with flat feet, or very high arches. One of the most common signs that you may benefit from a pair of orthotics is heel pain (although you may also experience pain and swelling in other parts of the foot). You may also experience pain and swelling after normal and relatively low impact activities like standing or walking.

A good way to figure out if you are having pronation issues is to examine the soles of your shoes and sneakers. If the soles and insoles tend to become visibly more worn on one side, it may be a sign that your alignment is off and you are over or under pronating. A podiatrist may ask you to walk in your bare feet to observe your stride and gait (known as a gait analysis). If you experience persistent pain, swelling, or stiffness, especially after exercise or after long periods of rest, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.

Types of Custom Orthotics

There are a few different types of custom orthotics designs available depending on your needs.

Functional (also known as rigid) orthotics are made of harder materials and are usually prescribed for pronation problems or joint issues like arthritis.

Accommodative orthotics are designed to provide more cushioning and support and are typically prescribed for problems like plantar fasciitis and bunions.

In addition to improving your gait and foot and ankle alignment, custom orthotics can help to prevent related strains and injuries and relieve back, joint, and knee pain if it is caused by issues with your arches and pronation.

By Joseph M. LaCava, DPM
May 27, 2015
Category: Orthotics
Tags: Untagged

Which orthotics are better?As is the case for most locations, there are various dining options here in Hot Springs, AR. If you are in the mood for a delicious filet that is grilled to your specification over an open-flame grill, then Brick House Grill might be in your near future. Of course, if you simply want to quiet a rumbling stomach quickly, you can always head to McDonald’s and eat whatever they microwave for you. This is very similar to the differences you encounter when looking at professional functional or custom orthotics versus inserts you can buy at any chain store or nationwide pharmacy.

Orthotic devices or inserts   are not all equal! You essentially have a few general choices – pick up a pair of cushions at the local Walmart, spend a lot of money in the New Balance or Happy Feet stores for “customs” from people who cannot legally diagnose or treat foot conditions or have Central Arkansas Foot Care provide a quality pair of professional functional orthotics or if needed in situations of significant foot deformity craft custom molded orthoses for you. Each has its respective place in the grand scheme of things.

If you are a runner or someone who stands on your feet all day for work, you will benefit from a pair of orthotics that not only add cushioning but support the 28 bones in your feet to reduce the fatigue or pain felt every day.  Feet face a tremendous amount of pressure throughout the day—the average person places 7 tons of force on his or her feet during the course of over 10,000 steps in a typical 24-hour period—and the extra cushioning and support can help prevent injury or conditions from arising. Many non -structurally induced knee, hip and or back pain can also be reduced or eliminated by proper orthotics or inserts.

When you come into our office for conservative treatment of certain medical conditions, we may prescribe a pair of inserts (orthotics) to help. Examples of conditions that can be treated or assisted with the use of orthoses include flat foot, cavus foot, neuromas, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, arch pain, arthritic pain, tendonitis and bursitis. The specific type of orthotic device we prescribe for you will depend on your foot structure and the condition we are treating.

If you are seeking additional cushioning or arch support that is not intended to treat a medical condition, the professional functional pair of inserts (orthotics) that we dispense at the office will be beneficial and money saving. Or should you require something more substantial, come visit Central Arkansas Foot Care and we will if needed create custom orthotics specifically for your feet. Our professionals will measure your unique feet and provide a gait analysis to create a five-star pair of devices just for you. Stop wasting your time and money with inferior products for chain stores or pharmacies!

Schedule your appointment with either of our two locations via our online form, or call us at (501) 321-4844 for our Hot Springs, AR office, (870) 245-3003 for our Arkadelphia office.

Photo Credit: Grant Cochrane via

By Joseph M. LaCava, DPM
May 26, 2015
Category: Orthotics
Tags: Untagged

Bare Feet and OrthoticsIf you are new to running, or thinking about taking it up, then you should check out the Spa Pacers Running Club. This Hot Springs, AR group is dedicated to promoting health and fitness by creating a connected community of local runners. No matter how much (or how little!) experience you have, you can find support and help with the Spa Pacers. Undoubtedly, some members will tell you the big difference that orthotics can make when you develop foot, ankle, or knee issues.

The term typically refers to the medical devices created by professionals like you find here at Central Arkansas Foot Care. Some people use the term interchangeably with the inserts that you can find in retail stores and nationwide pharmacies, but they are not the same. The key distinction lies in the fact that the ones you buy over-the-counter are not intended to cure a medical condition. That said, they may offer some benefit for runners.

Store-bought inserts can provide extra cushioning and enhance the arch support that is already provided by your running shoes. If you are using shoe inserts exclusively for these purposes, there is nothing wrong with doing so. However, those who have abnormal arches, either high or low, and need treatment for the condition should consider having our office provide a pair of custom orthotics instead.

When we create a pair of custom inserts for you, we measure your feet and analyze your gait so you receive a device that works for your unique feet and in accordance with your individual walking or running style. The over-the-counter inserts simply cannot offer the same level of personal customization to really help with any issue you may be experiencing when you run.

In addition to being used for runners, these inserts are also used as part of treatment for a wide range of foot and ankle issues. They can be helpful in alleviating painful conditions like bunions, Achilles tendinitis, neuromas, and plantar fasciitis.

If you’d like to experience the positive difference that custom orthotics can make for you, contact Central Arkansas Foot Care today. We will create a pair that fits your unique feet and targets whatever specific condition is affecting you. Call our Hot Springs, AR office at (501) 321-4844 or use our online form to schedule your appointment with us at either of our two locations.