There are two main types of orthotics: off-the-shelf arch supports and custom orthotics. A person is prescribed an orthotic to help normalize weight distribution with weight bearing. Some people tend to bear more weight through the inside or the outside of their foot. This in turn, can cause back, hip, knee, ankle, or foot pain. Orthotics correct imbalances, improve posture, and help to relieve pain with weight bearing activity.
Off- the- shelf orthotics (or arch supports) can be found in retail stores. They are a less rigid type of shoe insert costing approximately $30.00 to $50.00. Unless you have a severe biomechanical foot problem, initially you will be recommended to purchase an arch support.
Custom Orthotics can be created by a Podiatrist or Physical Therapist. Custom orthotics helps people that require more assistance with their foot posture. An orthotist will take a plaster cast mold of your foot to create an orthotic. This orthotic is usually the most rigid of all the orthotics. It may take several months for your foot to get used to the orthotic. Custom made orthotics are expensive. Some health insurances will cover a portion or all of the expense.