Q. How can these orthotics help my bunions?

A. Bunions are an outgrowth of bone at the joint of the first toe. This is a result of the rolling inward of the foot and lateral deviation of the big toe causing stress and pain in the joints in that area. The SYMMETRY Orthotics are designed to reduce this stress in the foot and normalize the joints. When this happens, both the foot and the toe more closely assume their normal position over time, and this helps the problem correct.

Q. I have hammertoes. Can these orthotics help?

A. Hammertoes are believed to be caused by tight tendons bending the toes as a result of a muscle imbalance or misaligned bones in the middle of your foot. (Dropped metatarsal heads) The result is an uncomfortable rubbing of the toes against the top of the shoe and a loss of balance due to the curled toes. Our orthotics help to reposition the foot bones, straighten and relax the toes, increase balance and reduce pain. Over time the tendons may also loosen because there is no reason for them to stay tight.

Q. My doctor told me I may need surgery. Can the orthotics help prevent this?

A. In some cases, depending on how severe and how long you've had a problem, corrective surgery may be necessary. However, it is always wisest to try the safest, least expensive and least invasive option first. Unless the problem threatens your health, orthotics offer that option before medications, injections and surgery. We can only make that determination after a complete examination.

Q. I have aching in my legs. How can orthotics help?

A. There are many muscles, tendons, blood vessels and nerves that extend from the legs to the feet. Many times if the foot bones are out of alignment these structures become overstretched or deformed. When this happens additional stress is placed on joints and muscles. These factors can all work together to cause leg pain even in the absence of foot pain. If this physical misalignment is the cause of your pain, then our orthotics may be the most appropriate and conservative course of action to help correct your problem. If the problem is caused or complicated by a systemic problem such as diabetes, heart and/or vascular disease, etc. then other treatment should be considered in coordination with our orthotic care to help monitor this condition.

Q. What is the relevance of your balance tests on my painful feet, legs, and back?

A. When your feet and legs are imbalanced, the postural muscles that keep you erect have to work harder. They get fatigued when overused, and begin to hurt. When we properly balance these structures through orthotic use your entire posture is improved, your muscles work almost effortlessly and this relieves pain and fatigue. We're demonstrating this with our balance tests and that's why they are very relevant to your pain!

Q. When I wake up in the morning or after sitting for a long time the bottoms of my feet and inside of my heels are sore then after 15 minutes it gets a little better. Can these help?

A. These are classic signs of plantar fascitis, an ailment caused by abnormal tension and twisting of the strong ligaments in the bottom of the feet. As they twist, they pull on the bones (especially the heel bone) to which they attach causing pain. (Due to periostitis) The ligaments shorten when not used for a while, so they are extremely tight and painful with your first steps after sleeping or sitting for a long time. Our orthotics reposition these bones and ligaments, reducing the cause of pain, and with time they help to correct the problem.

Q. I think I have heel spurs. Can these orthotics help?

A. Heel spurs are a result of a strong ligament in the foot detaching from the heel and causing pain. In time a calcium deposit forms on the heel bone, this is considered a heel spur. This may or may not cause pain but in any case the abnormal structure of the bones and ligaments do. Our orthotics reposition these structures and redistribute weight off the heels allowing the area to heal while assuming a more normal position.

Q. I feel like a knife is stuck between my toes, can you help?

A. What you're describing may be a plantar neuroma. This is a true pinched nerve between bones towards the front of your feet called metatarsals. Our orthotics help reposition and spread the metatarsals to relieve the pressure on those nerves and relieve your pain.

Q. How can these orthotics help my knee problems?

A. When we reposition the feet, legs and back in line over the arches we reduce stress in many areas including the knees. If we achieve this, and that is the cause of your problem, then we help to correct it. In the knees especially it is very important for your joints to be tracking properly, as continued wear and tear very often may require surgery if allowed to progress.

