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Custom Orthotics vs. Store-Bought In-Soles: What’s the Difference?

Posted by | 14-11-2019

If you’re suffering from foot pain, it may seem easier to pick up a pair of generic insoles from the drugstore. But custom orthotics are much more effective in treating and preventing chronic foot problems. For many years, people have assumed these specially-fitted devices were only beneficial for pro athletes or those in special occupations. But we’re here to tell you that’s not the case. 

Custom orthotics can help a variety of people, no matter how insignificant you think your pain may be. At Physiomed, we offer high-quality foot devices to treat many issues ranging from minor heel discomfort to plantar fasciitis. But to understand why custom orthotics are better than over-the-counter products, it’s important to know how each device is defined.

‘Mass-produced devices’

According to the Pedorthic Association of Canada, store-bought orthotics are ‘mass-produced devices that are not unique to any person’. Meanwhile, the organization defines custom orthotics as ‘an internal foot appliance which is manufactured from a three dimensional image of the foot, and made from raw materials’. It goes on to say that these specially-designed devices can accommodate bone deformities, and even modify the movement patterns of the feet and lower limbs. 

Some may argue that over-the-counter orthotics, including insoles, have come a long way. But it’s important to remember that even though store-bought versions can be heat-molded and modified, these devices can never be labelled as ‘custom’. That’s because the device was not made from a negative cast that captures the exact 3D shape of your foot. This is why most insurance companies do not cover the cost of over-the-counter products. 

Benefits of Custom Orthotics from Physiomed

Aside from the obvious benefits of customization, custom orthotics from Physiomed offer a number of benefits:

  • Ability to correct alignment issues
  • Can help control foot function
  • Improves overall function of the knees and hips
  • Modifies weight-bearing areas to reduce painful muscle strain
  • Improves overall stability of both the feet and body

If you’re still picturing orthotics that are thick, clunky and ugly -- those days are long gone. It’s now possible to get customized foot devices that are aesthetically on point. At Physiomed, we offer a wide range of orthotics made from ultra-thin materials that feel much more comfortable on the feet. 

Easy as 1-2-3

Getting a pair of custom orthotics from Physiomed is a very simple process, handled by our expert chiropodists or chiropractors. Here’s how the process works:

  1. After obtaining a prescription from your doctor, we’ll book you for an assessment. Our chiropodist or chiropractors will take 3D images of your feet. He or she will also perform a gait exam to observe how you walk. The goal is to see how your feet, ankles, legs and hips work together when you move. 
  2. If it’s determined that you do in fact need orthotics, we will make a precise mold of your feet. This mold is necessary to ensure the right fit. 
  3. Our chiropodists will then work with our orthotics labs to create your orthotics. 

Physiomed also has the expertise to create special orthopaedic shoes, conformed to your feet, for specific activities including hiking and jogging. There are two types of orthopaedic shoes -- accommodative and functional. Accommodative shoes are designed to provide additional support and cushioning. Functional models help control abnormal movements in the foot. 

Physiomed is dedicated to caring for all aspects of your feet. Although it may be easy to focus on seemingly more important areas of your health, always remember that your feet are the foundation for everything you do. Without proper foot care, minor problems can quickly transform into serious illnesses. Give your feet the attention they deserve with custom orthotics from Physiomed. 

For more information on custom orthotics or to book an assessment, contact us here.

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Dr. Scott Wilson

Dr. Scott Wilson is the Founder & Chairman of Physiomed; one of Canada’s largest franchised networks of inter-disciplinary healthcare clinics. A graduate of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Dr. Wilson founded Physiomed in 1994 and has since grown Physiomed to over 30 clinics in Southern Ontario and British Columbia. With hundreds of practitioners from over a dozen disciplines, Dr. Wilson and Physiomed have helped over 100,000 Canadians with physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, orthotic therapy, compression therapy and clinical conditioning as part of a program of rehabilitation and health optimization. In addition to helping patients improve their physical and mental well-being, Dr. Wilson has also mentored hundreds of practitioners to provide better care while enjoying more fulfilling careers. He is also a keynote speaker on many health related topics including how physiotherapy, chiropractic and health & wellness treatment can help with stress, weight loss, and unlocking the true potential within to achieve lasting physical well-being.

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