Orthotics Provide a Supportive Foundation


Podiatrists offer many services to help the health of your feet. They are trained to recognize specific medical conditions and treat them effectively. One of their treatments an orthotic. What is an orthotic? An orthotic is a custom-made medical device placed within your footwear providing specific areas support for your feet. Over the counter types are called shoe inserts and might help with a number of foot problems. An orthotic prescribed by your doctor is the best method to specifically address any areas of support and correction you require.

There are 3 types of orthotics:

The first is a rigid, or, functional orthotic:

  • Usually made of a hard carbon-like or plastic material

  • Offer stability and support to the foot and ankle

  • Used to treat walking and balance issues

  • Can be used within athletic or dress shoes

  • May be prescribed to address hip and back issues

The second type is a semi-rigid orthotic:

  • Help with balance and may be used for sport participation

  • Is a combination of cushioning material and more rigid material

 The third type is a flexible orthotics, or accommodative orthotic:

  • Provide cushioning support for feet

  • Treats high arches, calluses, diabetic ulcers

If you believe you have a foot condition that may helped by an orthotic, or, the shoe insert you’re using is not helping, it’s time to contact your podiatrist. They will examine your feet, possibly take a 3-D measurement and watch how you walk. Normally, a custom made orthotic is more expensive than an over the counter shoe insert, but it is made specifically to remedy your foot issues. Once you get a custom made orthotic, it will be important to follow up with your podiatrist to make sure they are working correctly and providing you with better support.

Some conditions orthotics help may include:

  • Metatarsalgia – irritation of area behind toes

  • Bunions – bump on the outside base of the big toe

  • Chondromalacia – also known as Runners knee

Laurel Podiatry has many ways to keep your feet healthy and treatments for all types of conditions including shockwave and mls laser therapy, stem cell therapy, surgery, neuropathic pain management, in house x-rays and auto-immunizations among others. If you have any questions about the above or concerns about your feet contact us at one of our 4 offices in Greensburg, Somerset, Mount Pleasant or Shayside, PA and make an appointment with Dr. Shawn P. Echard, DPM at 724-832-7880 for the latest in podiatric treatment.