What are they?
Foot orthotics are supportive devices that are designed specifically for the purpose of improving one's postural stability, reducing shock impact, and/or improving weight distribution. In most cases, these devices are functional in the sense that they also improve one's biomechanical performance during gait. An impression of some sort, is usually taken of your feet, and used in the selection and fitting of a prescription orthotic. The particular information regarding anticipated cost, durability, and use may vary depending upon the type of orthotic and should be discussed with your foot specialist.
What do they do?
Imagine if you will, standing barefoot in moist sand with the arch being filled by the smooth sandy undersurface. The heel and ball of the foot leaves a mild depression in the sand while the toes grip the ground without resistance. If one could stand like this for lengthy periods of time, he or she would probably not have sore feet, would experience less fatigue and probably would not have many of those commonly encountered forefoot skin problems such as corns, calluses, and ingrown nails. The problems come from standing on cement, asphalt, or other non-yielding surfaces, our wearing confining shoes, which further limit foot flexibility, and from lengthy periods of ambulation, which add fatigue and strain to one's body.
Orthotics assist in restoring supportive comfort by bringing the ground surface up to the foot. They serve to improve postural stability, distribute one's weight more evenly, and improve the mechanical functioning of the foot and ankle. Although orthotics do not cure every ache and pain in the foot, they are a wonderful approach in providing maximum comfort through improved biomechanics. Standing comfortably in sand is not necessarily an unreachable feeling even while wearing your everyday shoes.