Custom Orthotics vs. Over-the-Counter: What’s the Difference?

In our quest to lead healthy, active lives, it’s often the smallest things that can make the biggest impact. Our feet, the literal foundation upon which we stand, can play a significant role in our overall wellness. When discomfort or issues with our feet emerge, they can dramatically impact our daily life and physical activities.


One common solution to foot discomfort is the use of orthotics, and while they may seem straightforward, the variety available can be overwhelming. So, what’s the difference between custom orthotics and over-the-counter versions? This is the query we will tackle in today’s blog post.


Custom Orthotics: A Personalised Solution


Custom orthotics, as their name implies, are custom-made devices designed to support and comfort your feet. They are fabricated based on a 3D model of your foot, following a comprehensive biomechanical assessment that takes into account your specific foot structure, walking pattern, and health condition. Custom orthotics are typically prescribed by healthcare professionals such as podiatrists or orthopaedic surgeons.


There are two primary types of custom orthotics: functional orthotics, which are made from semi-rigid materials and designed to control abnormal motion, and accommodative orthotics, softer devices aimed at providing additional cushioning and support.


The main advantage of custom orthotics is that they are tailored precisely to your foot’s unique contours, providing an unparalleled level of comfort and support. This customisation can be particularly beneficial if you have specific foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, flat feet, or diabetes-related foot problems.


Over-the-Counter Orthotics: A Ready-Made Solution


Over-the-counter (OTC) orthotics are mass-produced insoles that can be purchased at pharmacies, supermarkets, or sports stores. These products offer a general fit and are designed to provide additional cushioning and minor arch support.


OTC orthotics can be a suitable choice for those with minor foot discomfort, or for those seeking additional foot support during physical activities. They are more affordable than custom orthotics and can be an effective temporary solution. However, for long-term foot health and for addressing specific foot conditions, OTC orthotics may not provide the same level of support or comfort as their custom counterparts.


Choosing Your Orthotics


The choice between custom orthotics and OTC options largely depends on your unique foot needs and circumstances. For short-term relief or mild discomfort, an OTC insole may be sufficient. However, if you have a specific foot condition, chronic pain, or abnormalities in foot structure, investing in custom orthotics may yield better results.


Remember, orthotics are not a one-size-fits-all solution – it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional who can evaluate your foot health and provide personalised advice.


In any case, the effectiveness of your orthotics also hinges on the type of shoes you wear. Comfort should always be a priority, but you don’t have to compromise on style. There are indeed fashionable shoes for orthotics available that provide the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality.


In conclusion, while both custom and OTC orthotics have their roles, they serve different needs. Understanding these differences can help you make an informed decision about what’s best for your foot health. Because ultimately, stepping towards a healthier future starts from the ground up.

A Comprehensive Guide to Staying Active in Your Senior Years

As we age, it can be easy to become complacent and lead a more sedentary lifestyle. But staying active and engaged – both physically and mentally – in your senior years is vital for maintaining overall health and happiness. Here are just a few of the many reasons why it’s important to stay active in your golden years, as well as some tips on how to do so.


Why is it important to stay active after retirement?


Maintain Mobility & Flexibility


Regular activity helps you maintain your mobility and flexibility so that you can continue to live an independent lifestyle. Low-impact exercises like swimming, tai chi, yoga or walking all helps to strengthen muscles, improve balance and keep joints flexible. Even just 10 minutes of light exercise a day can make a world of difference!


Boost Your Mood


Physical activity releases feel-good hormones called endorphins, which can help increase energy levels and reduce anxiety, depression, stress and fatigue. Exercise also increases blood flow to the brain, which helps with cognitive function – making physical activity an essential part of healthy aging!


Stay Connected with Friends & Family


Getting older doesn’t mean you have to become isolated from friends and family! Joining social groups such as book clubs or walking groups are great ways to stay connected with others while also exercising outdoors. If it’s difficult for you to get out of the house, consider using Drake Medox homecare support services, which provide transportation services so that you can go out with friends without worrying about driving yourself.


How to retain an active lifestyle well into our senior years


Exercising Regularly


Regular exercise is key to staying healthy as a senior, but it can be difficult to follow through on exercise goals without professional guidance or assistance. Thankfully, there are homecare support services that provide seniors with access to dedicated caregivers who can offer motivation and encouragement in regards to fitness goals. In addition, these caregivers are available for transportation services, so those who are unable to drive themselves may still attend fitness classes or go for walks in the park.


