By Stephen Handel, Head Athletic Therapist, Algonquin Athletics
Not everyone requires a custom orthotic (or shoe insert) and it is up to a qualified professional to provide you with the pros/cons of a custom orthotic versus an off the shelf insert.
A person whose feet are not a normal shape or size, or who have asymmetry when comparing the right and left, will need a custom fitted orthotic for a proper fit.
If there are biomechanical dysfunctions or structural imbalances, specific corrective support is definitely necessary.
If the purpose is to decrease excessive pronation (rolling in of the foot) or to improve support for the spine and pelvis, custom-fitted orthotics will be more effective in the long term.
The time investment and higher cost of a custom orthotic is usually recovered quickly by decreases in recurring symptoms and fewer visits to the doctor’s office. The significance of improved function in daily and recreational activities is obvious to most people, who will accept the somewhat higher costs in exchange for the long-term health and wellness benefits.
You can schedule a personalized gait analysis and biomechanical assessment at the Algonquin Sports Therapy Clinic to determine if a custom orthotic is right for you. Your College Benefits Package will cover a percentage of the cost of a custom orthotic. Call ext 6585 today for an appointment.
Stephen Handel operates the Algonquin Sports Therapy Clinic, is the Head Athletic Therapist for Algonquin Athletics, and is an Instructor in the Fitness and Health Promotion program.
He has a Bachelor of Science Degree, a Diploma in Sports Injury Management, and is a Certified Athletic Therapist.