When you have discomfort in your feet, it’s only natural to look for solutions. Some will try over-the-counter (OTC) foot inserts to try and get relief, while others seek professional advice from a foot care specialist and get a custom solution, prescription orthotics.
A store bought insert/insole usually provides cushioning, or has pre-moulded arch support and can assist in correcting foot structure. However, despite relieving mild to moderate discomforts, such inserts can increase foot problems as they wear down, so it is important to replace them regularly. What has also been commonly found is that each of your feet can be unique from each other, so each may have different support requirements. So how is it possible that a standard OTC foot insert solves different problems uniquely appearing in each foot? Keep in mind that if there is inadequate support, other problems can develop.
The best route to take is to see your registered foot care specialist. A chiropodist will assess the needs of each of your feet and recommend a custom solution that also suits your lifestyle, work requirements and the type of exercise that you enjoy the most. Your chiropodist may recommend either non-custom inserts, or prescription orthotics. It would depend on your unique needs and your budget. Prescription foot orthotics are covered by most extended health insurance benefit plans and best solve your foot problem for a long term solution.
In addition to obtaining the proper supportive orthotics, your chiropodist will also make preventive suggestions to optimize your foot health. This may include advice on which style of shoe best fits your feet, foot care instructions, sports medicine and much more.