If you’re an athlete, you may worry about injury. It’s no fun to sit on the sidelines when you’d rather be enjoying your favorite activity!

Your feet are complex, with many bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and tissue that allow you to enjoy the ability to walk, jump, stand, bounce, and move in all sorts of ways.

Most people don’t give much consideration to their feet, but experienced podiatrist Dr. Ernest Levi and his team understand just how important feet are, and that’s one reason we offer custom orthotics at Grand Central Podiatry in Midtown Manhattan, New York.

Orthotics vs. inserts

Before we explore how orthotics can help all types of athletes, we need to address the difference in orthotics that are designed for your foot and prescribed by a foot doctor and shoe inserts that you buy over the counter.

Shoe inserts can be beneficial, but they aren’t the same as orthotics, which are medical devices.

If you’re not sure whether over-the-counter shoe inserts could help — or hurt — or if you would benefit more from custom orthotics, talk to Dr. Levi. He can help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each, and which is most likely to meet your needs when you’re trying to protect your feet and avoid injury.

Individual customization

One of the most important aspects of getting custom orthotics is that they’re designed specifically for you. The way you walk, or your gait, is unique, and each of your feet is unique, too. The combination of your gait and your two feet is like no one else’s on earth.

If your gait puts pressure on a certain spot on the bottom of your left foot, that spot may need extra cushioning that another person wouldn’t need. Custom orthotics are designed to account for those kinds of small, but important, differences in your specific biomechanics.

Your training

Along with having feet and a gait like no one else, your sports training schedule is designed around your life and your goals. How often and how intensely you train and the sports you play all have implications for the health of your feet.

For example, if you’re training for a marathon, you may do your long runs on the weekends, and your feet need to be able to withstand those training sessions. Similarly, if you play a team sport only during a certain season, your feet need to be ready for the ramp up in training intensity before the season opens.

Avoiding injury

Orthotics are custom-designed to address any particular weaknesses when it comes to gait, weight distribution, and training intensity.  Accounting for problems in each of those areas can help you avoid injury.

If you’ve already experienced an injury, custom orthotics could be the key to avoiding a repeat injury. In some instances, orthotics serve as a conservative first line treatment option for people who have already been injured.

When Dr. Levi suggests custom orthotics, he’s taking numerous factors into consideration, including your gait and foot structure, your activity level, history of injury, and your sport. Getting personalized guidance and advice can keep you active and on the court — and keep your feet feeling great.

Schedule an appointment at Grand Central Podiatry today and find out if custom orthotics could be an important part of your training regimen.

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