Flat feet can be treated to reduce the pain and discomfort you feel without resorting to surgery to try and create a new arch for your feet. You can buy orthotic insole products at the store that can help to reduce the discomfort you feel, but those products were meant to be used by a cross-section of flat feet sufferers and may not offer the all the relief you are seeking. The most effective method shown to treat your condition is to have custom-made orthotic insoles built specifically for you (some health insurance policies will even cover the cost, so check yours to see if you have coverage for orthotic insoles). Here is how a podiatrist can make custom orthotics for flat feet.
Foam Foot Impression
A common method to make an impression of your feet is by using foam. The foam typically comes in a box that opens up into two sections. You will press your foot down into the foam – one section is for your right foot and the other section is for your left foot. The podiatrist will close the box and ship it to a company that will actually make the molds for your orthotic insoles.
Orthotic Insole Production Process
The orthotic manufacturing company will check the quality of the impression and your podiatrist's orders before making the molds – if there aren't any problems, they will begin to make a mold of your feet. The first thing the manufacturer does is mix some plaster and pour it into the foam impressions. The foam is removed once the plaster is dried, leaving a cast of your footprints. A technician will warm the materials your podiatrist has ordered to be used to make your insoles. The warmed material is pressed against the cast of your feet and shaped to the podiatrist's specifications. The foam and bulk of the material is removed once the warmed material has cooled to form the foundation of your insole. The technician will grind grooves into the foundation to ensure the glue will hold well enough to connect the foundation to the surface of your insole – this ensures the insole won't fall apart when you use the insole while walking or running. The insoles are then shipped back to your podiatrist and given to you to use.
If you suffer from flat feet, you do have options to relieve the pain and discomfort you feel every day. You should talk to your podiatrist to learn what the best options are for you.