Social Engagement 


Staying socially active has been linked to improved mental health and morale in seniors. Socialising with friends, family members, or even other seniors at social events can help reduce stress levels and increase energy levels as well as improve overall mood and outlook on life. Whether it’s playing board games or just having a chat over tea, social engagement is an important part of staying healthy in your senior years.




A nutritious diet is critical for seniors seeking to stay healthy and energetic throughout their golden years. Good nutrition helps boost immune systems while providing essential vitamins and minerals necessary for proper functioning of the body’s organs. Again, homecare support services can provide meal preparation assistance so that seniors receive balanced meals that meet their nutritional needs each day. Caregivers are also available to assist with grocery shopping trips if necessary, so that clients have access to fresh groceries regularly for full nutrition throughout their day-to-day lives.


Staying active in your senior years is essential for living a long life full of health, happiness and independence


Remember – if getting out of the house is difficult for you, homecare support services are a fantastic resource for invaluable assistance from experienced professionals. With these helpful tips in mind, there’s no reason why anyone shouldn’t enjoy their retirement years to their fullest!

What to Know About Renting in Columbus, OH

Columbus is one of the most exciting cities in the nation for renters right now, offering the ability to afford far more and work in careers that are as rewarding as they are open to upward mobility.  But what’s it really like to rent here?


These are the top things to know about renting in Columbus, and how to tell if it’s right for you?

Affordable Prices and More Room

The first thing you’ll notice about Columbus apartments for rent is how affordable they are.  Lower than the national average, although higher compared to other cities in Ohio, Columbus gives you the opportunity to take a larger income via online work and bring it to a town where your dollars will stretch further, and you’ll be able to make a living safely.


This results in the average person being able to afford more space and get a home or apartment that’s larger than they could find at their price point anywhere else in the nation.

You Can Always Save With Roommates

If you want to make your money stretch further and help yourself save for future apartments or homes, it’s a great idea to stop and consider getting a roommate.  Having someone to split the bills with will protect you from accidentally biting off more than you can chew.


Although you can now afford a much larger space, that doesn’t mean you need to spend at the top of your budget to get the biggest apartment or home possible.

The Job Market Is Awesome

You’ll love the job market here!  There’s a massive market for communications and customer service, but you can still find work in technology, entertainment, or anything else that speaks to you.  Because of the roaring job market, you can try out different jobs and roles until you find what speaks to you.  This is also a fantastic city for entrepreneurs who want to make a business succeed from step one.

There Are Countless Walkable Neighborhoods

Walkable neighborhoods are one of the most important things anyone can find if they’re starting a family.  You want your kids to feel safe walking down the street and want to ensure you can exercise or spend time outside without having to walk against a heavy flow of traffic.  Columbus offers walkable neighborhoods in spades and provides you’ll never run out of things to do or see in your own community within the city.

The Apartment Market is Cooling Down

The rental market got out of hand in 2021 and 2022 and is finally cooling down to a more comfortable speed and price.  This, luckily, means you won’t have to compete as much to find a place, and you can find far more options at your price point.  Don’t be afraid to shop around.

Columbus Offers Affordable Living for Everyone

If you’re eager to live somewhere that’s cost-effective and still fun, you can do no better than Columbus!  This amazing city offers a slice of paradise for anyone while still ensuring you can afford to keep up with hobbies and fun.

What’s the Best Way to Care for Black Hair?

Black hair has a reputation of being hard to care for – at least in countries where black hair and black skin aren’t in the majority and their needs aren’t well served. Today we’re taking a look at the best way to care for black hair so if you don’t have a hairdresser in your area who knows what they’re doing with your specific needs, you can still look great and feel confident and strong.


The two keywords to great looking black hair are nourish and moisturise, so let’s get started!




It’s important to make sure your diet, and if necessary, supplements, are providing all the right vitamins for black hair growth as well as your wider health.


This can vary based on your specific hair type as well as your ethnicity, but it’s well worth considering taking copper and zinc supplements along with a more general multivitamin for follicular health. Copper is important for circulation and melanin production. A boost in copper means more blood reaching your hair follicles, making them happier, healthier and more active. Melanin also affects your hair colour so it’s important too. Zinc boosts your follicle health, and can help you avoid (or potentially even reverse!) hair loss.


Along with these vitamins, an amino acid supplement is worth considering. This helps to maintain and repair the keratin your hair is made from, and which takes daily damage from UV light, from pollution and even from other hair treatments!




Your hair can moisturise itself naturally – your scalp produces oils that work their way up each hair, keeping it protected. Unfortunately, it’s much harder for those oils to traverse curly hair, which often means black hair needs some help. Those oils can also be stripped away by harsh shampoos and treatments, or by pollutants in the air, and all of this makes keeping your hair moisturised as important as simply keeping it clean.


