Now, sometimes there is confusion on a certain matter—the difference between OTC inserts and prefabricated orthotics.
Prefabricated orthotics are generally thinner and have less control than customized ones. They have firm shells which can be modified like their custom counter parts.
When minimal correction is needed—generally around two to four degrees—prefabricated orthotics can be a great option. Customized ones are better for providing four to eight degrees of correction.
Either way, we do extensive testing in our office before prescribing an orthotic device, because we want to make sure it’s actually going to work for you (which isn’t something you’ll find at a certain store…).
We like to use the analogy that orthotics are like eyeglasses. This comparison holds up in a couple of different ways. For one, you need to actually wear either of these medical devices to receive the benefits they provide.
In the same way that a pair of glasses sitting on the table won’t make your eyes better, a pair of orthotics left in the closet aren’t going to perform their intended function.
Fortunately, there should be positive feedback—when the orthotics are comfortable and relieve your symptoms, you don’t want to go without them. (And that includes children!)
Some parents worry that they will spend money on orthotics their kids won’t want to wear. Fortunately, children actually do wear them. Sure, this can be attributed to the fact they take away pain, but another factor in this is the way they look.
Naturally, it’s basically impossible to see a pair of orthotics when they are in shoes that are being worn, but our orthotics are brightly colored, which many kids think is pretty cool. That’s not the reason for the neon or graffiti styles, though.
The orthotics lab we use had previously only offered two colors. The problem with this was that they weren’t particularly vivid or noticeable. Unfortunately, the mom of one of our younger patients was cleaning out his closet while he was at the pool and didn’t realize an older pair of shoes contained her son’s orthotics. Out they went.
After that, we talked to the lab about what had happened and they’ve since started offering multiple color options. If that situation happened now, Mom would easily see the orthotics and take them out before discarding the old shoes.
Being able to choose from a variety of style options is kind of like choosing eyeglass frames of different colors, huh?
Well, another similarity between glasses and orthotics is this simple fact:
OTC versions are never going to be as effective as prescription (when more than very minor correction is needed).
The reading glasses you can buy at the store can potentially make it a little easier to read, but don’t do much beyond that.
The “orthotics” you can buy off the shelf might provide even less benefit than that, except put a little extra coin in Dr. Scholl’s pockets.
And that brings us back to “The Not-So-Good Foot Store” because those shoe inserts can cost upwards of $700.
(Nope, we didn’t add an extra zero there.)
Here’s the real kicker, though—the $700 product from The Not-So-Good Foot Store is the same as what you can order online for $50 (or less!).
At the end of the day, it’s up to you how you spend your hard-earned money.
That said, we hope you don’t get hoodwinked by these modern-day snake oil salesmen. Sure, you can return the products for a refund when you find the “custom” orthotics don’t actually work—unfortunately, it’s going to be given in the form of store credit.
You do have a better option, though. Come see us at our Indianapolis office in the first place. We can properly diagnose your condition and determine what you really need—not what a Not-So-Good Foot Store wants to sell—when it comes to an orthotics device.
We provide testing before prescribing your custom orthotics. And we will schedule appointments to make sure everything is actually working for you.
(You won’t find that at a certain store!)
For more information or to request an appointment, simply give us a call at (317) 545-0505!