Questions & Answers about Orthotics

Podiatrists Craig B. Frey, DPM and Megan L. Oltmann, DPM of Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland rely on orthotics to help treat many problems of the feet and ankles. Here are some common questions and answers about these valuable podiatric aids.

Q: What exactly is an orthotic?

A: Orthotics are shoe inserts that adjust the position of your feet in order to relieve pressure, eliminate pain, correct an imbalance, adjust a biomechanical issue, or help heal a foot or ankle injury. Depending on your particular foot or ankle problem, orthotics may be rigid or soft.

Q: Where do they go?

A: As the name implies, orthotic inserts are inserted directly into your shoes, either on top of or just below an existing cushioning insert (such as those you find in running shoes).

Q: What kinds of problems do they fix?

A: We use orthotics to alleviate pain from plantar fasciitis, arthritis, flat feet, posterior tibial tendonitis, and high arches – to name a few. Custom orthotics can also help diabetics avoid painful and dangerous ulcers.

Q: Where do you get them?

A: You can buy orthotics at your local drugstore, but these over-the-counter varieties differ from the custom orthotics we prescribe in a few ways. The drugstore variety:

  • may not be designed to treat your specific problem
  • may not do enough to improve your symptoms
  • are generic in size and shape.

In contrast, Dr. Frey and Dr. Oltmann will take plaster casts of your feet or use scanning technology to create medical devices that are precisely measured to your individual feet and your specific foot issue.

Q: Who should wear orthotics?

A: Patients of all ages can benefit from orthotic inserts, including children. We often prescribe orthotics as part of a conservative line of treatment, thereby avoiding or delaying surgery for the patients we serve in Portage, Geauga, Summit, and Cuyahoga Counties.

If you’ve got foot pain and want to know if orthotics are right for you, call us at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online. We offer early morning, evening, and Saturday hours for your convenience at our state-of-the-art podiatry office in Solon, Ohio.