Orthotics – Custom vs. Drugstore

Many times Americans want quick and easy service, which is fine if it’s fast food or an oil change. However, if you need orthotics, it’s worth having them properly molded and custom-made to fit your feet.

What’s the difference between custom orthotics and the over-the-counter brands you can find in drug stores in Traverse City, Cadillac, Petoskey, and elsewhere?

Over-the-counter orthotic inserts are made in different sizes and for either everyday use or sports, but they are designed to fit a broad segment of the population. Typically they are constructed from flexible materials such as gel or plastic, which is not as durable as the materials used to make custom orthotics.

They might feel soft and cushiony to start but given the arch is not necessarily made to support the arch of your foot, they may not relieve your pain or discomfort (and could cause more). Additionally, over-the-counter orthotics are designed to relieve the discomfort from various kinds of problems, but there is no guarantee that what you choose will address the one-of-a-kind issue responsible for causing your foot pain.

Custom orthotics, by contrast, are tailor-made to your feet whatever your problems may be. They are manufactured using strong materials like polypropylene plastic or copolymer, which will withstand frequent use for much longer than the less durable materials.

Our certified orthotists will carefully determine if there are any modifications or extra supports that will help you achieve the optimal alignment you need for comfort and ability. It makes sense that a qualified practitioner with specialized expertise is able to resolve pain and discomfort much more reliably than anyone trying to self-diagnose and treat their own pain symptoms with generic orthotic inserts.

When orthotics are recommended to treat foot pain, it makes sense to take a little more time to procure a custom fit to ensure the root causes of your discomfort are addressed and remedied. Prices for over-the-counter orthotics may be less, but many insurance plans cover some or most of the cost of custom versions. Additionally, custom orthotics typically last around three years while over-the-counter orthotics might last a few months.

Visit Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics in any of our more than 20 locations, including Traverse City, Petoskey, and Grand Rapids. We’ve been providing expert orthotics services in Michigan since 1955.

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