Chiropractor for Algonquin and Lake in the Hills

Why and How Should I Get Custom Orthotics?

Did you know that some leg and back pain can occur because of poor foot alignment? Custom orthotics can help relieve that pain and more. How? Find out here!

Custom Orthotics Relieve Pain and Improve Motion

Did you know that leg and back pain can stem from poor foot alignment? It’s true. Poor alignment in your feet can cause a chain reaction of misalignment in your body, affecting the knees, hips, back and more.

How do you solve this problem? The answer you’re looking for could be custom orthotics. What are custom orthotics, and how do they help with pain? Let’s find out!

An image of custom orthotics that are designed for a specific patient to better improve their pan levels.
Custom orthotics work to decrease pain levels while also realigning the patient’s feet for better balance and coordination.

What Are Custom Orthotics?

Custom orthotics are shoe inserts that relieve pain and improve motion by realigning the feet. This realignment is crucial because improper foot alignment can cause the leg to rotate internally, which can lead to pelvic unleveling or spinal curvatures. Furthermore, it can also produce Leg Length Inequality, which can produce a variety of issues, such as:

  • Musculoskeletal Pain
  • Scoliosis
  • Osteoarthritis of the Hip

Designers custom make these inserts to match the contours of each patient’s feet. The orthotics also work in the shoes the patient already has so that they don’t have to buy new footwear.

How Do Custom Orthotics Help with Back Pain?

You may think that back pain begins in old age, but that’s often not the case. In truth, about 80% of people have developed foot conditions by age 20. These conditions can lead to back pain and the degenerative process (arthritis) that can start in the late teens.

This impact is called the “kinetic chain.” Lack of proper arch support forces your body to shift its weight a certain way to compensate. This shift leads to a chain reaction of problems further up the body.

After all, if the feet are the foundation of the chain, then each joint after that is another link in the chain. Realigning feet to their proper position creates a more positive outcome for the rest of the links. For example, custom orthotics can help with a patient’s gait and standing posture. Posture is a big reason why people suffer from back pain.

When combined with chiropractic care for one month, studies show orthotics create a 35% reduction in back pain.

Image of an xray showing before and after results with custom orthotics

What Are the Other Benefits of Custom Orthotics?

If you have neck, arm, leg or back pain, you probably think the treatment has to focus on those areas. However, those symptoms often stem from conditions caused partly by the poor body and foot alignment.

Here are some conditions custom orthotics have been used to help treat:

Sciatica Treatment

Sciatica is a set of various symptoms, including pain, tingling and numbness in the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet. Custom orthotics help to neutralize these symptoms by stabilizing ankle movement while realigning the feet. This steadying force helps to dull the pain and slow the degenerative effects.

Spinal Stenosis Treatment

Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the bony spinal canal in the neck and in the nerve roots of the lower back. This condition creates a tingling feeling or numbness in your arms and legs.

Proper support from custom orthotics can reduce pain in patients with spinal stenosis. Again, it stabilizes foot alignment, which impacts the arms and legs.

It is important to note that spinal stenosis is a progressive condition. There is no cure, but the treatment makes a big difference.

How Do I Get Custom Orthotics?

The “custom” in custom orthotics is essential. Patients won’t receive the results they’re looking for with any generic shoe insert. Orthotics are most effective when they’re designed for your foot shape, condition, and lifestyle.

At Algonquin Chiropractic Center, we use custom orthotics to address the underlying abnormal biomechanics. Here is the process for custom orthotics:

  1. First, we create a foam mold of the patient’s foot.
  2. Next, we choose a supplier. Different suppliers are better at making different types of orthotics. So, we must consider things like:
    • Do the orthotics need any specific modifications to correct the problem?
    • What types of shoes will the patient wear with the orthotics? These can be dress shoes, athletic sneakers, work boots, and more.
    • Does the patient often get sweaty due to an active lifestyle?
  3. Then, we send the foam mold to the lab with specifics on what we want.
  4. The patient’s custom orthotics are created to fit the biomechanics of your foot, the condition we’re treating and the patient’s lifestyle.
  5. Finally, we get the orthotics from the lab and pass them onto the patient!

As part of the individualized treatment plan, our custom orthotics will work to:

  • Relieve Pain
  • Prevent Injury
  • Improve Weight Distribution
  • Restore Balance
  • Improve Athletic Ability

When all of these benefits work together, through chiropractic care, they help improve joint motion as well.

It’s Time to Realign Your Feet for Pain Relief

As we’ve seen, custom orthotics do a lot more than just provide a cushion for feet. They also help with a number of different conditions. If you want to see how custom orthotics can help bring you relief, give us a call at (847) 854-2000 or send us a message on Facebook!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in November 2018 and was updated in August 2020.