Avoid shampoos with sulphates as these tend to dry out textured hair. Look for nourishing shampoos that gently cleanse, and follow up with conditioner. Look for deep conditioners with a focus on moisturising, and consider adding a leave-in conditioner to your routine – this allows your hair to continue to absorb that moisture and nourishment between washes.


The care of black hair is a deep subject, with lots of complexity based on your precise hair type, desired style and tightness of curl, but taking care of nourishment and moisture will take you a long way.


Can Men Wear Leather?

The simple answer to this question is yes, men can wear leather. In fact, men have been wearing leather for centuries. But why is leather such a popular choice for clothing, especially when it comes to men’s leather sneakers? Let’s take a closer look at the history of leather and how it became such a staple in men’s fashion.


A Brief History of Leather


Leather has been used by humans for millennia. In fact, the first known use of leather dates back to around 2200 BC. Early humans used animal skins to make clothing, footwear, and other items as a way to protect themselves from the elements.


As time went on, early civilisations began to develop their own methods for tanning and processing leather. This allowed them to create stronger and more durable materials that could be used for a wide variety of purposes. Fast forward to today, and leather is still widely used in many different industries, from fashion to furniture.


Why is Leather So Popular?


So, what is it about leather that makes it such a popular choice for clothing? There are a few reasons, including the fact that it’s highly resistant to tearing and won’t stretch out of shape over time like other materials can, it’s water-resistant, and it offers a natural look and feel that many people find appealing.


  • Leather is Timeless


Unlike other fabrics that come and go with the trends, leather is always in style. A pair of well-made leather shoes can last for years, which means you’ll get plenty of use out of them. Leather also gets better with age, so you can be sure that your leather shoes will only look better as time goes on.


  • Leather is Durable


In addition to being timeless, leather is also incredibly durable. It’s resistant to tearing and scuffing, which means it can withstand just about anything you throw its way. This makes leather an ideal choice for men who are hard on their clothing and need something that will stand up to their lifestyle.


  • Leather is Comfortable


Contrary to popular belief, leather is actually quite comfortable to wear. It moulds to your body over time, so it will eventually feel like a second skin. This makes it ideal for men who are always on the go and need clothing that won’t slow them down.


Time to start wearing leather?


There’s no question about it – men can absolutely wear leather! It’s a versatile, timeless fabric that looks good on everyone. So if you’re looking for a new fabric to incorporate into your wardrobe, consider giving leather a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Why Does Your Business Need a Strategy?

Your business strategy is an important tool in your ongoing job of seeking success for your business – but creating and maintaining a strategy document is a big investment of time and potentially money too. Finding the resources to prioritise this job is easier when you have the right motivation – when you know why you need a strategy, so today that’s what we’re looking at!


What a Strategy Is


First of all we need to define what a strategy is. It’s easiest to do this by first of all taking away some of the things it isn’t. Your strategy isn’t the same as your goals, and your first step ought to be putting in place some goals you want to achieve for your business. Take the long view here – this isn’t about where you want to be next week, it’s where you want to be in a year, five years or ten.


Your strategy emerges from those goals: it’s not what you want to achieve but it is how you intend to achieve it.


With a strategy you can set out red lines your business won’t cross – be they financial or ideological – you can tie your decision making to your brand identity, and more to avoid a lot of the risks that growth and big decisions can bring.


Let’s take a look at some of those risks to underline how important that strategy is.




Financial risk is one of the biggest threats to your business, and it can come at you from many angles: overstretching yourself in an expansion effort, the arrival of a new competitor, increased costs and many others. Putting a strain on your revenue could mean you need to look for more cash, and each option comes with different implications for your business: banks are convervative about offering loans and a successful one puts you in reasonably inflexible debt. You can take money from your business’ own reserves, your own savings or even remortgage your home, but this leaves you more vulnerable to other financial shocks – worryingly so the more personal the money gets.


You can also look for more investment, but in most cases investors will also want a piece of the business in return – you diminish your independence and decision making power by inviting them in.


A strategy allows you to take a clear look at your options and decide what works best for your goals and needs.


Brand Damage


Another major threat to your business is brand damage – every choice you make contributes to your customers’ sense of what your business is like and this intuition is a closer definition of what a brand is than a logo and a slogan.


Use your strategy development process to define what you want your brand to be and to grow into, so your decisions, big and small, can all be used to reinforce that brand rather than undermine it. Decisions that are too obviously aimed at cutting costs rather than providing the service you’re known for can undermine your brand as can, conversely, decisions that play to a pricier, more luxury end audience than your customers are accustomed to.


