Can Custom Orthotics Ease Your Foot Pain?

If your feet are constantly aching, you may be wondering if store-bought nonprescription inserts can help. In some cases, it might, but depending on your particular problem, you might need orthotics instead. Today, our podiatrist, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing what you need to know to make a decision.

The inserts purchased in stores without a prescription can offer some support. They are typically constructed of materials such as plastic, foam or gel and are designed to fit inside shoes, but they are not custom-made. In addition, while inserts might make your shoes feel more comfortable, they are not intended to correct foot problems.

How Are Orthotics Different?

Custom orthotics are prescription devices that are worn inside shoes to correct foot problems. They can also ease foot pain caused by medical issues such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, and diabetes and flat feet.

During an appointment, your podiatrist will take 3-dimensional pictures of each foot and conduct a comprehensive exam. If you do need orthotics, your podiatrist will capture the structure of your feet using plaster casts to achieve a perfect fit. When ready, they turn into rigid or soft orthotics.

Types of Orthotics

Rigid orthotics are constructed from materials like carbon fiber or plastic and are best for dress shoes that have a closed toe and low heel or walking shoes. They are specifically designed to relieve aching feet and soreness in the legs, thighs, and lower back.

Soft orthotics are made from soft compression materials and provides support to take pressure off painful spots from conditions such as plantar fasciitis or diabetic-related foot problems. There are also special orthotics specifically designed for sporting equipment such as ice skates and ski boots.

While orthotics cost more than inserts, keep in mind that you’re also getting a medical assessment of any foot problems, a customized fit, and high-quality materials that will last for several years (with proper care). In addition, since orthotics are prescription medical devices, your insurance company might help cover the cost.

Not every patient will need custom orthotics – in some cases; a proper, supportive shoe may be all that is required to relieve or prevent pain.  Based on your diagnosis by Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists, a custom orthotic may be an excellent treatment for what is ailing your feet.  Call our office today at

(425) 455-0936 or schedule an appointment online.

Wondering Why Your Heel Hurts?

Unfortunately, heel pain is quite common, but many people make the mistake of thinking that it’s a normal condition. In reality, heel pain is an indication of a problem that should not be neglected. The key to relieving heel pain is pinpointing the problem so it can be dealt with properly. Dr. Hubert Lee with CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is here to help.

When dealing with heel pain, the underlying issue could be any of the following:

  • Plantar fasciitis: If your heel pain is sharp and intense following extended periods of rest, especially first thing in the morning, you probably have a case of plantar fasciitis. This condition is the most common cause of heel pain in adults.
  • Achilles tendinitis: If the pain is felt in the upper back part of the heel and is caused by an overworked Achilles tendon that has become inflamed, you are probably suffering from Achilles tendinitis. This is another very common cause of heel pain.
  • Sever’s disease: When children – especially adolescents – complain of heel pain, Sever’s is often the problem. This is a condition caused by differences in growth rates of the heel bone and Achilles tendon.
  • Haglund’s deformity: Footwear that is too tight can lead to an array of problems, including Haglund’s deformity. In this case, a visible bump will appear on the back of the heel, and pain is felt where the Achilles joins the heel bone.
  • Heel spur: Calcium deposits can build up and turn into a bone spur. When this occurs on the bottom of the foot, it is called a heel spur and it sometimes accompanies plantar fasciitis.
  • There are several small, fluid-filled sacs known as bursae used for cushioning in our body. When one of these sacs is in the heel and it becomes inflamed, it is known as bursitis.

Don’t make the mistake of neglecting the pain in your heel, thinking it will just go away. It could be the symptom of something much more serious. Trust the expert, Dr. Hubert Lee with CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA to determine what is causing your heel pain and provide a solution.  Contact us today for an appointment.