Orthotics are shoe inserts prescribed by podiatrists to help correct an abnormal walking pattern. They make it easier to walk, run, and stand by altering the angles at which the foot hits the ground.
Orthotics come in different shapes and sizes and are made of varying materials. A rigid orthotic is composed of a hard material like plastic or carbon fiber. This type of orthotic is designed for placement in walking shoes or dress shoes.
Need for rigid orthotics
Orthotics serve three general purposes. They can be designed to:
- Change foot function
- Protect the feet
- Control the feet
Rigid orthotics are a type of functional orthotic; they are designed to control foot function and support abnormal foot mechanics.
How rigid orthotics work
Rigid orthotics are created from a plastic mold of the feet. The finished orthotic is made of a hard plastic material and will extend from the heel to the ball of the foot or all the way to the toes. Rigid orthotics are designed to be worn in close-toed shoes with a heel no more than two inches high. This type of orthotic is long lasting, durable, and will not stretch or change shape.
Rigid orthotics help control motion in the two major joints of the feet that lie below the ankle joint. They can help to:
- Absorb some of the shock from running and walking.
- Compensate for a difference in leg length.
- Correct abnormal function of the feet.
- Reduce or eliminate aches and pains in the legs, thighs, and lower back.
- Reduce overpronation.
To find out if you would benefit from rigid orthotics, speak with your doctor.