If you’re an athlete, whether you play in a basketball league or just jog around your neighborhood, you know that you need to take care of your body. And while you probably know you need to eat right, stretch regularly, and maintain your workout routine, when was the last time you thought about your feet?

Feet usually don’t get much attention. That is, until pain gets in the way. If your feet and ankles hurt, you need a sports medicine specialist to help you get back on the field.

David B. Glover, DPM, FACFAS, specializes in podiatric sports medicine at Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute. He and our team are experienced in diagnosing and treating injuries, overuse issues, and other biomechanical problems that can limit athletic performance.

One of our most common recommendations for athletes is using custom orthotics. If you think you’re too young or too healthy to really benefit from these custom shoe inserts, the truth is that they could make all the difference in your game.

Relieve pain

Sports are physically demanding, and they can take a toll on your feet and ankles. It’s not uncommon for athletes of all levels to have occasional foot pain. And pain can get even more intense with injury.

Custom orthotics can relieve pain by distributing your weight properly when you stand. Orthotics can align your bones, muscles, and tendons, as well as take stress off of sensitive or injured areas of your feet. Wearing custom orthotics could also help you if you have:

Orthotics can also relieve pain from arthritis, bunionshammertoes, and other issues that some athletes face.

Enhance performance

Orthotics can optimize the way your feet — and body — work. While one of the main goals of orthotics is to reduce pain from injury and other foot problems, there are also benefits that can go beyond your feet.

If your feet and ankles are aligned, your body will be properly supported. Your muscles and tendons won’t have to overcompensate for imbalances in your alignment. Furthermore, your orthotics will help absorb shock when you run and jump.

And because your body will have good support, your knees, hips, and back might feel better during and after workouts. And, your endurance might increase, too.

Plus, having proper foot mechanics could help you avoid future injury. This is especially important if you’ve already been injured. Having a previous orthopedic injury could increase your risk of suffering another one, but orthotics could help reduce your risk.

Getting custom orthotics

Dr. Glover offers evaluations for athletes to determine how orthotics could help them. First, he examines your feet, reviews your symptoms, and talks about your favorite sports and activities. Then he recommends the best type of orthotics for your feet.

Unlike over-the-counter orthotics, custom orthotics are designed specifically for your feet. We take molds of your feet, and a lab creates your orthotic inserts.

Custom orthotics are available in half- and full-length styles. Most of the time, you can simply slip them into your favorite sports shoes and go.

To find out if orthotics can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute today.