If this all sounds intimidating, it might be worth looking for a strategy consultancy – these experts can help with every aspect of the process and help you create a strategy that will keep your business running successfully for years to come. If you’re interested in strategy consulting firms London has plenty to offer to suit many business’ different needs.

Alternative Days Out in Bristol

Bristol is a city with lots to see and do – history, culture and great food too! But it’s unfortunately easy to get stuck in a rut, to see the same old things, and lose sight of just how exciting this city is.


Today we’re taking a look at some alternative days out to organise in Bristol to help you rediscover the city, and all its many fascinating facets.


Explore at Street Level


One of the things that can make a city begin to feel a little stale is losing the sense of exploration you had in the early days and merely zipping between heavily researched, pre-planned tourist spots in cars, taxis or public transport.


Finding a new way to rediscover the city at street level – looking at the buildings, roads and unfamiliar turnings around you as filled with possibility, not just utilitarian paths to your destination.


A Bristol scavenger hunt makes the city come alive again! Modern scavenger hunts come with narrative and interactivity – at the very least, an SMS line lets you ask for clues when you need them, and send in answers to be checked off. Many have themes, taking you on a trip through local history, teaching and stretching your mind!


Spread Your Wings


There’s so much more to Bristol than the centre of the city. The city’s surrounded by beautiful countryside, and West Country villages that deserve a visit and a thorough exploration. If you have a car, then not far from the city is a prehistoric stone circle – the Stanton Drew Stones – as old as Stonehenge. It’s a feature that’s captured local imagination for centuries, inspiring myths and folklore – and the author Susan Cooper, who used the name of the stone circle for the young heroes of her classic Dark is Rising Sequence.


There’s also parks and nature reserves, National Trust properties and more! One great way to reinvigorate your interest in Bristol is to use it as a base to explore the landscape in which it’s set. This can lead to a new understanding of the city, its history and what it has for you!


Do The Tourist Things


We’ve focused so far on avoiding obvious tourist steps, but it’s possible to lose your love for a city simply because you’re too focused on not doing what the tourists do. Some things are attractions for a reason! Take a day to be a real tourist. Walk up to Clifton Suspension Bridge. Visit the Cathedral! Check out the museums and galleries. Don’t worry about being so original you miss out on the obvious good times the city has to offer you.

Five Major Attributes of a Good Law Firm

Chances are that you will require legal assistance at some point in your life. You are bound to hire a lawyer at one point or another, whether you are a business or an individual. 

The first thing that comes to mind when people think of lawyers is crime and jail. However, lawyers do more than just represent criminal defendants in court. You might hire a lawyer for business purposes or to assist you in drafting a will. It is for this reason that you need to know what to look for in a law firm when that time comes.

This article highlights the qualities that make a good law firm like Gross and Schuster. Read on.

What Are the Qualities of a Good Law Firm?

1. Great Leadership

Most law firms, unfortunately, have leaders but lack leadership. A competent law firm CEO must have a thorough understanding of the legal profession, prioritize clients, invest in their personnel, and lead by example. The company’s goals and objectives must be well-defined, with clear processes for achieving them. To be effective, a law firm’s leader must maintain a high level of impartiality, communication, and integrity.

2. Client-Oriented

A solid law firm prioritizes its clients’ requirements. It is more important to discover a solution for your problematic client than it is to make money. Before making hasty conclusions about how to handle a case, a good law firm listens to its clients.

A law firm that cares about its clients’ best interests is compassionate, and will even hire a new lawyer to address a unique case. Before you choose a law firm, read online reviews to see if prior clients were treated with respect or treated like money machines.

3. Specialization and Diversity

I’m sure you’ve come across law firms that handle virtually every type of case. Some people are afraid of such firms, but they should not be, because a firm can engage legal professionals in all areas of the law. Corporate lawyers, family lawyers, wrongful death lawyers, and criminal lawyers, to name a few, can all be found in the same law firm.

Clients with a variety of legal needs will be handled under this arrangement, which is ideal. And while some law firms hire specialists in all subjects, others try to be sneaky and use the same lawyer for all matters. A company like this is not a good choice.

4. Integrity

The client’s information should be kept private at all times because a client often reveals some of the most sensitive details regarding the case in order to win. At other times, a client will ask the firm to manage their assets or serve as the executor of their will. Dealing with such issues necessitates a high level of honesty and candor.

