The right pair of orthotics can have a dramatic impact on your quality of life.
After all, if your feet aren’t providing you with the support you require, the end result is going to be constant pain (not just in your feet, either!) and a loss of ability to live the active lifestyle you’re accustomed to. Just like the right pair of prescription glasses restores your sight to perfect clarity, the right orthotics enable your feet and ankles to function at full capacity, without pain.
The problem is finding the right pair. Unfortunately, most insoles you can buy off the rack are of low quality and won’t give you exactly what you need. And even custom orthotics, when made using traditional processes like molds or foam impressions, can be bulky, heavy, troublesome to fit, and prone to mistakes or imperfections during the manufacturing process.
Fortunately, that isn’t a problem anymore. At Kalamazoo Podiatry, we are now using an advanced suite of orthotics technologies called Go 4-D to ensure our patients get the perfect fit and optimum performance from their orthotics, using the latest technology and biomechanics research available.
How Are Go 4-D Orthotics Made?
We’re one of the first clinics in West Michigan to adopt this advanced custom orthotics technology, but it’s quickly becoming the gold standard in podiatric practices around the country, as it offers many significant advantages over traditionally crafted orthotics.
The process begins by taking precise measurements of your feet using a sophisticated 3D laser scanner and pressure-sensitive gait plate. With simple impressions made of plaster or foam, errors can develop during the casting, shipping, or manufacturing phases. This can’t happen with digital data. And with the gait plate, we know exactly how pressure is being distributed across your foot as you stand, walk, and balance—pinpointing the exact pain points in real time at every stage of the gait cycle.
Once we have the data we need, it’s sent over to the lab where they are designed using sophisticated algorithmic software and constructed by a medical-grade 3D printer. This means your orthotics are made to your exact specifications from scratch, rather than by cutting and manipulating pre-made pieces of solid material. This allows them to fit better, work better, and offer customized features that traditional orthotics simply can’t replicate.
What Are the Major Advantages of Going with Go 4-D Orthotics from Kalamazoo Podiatry?
We’ve already covered some of these above, but we’ll give you a better summary here.
- A perfect fit for your feet. Super-precise digital scanning and pressure plate analysis give us real-time data that goes straight to the 3D printer. This means you get a comfortable, exact fit the first time, rather than a “pretty close” fit that will likely require some additional adjustments after they’re made.
- Truly unique to the way you Once the lab has the real-time data of your foot scan, sophisticated software algorithmically designs the orthotic to perfectly complement your specific biomechanics. It uses a unique lattice design that allows for subtle variations in thickness, density, and other attributes to meet your needs in a far more personalized way than could ever be achieved with a solid piece of molded plastic or graphite.
- Backed by modern research. Unfortunately, many traditional custom orthotics are still fit and manufactured the same way they were 20-30 years ago. The problem is that our scientific understanding of optimum foot and ankle biomechanics has come a long way since then. It’s not just that these orthotics use new and better methods of construction, but they’re actually based on a new and better understanding of how your feet work best.
- Adaptable to any situation. The same pair of Go 4-D orthotics will be just as effective and comfortable whether you put them in your walking shoes, dress shoes, or athletic shoes. Because they are designed for optimal function at every part of your foot, and can do this while being extremely thin and lightweight, they can handle a long day at work, a night on the town, or an ultramarathon with equal ease.
- Environmentally friendly. Traditional orthotics manufacturing produces a lot of waste, including the original cast or foam box and materials cut from the original template. With our system, there’s no mold and fewer unnecessary manufacturing byproducts. Plus, the orthotics themselves are made from non-toxic, bio-compatible and recyclable printing powder. There’s almost no waste during any part of the process.
- They’re guaranteed. The laboratory where Go 4-D orthotics are manufactured offers a full 90-day satisfaction guarantee. That’s how much they (and we) stand behind these orthotics. If you don’t like them, you get your money back.
Do I Really Need Advanced Custom Orthotics? What About Prefabricated Orthotics?
Don’t be fooled by pharmacy kiosks that promise “custom orthotics” after you stand on a little force plate. These are not customized. They are prefabricated and only meant to provide a general, approximate match for your feet.
There may be some situations where we will recommend prefabricated orthotics to start, particularly if your pain is relatively mild and there are no major biomechanical issues with your gait. But they are not designed to treat specific medical diagnoses, nor are they going to provide nearly the same level of performance.
Either way, your best bet is to come to our office first, rather than simply trying something off the rack. There are a lot of poor-quality products out there, and even the good ones (relatively speaking) won’t do you much good if they aren’t right for your feet.
Get Your Feet the Support They Need
At Kalamazoo Podiatry, we’ll carefully examine and analyze your feet and make sure you get orthotics that will actually work for you. And with our new in-office scanning technology, we have the most advanced and effective orthotics system ever devised at our disposal.
Suffice it to say, if you have foot pain related to biomechanical issues that can be addressed with orthotic devices, Kalamazoo Podiatry is the place you want to be.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bredeweg, give us a call today at your preferred office, or request an appointment online for our scheduler to reach out to you during normal office hours.