If you’re considering purchasing a pair of foot orthotics, you have no shortage of options for where you can buy them. From one-size-fits-all solutions at the drug store to online retailers or a personalized pair from your chiropractor, there is a wide range of orthotics providers competing for your business. Orthotics are an investment in your health, and, just like any investment, it’s important to do your research. Here are five questions to answer before you make your decision about where to purchase your orthotics.
Question #1: Will My Orthotics Be Truly Custom Made To Fit My Foot Exactly?
To save money, some orthotics providers use stock molds that are a “close” match to your foot as a starting point for your orthotics and then shape them to match your foot. At PBO Group, we are able to create truly custom orthotics because we have our own manufacturing facility that allows us to make your orthotics from an actual casting of your foot, using plaster, a foam impression or 3D scanning, depending on your unique situation. Having the ability to custom cast your foot exactly is an important distinction and one you should ask about as you do your research.
Question #2: How Well Trained Is The Person Assessing My Feet and Making The Orthotics?
Just because someone knows a lot about the human body, doesn’t mean they necessarily know a lot about the crafting of a good foot orthotic. At PBO Group, our Certified Orthotists and Pedorthists are both trained clinicians and technicians. Their extensive knowledge and experience allow them to really understand the connection between what they observe with your body’s unique biomechanics and how an orthotic can best meet your body’s needs.
Question #3: Does The Provider Offer While-You-Wait Adjustments and Corrections?
In certain cases, orthotics will require some minor tweaking to ensure a comfortable fit. In order to do this, some providers have to send your orthotics back to the manufacturing lab and you may have to wait weeks before your orthotics are returned. At PBO Group, our onsite lab allows us to modify your orthotics in an hour or less.
Question #4: Will Your Provider Help You Select The Shoe That Best Complements Your Orthotics?
Not all shoes will fit orthotics and, in some cases, modifications to your existing shoes can be made to better match your body’s unique biomechanics. Paired with the right orthotic, solutions like bubble patches for toe deformities, rocker soles for rigid joints and shoe lifts to address leg length discrepancies can make a world of difference in terms of ongoing comfort and mobility. At PBO Group, we don’t just hand you your new orthotics and send you on your way. We work closely with you to ensure a total orthotic and shoe solution that’s a perfect match for your body and lifestyle.
Question #5: Are You Confident Your Provider Isn’t Just Looking For A Quick and Easy Sale?
While foot orthotics can address a wide range of aches, pains and mobility concerns, they may not be the best solution for your particular issue. At PBO Group, we regularly assess people and conclude that orthotics aren’t actually the best treatment option. Sometimes they need nothing at all and in other cases, a different type of shoe, a specific kind of brace, or a referral to a different kind of healthcare professional is a better alternative to foot orthotics. At PBO Group, we are members of Orthotics Prosthetics Canada and the College of Pedorthics Canada. Our membership means we must adhere to strict ethical guidelines. Providers that offer incentives like free shoes with your orthotics are likely not subject to these same types of ethical guidelines and may not have your best interests in mind.