5. Appreciates Client Feedback

Client feedback is important to reputable legal companies. They are accountable for both positive and negative outcomes. Customers are more likely to return if their complaints are acknowledged and addressed, and competent law firms recognize this. Additionally, with evolving technology and customer demands, a law firm must keep up with and implement the latest market trends.

Select a Law Firm That Will Take Care of You

It is your job to do your due diligence and select a law firm that provides the services you require. Just because your friend was successfully represented by a certain law firm doesn’t mean that you should go with them. Do your research and identify a firm that will suit your needs.

How Link Building Makes Your Business

Link building services are often used by businesses to increase their search engine rankings. The practice of link building is widely accepted as it can be seen as the best way to build a strong, diverse link profile that supports your website’s SEO.

The importance of link building is undeniable. However, it takes time and effort to build a web of quality links for your business. This is especially true for small companies with limited resources who are struggling to compete with larger brands. Luckily, link building services are available to help you succeed with the following factors.

Stronger Domain Authority

Building a strong domain authority is a key to success in SEO. A high domain authority can attract more quality links that will bring your website to the top of an industry and boost search rankings. 

Some of the ways in which link building can help to achieve a stronger domain authority include building links from other high-authority websites and blog posts, directing outreach from your blog or website to influential bloggers and website owners, purchasing links from blogs, forums, and other websites, and PR outreach from your blog or website to news sites.

Referral Traffic Increase – People Who Likely Didn’t Know You Existed

Link building has been instrumental in increasing the level of exposure for websites over time. The goal of a link builder is to make sure that your website is visible and ranking high in Google searches. 

When a site publishes a blog post, it has a chance of getting a link from other sites in the blog post’s domain. When these sites link back to the original article, there is an increased chance of the website being indexed by Google and increasing its organic traffic. Utilizing blog posts or social media content marketing are two great ways to boost your referral traffic.

Higher Organic Rankings

In order to achieve the best possible organic rankings for your website, you’ll need to develop your own unique link building strategy and make sure that it aligns with the keywords and target audience for which you’re optimizing.

Higher organic rankings can best be achieved through off-page on on-page link building methods. These methods focus on gaining links from other websites or by focusing on on-site optimization such as adding keywords that are strategically placed within your website.

Should You Incorporate Link Building?

The simple answer is yes. Link building is one of the most important tasks that every business should perform. However, with such a competitive field and lack of time, it is hard to find the time for link building. This is where agencies that specialize in link building come into play. Investing in these services will surely take your business to a higher and more competitive level.


Dehydration Worries

If you’re concerned about your health, or even simply your day to day wellbeing, there’s no more important issue than hydration. It’s even more important if you’re caring for children or older people – those who are less likely to notice or take action when they’re slipping into a dehydrated state.


Today we’re taking a look at some of those dehydration worries so you can face them with confidence.


When Are You Dehydrated?


It’s important to watch for the signs of dehydration. Naturally enough, thirst will be the first indicator but if you don’t take a drink then you’ll see the symptoms intensify. You’ll experience a dry mouth, headaches, muscle aches, difficulty concentrating, even dizziness, sickness and mood swings.


If you’re worried about someone else being dehydrated, you might be wondering ‘how do you test for dehydration?’. If you think someone may be dehydrated, there’s an easy way to check. Pinch the skin on the back of their hand. If it springs back quickly, they’re likely well hydrated. If it’s slack and takes longer, that can be a strong indicator for low hydration levels and you need to take action.


Causes of Dehydration


While your body’s always using and depleting fluid levels, there are some times you need to be aware of that put extra stress on your reserves. When you’re working out (or doing hard physical work), when you’re ill, when the weather is especially hot or when the weather is especially cold.


When it’s hot or when you’re pushing your body hard (or both), then you perspire to cool down – this depletes your fluid reserves surprisingly quickly. When you’re ill, fevers, vomiting and diarrhea can all deplete your fluid reserves – and you’re likely to be lacking in energy a little and less likely to take the trouble to rehydrate. And in cold weather? Your sense of thirst can be dampened, which can allow dehydration to get a grip much faster than in the summer.




It’s important to remember that rehydrating isn’t just about fluids. When you dehydrate you also lose the salts dissolved in your body’s water reserves: your electrolytes. These serve many important functions in your body, helping to transmit messages from your brain to your muscles, helping with fluid balance, even ensuring a regular heartbeat.


When you’re rehydrating you have to think about your electrolytes, not just water. Try isotonic sports drinks or rehydration sachets from the chemist. These all contain a mix of salts and sugar that can rehydrate you fully, not just top your fluide levels.