I recently ran into an acquaintance of my wife at Europa coffee house in Westlake Village, CA. As we did the standard “hello, how are you? How’s the family” exchange, She suddenly said, “Oh I totally forgot you were a foot doctor! I should’ve called you last week because I needed a new pair of orthotics and I didn’t know who to call!” Turns out she asked her chiropractor who made her a pair. She went on and on about how she had a pair that she had made in San Francisco from her podiatrist that she loved, but that was several years ago. She was extremely disappointed in the ones that her chiropractor had made for her and wanted to know if there was a difference in the types of orthotics.
This is a topic on which I wish I could educate everyone. Podiatrists are the best choice, the smartest choice when getting a pair of orthotics. Not only do podiatrists specialize specifically in the foot and ankle, but podiatrists attend a four-year medical school, post college to study…. THE FOOT! Podiatrists take two separate anatomy classes in their first year of medical school, one studying the entire body and the other of just the foot and ankle. Podiatrist also spend two years in the classroom studying biomechanics of the foot and leg as well as two years studying clinical biomechanics of the foot and leg and gait analysis. Podiatrists also attend a 3 to 4 year residency program that again specializes in the foot, ankle and gait. Not all people need orthotics and when a person does need them, there are dozens of different types of orthotics. To make an orthotic, podiatrists consider the patient’s foot or ankle problem, body weight, shoe type, activity level and many other factors. Believe it or not, Orthotics are a medical prescription device. Therefore, your feet need to be evaluated by a professional that specializes in feet to get you the correct medical device for your individual issue.
Prescription orthotics can be used to help treat foot, ankle, knee, hip and sometimes back pain. Most insurance companies will cover either part of all of your orthotic costs. So when making the choice of who to see for your foot pain or orthotic needs, make the smart choice.
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