Orthotic inserts have become quite common. They go inside your shoes, adding some padding and sometimes adjusting the way you step on and bear weight on your feet. Beyond these basics, how much do you know about orthotics? If you're like most people, you probably have a few of the following questions.
How do you know you need orthotics?
There are two types of people who need orthotics. The first is anyone who is struggling with foot, ankle, or lower leg pain of any type. For instance, if you have sore heels or your Achilles tendon is often tight, you could benefit from orthotics.
The second kind of person is someone who is at-risk for foot problems and wants to prevent them. For instance, people who work on their feet, runners, and hikers all fall into these categories. Orthotics can provide cushioning and support to prevent foot problems from developing in the first place.
Does everyone really need custom orthotics?
Some people really should get custom orthotics from a podiatrist or orthopedic doctor. If you have diabetes, you should have custom orthotics since a perfect fit is essential for preventing sores that could be really serious for you. Serious athletes and anyone with an actual diagnosis should also get custom orthotics.
If you're generally healthy and just want orthotics as an everyday preventative, you'll probably be okay with basic ones from a pharmacy or shoe store. However, if you try them and find it hard to get a good fit, you might still want to see a podiatrist to have a custom set made.
Does health insurance cover orthotics?
In most cases, health insurance will cover orthotics if you need them for a specific purpose. For example, if you are diagnosed with Achilles tendinitis and your doctor recommends orthotics as a treatment, then health insurance should cover the cost.
Health insurance does not always cover orthotics when they are used as a preventative. However, they may be covered under an HSA plan or flexible spending account. Your doctor may also be able to petition the health insurance company and get them to cover orthotics if they feel there's a medical need for them.
Hopefully, this article has answered some of your questions about orthotics. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask a podiatrist to learn more. They can give you more specific information related to your feet and their health.