A custom orthotic is designed to balance your mechanics and provide efficiency for the foot and ankle. Without an orthotic, the lower extremity remains unstable. If you were treated for an overuse injury, such as heel pain or Achilles tendinitis, you have a much greater chance for the problem to return to where it was prior to treatment. If you have a foot deformity, such as a bunion or hammertoe, it will get progressively worse to the point where surgery is required to remedy it completely.
There is always a short-term fix in medication. Think of an orthotic as a long-term investment to ensure a complete and thorough recovery.