Ask Your Physical Therapist: Custom orthotics and achy feet
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Ask Your Physical Therapist: Custom orthotics and achy feet

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If you have tired, achy and painful feet, custom foot orthotics can help to resolve many different issues with feet, as well as ankles, knees and even the lower back.

Custom foot orthotics are devices that are made specifically for your foot using sophisticated static and dynamic 3D pressure mapping technology. This 3D file of your feet is then sent to a lab that 3D prints an orthotic that is specific to your foot and the correction of the specific foot issues you are having.

The job of the custom foot orthotic is to support your long arch and the arch that goes across the front of the foot behind the balls of the feet. Custom foot orthotics work to distribute pressure evenly across the foot, acting as a support bridge between the heel, arch and balls of the feet.

While it is certainly true that custom foot orthotics help resolve your foot/ankle pain, as well as potentially knee, hip and back pain, it is equally as important to resolve the soft tissue tightness and irritation, as well as maximize range of motion and strength of the foot and ankle prior to fitting the new orthotic.

You can be fit with “the best custom foot orthotic in the world” and still suffer from heel, arch and ankle pain. This is because the foot and ankle need to have the proper amount of strength and flexibility to tolerate the new foot position that the custom foot orthotic is asking the foot to function in.

Are you having pain in your heel and arch that is worst with the first few steps out of bed in the morning and after just getting up from a chair to walk? Do you have achy, tired arches/feet at the end of a long day of standing at work or being on your feet for extended periods? Do you ever feel burning in the toes or like there is a wadded sock or pebble under the balls of your feet only to check and see nothing there? Do you have really flat feet or super high arches (this may be related to your knee, hip or low back pain). Is your foot pain keeping you from walking, standing, exercising, working, keeping up with your family, kids/grandkids, or just generally interfering with your life?

If so, custom foot orthotics can help resolve your issues along with addressing the soft tissue tightness and irritation, as well as ensuring you are in the proper shoe for your specific foot type. At Cardin and Miller Physical Therapy, we are experts in the treatment of foot and ankle/heel pain, including the fabrication and fitting of custom foot orthotics and getting you in the proper shoe for your foot type. We help people like this every day!

If you would like to know if custom foot orthotics are right for the issues you are having, please do one of the following:

  • Call my office at 717-245-0400 to schedule a free phone consultation with me so we can discuss your situation to see what’s best for you.
  • Call my office to schedule your one-on-one, private, free screen so that we can listen to the foot issues you are having and tell you how to best resolve them.
  • Send me an email at and let’s chat about the issues you are having, and I can tell you the next best step to helping you get back to living life.

Steve Miller is the owner of Cardin and Miller Physical Therapy and can be reached by email at His column will appear bi-monthly in the Thrive section of the Sentinel and on


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