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Orthotics and You

“The feet are the foundation of the body. They provide the necessary stability to perform daily activities by supporting the weight of the entire body using a strong, 3-arched bond called the plantar vault.”

Orthotics can be very beneficial as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to address various symptoms, including pain and discomfort of the feet, knees, legs, hips, and back. Custom Orthotics are more than just a heel pad or shoe insert you can buy at most stores. They are a highly customized shoe or heel inserts made specifically for your feet.

There are a number of medical conditions where Orthotics can be used as part of your treatment plan, including:

Arthritis: can cause discomfort in the feet and poor positioning that orthotics may help to correct.

Back pain: can be caused by poor positioning of the feet, such as arches that roll inward, or lack of cushioning which can cause pain that orthotics can lessen.

Bunions: painful bumps that can develop at the base of the big toe and cause foot deformities. Orthotics with a wide toe box can help to reduce pressure on the big toe.

Bursitis: inflammation of fluid-filled sacs in the heels and toes that can cause pain and discomfort. Orthotics with heel and arch support can help to reduce bursitis discomfort.

Diabetes: can cause loss of sensation in the feet, a condition known as diabetic neuropathy. When this occurs, orthotics can help to reduce excess stress and pressure that can lead to foot ulcers.

Flat feet: can cause foot, ankle, and back pain. Orthotics can help to support the feet and promote proper foot positioning.

Hammer toes: often occurs as a side effect of bunions on the big toe. They cause second-toe pain and deformities on the ball of the foot. Orthotics can provide additional support to the feet and reduce the likelihood that hammer toes will worsen.

Heel spurs: condition where excess bone grows on the back or bottom of the heel. Orthotics can support the foot and reduce inflammation.

High arches: can stress muscles in the feet and lead to a number of conditions, such as shin splints, knee pain, and plantar fasciitis. Orthotics can help stabilize the feet and prevent them from rolling excessively inward or outward.

Hip/Knee Pain: In most cases, treating your hip or knee is more likely to be successful when the focus is on restoring balanced function in the entire body—starting from the ground up, at the feet.

Overpronation: when the ankle rolls too far downward and inward with each step and continues to roll when the toes should be starting to push off. As a result, the big toe and second toe do all of the push-off and the foot twists more with each step. Orthotics help stabilize the foot to lessen overpronation.

Plantar fasciitis: inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. Orthotics support your arch to prevent the plantar fascia from stretching further so it can heal.

Your feet don’t have to hurt to be causing problems in other areas of your body. “Asymptomatic” (symptom-free) feet do not equal problem-free feet. Mispositioned joints may not be painful, but they can cause problems throughout the body.

Foot pain and discomfort due to weight bearing are common in workers whose jobs require them to stand many hours a day on their feet. Approximately three-fourths of Americans experience foot problems in their life. Foot pain and discomfort often lead to other complications such as ankle, leg, knee, hip and spinal disorders. Orthotics are used as a non-invasive treatment for conditions involving the feet and other parts of lower extremities.

If you are interested in learning more about Custom Orthotics please don’t hesitate to give us a call or ask during your next adjustment. The process is fairly straightforward, a foam impression of your foot is made in the office and it only takes a few minutes. Next, we would discuss with you what type of Orthotic would be best and then submit your foot mold and order details to Foot Levelers (the world’s leading provider of individually designed custom orthotics and local to Roanoke, VA).

“Orthotics are different. They are prescription medical devices that you wear inside your shoes to correct biomechanical foot issues such as problems with how you walk, stand, or run. They can also help with foot pain caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, and arthritis.”

~Tyler Wheeler, MD

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