Feet are the foundation of our bodies; they bear the weight of everything we experience. When foot health is compromised, many other issues can arise, so it’s important to take good care of them.
As technology advances in the medical world, many new treatments, devices, and forms of care are being developed — and this includes the field of foot health.
One of the greatest prescriptions for foot ailments that are continuing to increase in popularity among doctors is the use of custom orthotics.
What are Custom Orthotics?
Orthotics are inserts that replace the insole of your shoes in order to provide you with more cushioning and support. Custom orthotics are molded directly from the shape of your foot, giving you the unique shape of insert necessary to provide the support your feet need.
Depending on the foot ailment you’re experiencing, our podiatrists will craft a custom orthotic to correct the issue and/or alleviate the pressure and pain in the affected areas of the foot. Individual orthotics can be made for issues affecting one foot as well.
What Do Custom Orthotics Treat?
Custom orthotics are highly effective in treating a wide variety of foot ailments. Here are a few examples of what custom orthotics can help with, as well as how they help individual foot ailments:
Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of, or injury to, the Plantar Fascia (the tissue on the bottom of the foot). It’s extremely painful and can impair walking, running, or other forms of exercise.
Custom orthotics can help Plantar Fasciitis by better supporting the arch of the foot, taking the pressure off the Plantar Fascia, and providing cushioning to minimize the impact of standing, walking, and other load-bearing exercises.
Bunions occur when small bones in the foot move out of alignment, causing the big toe joint to stick out on one foot or both feet. They can be very painful as the joint rubs against shoes and puts pressure on the tendon on the inside of the foot.
Custom orthotics can be very helpful for preventing the progression of bunions, as well as alleviating the pain that they can cause. They help to align your foot properly while dispersing weight and pressure more evenly, giving you some much-needed relief.
Flat feet are exactly what they sound like: feet that have a very slight arch or no arch at all. While this condition is often corrected naturally as children grow, some adults retain their flat feet, which can cause painful walking among other uncomfortable symptoms.
Custom orthotics allow people with flat feet to take the pressure off their soles by helping to properly distribute weight across the foot. They also provide cushioning and gentle correction for any issues that may be occurring due to having flat feet.
Neuromas are bundles of nerve tissue that grow on the feet and can be extremely painful. They are often referred to as pinched nerves or (benign) nerve tumors and are commonly found between the toes — though they can occur anywhere on the foot.
Custom orthotics offer much-needed pain relief for neuromas by taking the pressure off the affected area and redistributing weight properly across the foot. They also provide cushioning for the neuroma, allowing it to take less impact from the weight of standing and walking.
The opposite of flat feet, high arches occur when a person’s foot arch is “higher” or more extreme than what is considered an average arch height. This can cause multiple foot issues to occur, including foot and ankle instability, Plantar Fasciitis, and others.
Any pain experienced as a result of high arches can be relieved by custom orthotics. This is because they help to better support the arch, correcting any weight distribution issues and providing cushioning to minimize the impact on affected areas of the foot.
Hammertoe is a deformity that most commonly affects the middle (second, third, and fourth) toes. It’s characterized by an unnatural bending of the middle toe joint, giving the toe the appearance of a hammer. This occurs because of imbalances in the foot, either in the muscles or tendons.
To avoid toes becoming fixed and needing surgery, custom orthotics can be very helpful — especially at the initial onset of hammertoe. By redistributing the weight and pressure across the foot, custom orthotics can correct the imbalance causing the hammertoe, thus providing relief, and preventing the condition from becoming permanent.
Arthritis can occur anywhere on the body. It’s essentially inflammation of the joints, which can cause extreme pain due to the pressure it puts on the various joints of the body. Foot arthritis is especially painful, as the feet bear the weight of the body and are under more pressure when arthritis is present.
Custom orthotics provide much-needed relief from arthritis pain by alleviating some of the pressure, providing cushioning, and evenly distributing the weight put on the feet. They can make activities like standing and walking much less painful, allowing arthritis patients a better quality of life.
Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetes affects multiple systems of the body, and the feet can suffer in various ways. Diabetic neuropathy (or nerve damage) can cause numbness, tingling, and extreme pain in the feet, among other symptoms.
Among other treatments for neuropathy, custom orthotics work to relieve diabetes-related foot ailments by distributing weight evenly, providing additional support, and isolating foot ulcers to relieve painful pressure in the area.
Get Fitted for Your Custom Orthotics
Every foot is unique, which is what makes custom orthotics so helpful. Custom orthotics are molded to your individual foot and will help to support you in getting the relief you need from any foot ailments or conditions you may be suffering with.
Whether you’re aware of your foot issues or need a diagnosis, we can help. Our licensed podiatrists are well-versed in all things foot-related and are happy to help you figure things out.
We’re here to provide you with the relief you need and get you back on your feet, pain-free. Contact us today to get fitted for your very own custom orthotics and see what a difference the right support can make!