Q. How can these orthotics help my hip and back problems?

A. If your feet are not balanced properly and weight is not evenly distributed and centered over the arch it affects the alignment of the joints in the ankles, knees, hips and spine. This can lead to excessive wear and tear on these areas as well as causing tight and painful muscles because they must work harder to keep you standing. When we center you over the arch and correct the position of the feet, ankles, knees, hips and spine we reduce this pressure, balance the body and correct the cause of your pain and imbalance.

Q. I think I've seen these orthotics before, could that be?

A. That may be true. The company initially introduced these to the public by training technicians who travel and sell them at various locations, and this still exists. Now the emphasis is on prescribing them through your physician who is educated to thoroughly evaluate ALL aspects of foot and other physical problems. We also have the ability to expertly monitor your progress, which includes offering a free trial period, and making any alterations in sizing that we feel necessary.

Q. What is the difference between the SYMMETRY ARCH SUPPORTS and those that resemble them?

A. There are many three quarter length orthotics on the market, both pre-fabricated as well as custom. All these orthotics look similar but none have been able to duplicate the design, durability, strength, or clinical results as the SYMMETRYS. Our line includes two versions of the same orthotic design. Our White SYMMETRY Sport orthotics are a slightly softer, less expensive, less durable version of our blue SYMMETRY Plus orthotics. While they are made from the same design and offer excellent support, they are primarily intended for high impact aerobic use and people with very sensitive feet like geriatrics, pediatrics or diabetic neuropathy. They provide only 60% of the support and benefits of the SYMMETRY "PLUS", and are warranted and expected to last only one year. They were designed to inexpensively reach and introduce more people to the SYMMETRY name in an effort to educate them about the benefits of the SYMMETRY "PLUS" and "XT" orthotics. Our company officially recommends and prefers that patients consult their doctor for their recommendation as to which orthotic is most appropriate for each particular patient. The SYMMETRY SPORT orthotics function very well for active people who need maximum flexibility of the plantar portion of their feet. They are also commonly prescribed for growing children, athletes, diabetics, geriatrics, and for price sensitive patients. The more corrective, "PLUS" and "XT" orthotics are warranted for three years and expected to last many years longer than that. They ultimately provide more value, benefits and results than the SPORTS for the general adult population. We do not prescribe or recommend that you choose the less expensive "SPORT" version for long term, daily use except for the conditions listed above or as a trainer for the eventual introduction of the "PLUS" model. Many patients will choose to try them first for cost saving reasons and then transition into the "PLUS" or "XT" when finances permit.

Q. These seem so simple, why are they so expensive?

A. Actually these orthotics are incredibly inexpensive considering how they assist us in balancing your entire body from the ground up. In fact, they are one of the best values in healthcare today. Considering also that they are warranteed for 3 years, they wind up costing only pennies per day, and they're actually expected to last alot longer than that! Most other orthotics need to be replaced every year or two and will ultimately cost much more than these.

Q. I just started wearing the SYMMETRYS and my heel rises out of my shoe when I take a step, why?

A. Initially when the foot and arch position is improved and lifted the overall foot length is shortened slightly. (Give a visual with the arched hand) Very shortly your stride will change to accommodate this new position and your shoes probably won't slip. If they do, we can put a small non-slip "moleskin" pad on the back inside edge of your heel to prevent this.

Q. The orthotics don't fit comfortably in all my existing shoes.

A. This is to be expected. As with any orthotic we must begin by removing any existing built-in arch. Some shoes, especially well worn ones may not accommodate any orthotics perfectly. But because of the sleek design and the flexibility of the SYMMETRY they will definitely fit in a wider array of shoes more easily than most other orthotics, especially women's "petite" shoes. We recommend wearing the shoes they do fit in more frequently and remember, when buying new shoes try them on with your orthotics to assure a perfect fit from the start. Many times we can easily correct an imperfect fit with a product called Dr. Scholl's "moleskin". If you'd like to have us assess the shoes you're having a problem with, bring them in on your next visit, we'll let you know if there's anything that can be done to improve the fit.