Shephard Chiropractic Clinic has been working with The Orthotic Group for more than 30 years. We trust this nationwide company to provide our patients with custom orthotics. They’re dependable and make orthotics that work well for our patients. These custom orthotics are made based on what our providers find in your evaluation. If you order your orthotics from a shop or off the rack, they’re not going to work as well for you, especially because they don’t have a diagnosis or a doctor’s direction on how to best use them.
Typically, our providers see two common conditions that benefit from custom orthotics:
Pronation Syndrome is a foot condition in which the patient’s inside of the foot comes in contact with the ground more heavily than the rest of the foot. Think of a beach with footprints in it. A regular foot pattern will be balanced, with each toe, the ball, the outer edge, and the heel of the foot showing up clearly in the footprint. With pronation syndrome, the innermost parts of the foot will be more depressed in the footprint. Patients with pronation syndrome will also typically wear out the inside (near the ball and big toe) portion of their shoes more quickly than any other area. Some patients are born with pronation syndrome, and some patients have feet that pronate over time due to physical trauma or excess weight from obesity or pregnancy. In some cases, pronation syndrome can lead to pelvic dysfunction or low back pain. These conditions are caused by misalignment or disc problems that can lead to nerve pain or damage. Pronation can also cause leg length discrepancy—the other common reason for custom orthotics.
Orthotics for leg length discrepancy can be helpful in correcting the difference between the length of the patient’s legs–essentially creating a higher lift for one of the limbs. There are always two orthotics (never just one) to solve leg length discrepancy. Read more about leg length discrepancy (symptoms, causes, and solutions) in our blog.
A key part of custom orthotics from the chiropractor is the diagnosis. Typically at your first patient appointment, the provider will evaluate your body’s structure, your gait, and take x-rays. With the x-rays, the chiropractor is able to see whether you may have leg length discrepancy (through showing a difference in hip height) or other problems that may be solved with the use of custom orthotics. For example, pelvic inclination (or tilt) may indicate to the doctor that you need some assistance in improving your gait.
If you’ve ever wandered the aisles of a shoe store or a drug store, you know that there are plenty of orthotic options out there. However, none of them are made exactly for what you need. And they may not be covered by insurance, either.
Instead of pulling a pair of orthotics off the rack, or purchasing them from a shoe store, seek out your chiropractor. You’ll obtain better results with a completely custom orthotic—made to fit your feet, your desired shoe, and your precise need. Beyond being made exclusively for you, insurance is typically more willing to cover orthotics when they come with a specific diagnosis that indicates why they are needed. At Shephard Chiropractic Clinic, we will verify your coverage for orthotics with your insurance so you don’t have to guess at how much you’ll pay. We’ll also cast the orthotics in our office (they’re ready to go when you are) and send them off to The Orthotic Group after you’ve stepped into the foam casts, and then we’ll bill it all to your insurance. All you have to do is come in, step on, step off, and wait 2-3 weeks for the custom orthotics to be made and shipped.
If your orthotics needs are not as severe, we can still take custom casts and bill to insurance, so your less serious conditions can be addressed. Depending on your insurance, it may or may not be covered.
If a patient comes into our office and their condition is either beyond our expertise or requires extreme intervention (such as surgery) we will refer you out to an orthopedic doctor, a physical therapist, or an orthopedic surgeon, depending on what you need. We won’t take custom casts for orthotics if it’s clear you won’t be helped by them.
Orthotics casting is easy. After your initial evaluation (or a re-evaluation for a new problem with an existing patient) the doctor will make his or her recommendation. This may include a treatment plan, exercises, and a possible orthotics casting. The casting forms will be brought out, you will select the type of shoe you need the orthotics for (athletic, dress, casual, work boot), and then you can step onto the foam forms, leaving the imprint of your foot. These forms are then sent to the orthotics maker, and you can expect your custom orthotics within 2-3 weeks. If you ever need a replacement set or to refurbish some of your orthotics, just drop them off, and we’ll take care of the rest. After the casts are made, we’ll send the diagnosis and the bill to your insurance, so you don’t have to worry about it!