There’s Nothing Generic about Your Foot Pain
Walk into any drug store, and you’ll find generic, over-the-counter shoe inserts. The packaging often promises quick relief for your foot pain. However, there’s nothing generic about your feet or the daily discomfort you are experiencing.
People suffering from painful foot problems, those with an injury, or those who are on their feet a significant amount of time, are all perfect candidates for wearing custom foot orthotics in their shoes. Designed for your unique foundation, these medical devices will deliver what their one-size-fits-all counterparts fail to provide.
Orthotics are essential for many foot conditions. They are designed to control the mechanical instability of our feet, much like eyeglasses control the instability or weakness in our eyes. Correction of the foot structure will reduce muscular fatigue and enhance overall muscle performance. Individuals active in sports usually find that custom foot orthotics increase endurance, performance, and strength. People who are overweight can benefit from wearing these devices, as they help take some of the added stress off the ligaments in their feet. Still wavering? They can also help prevent the need for surgery—now that’s exciting!
I need orthotics! What is the next step?
It is imperative that your custom foot orthotics are prescribed by a chiropodist, podiatrist, or physician who has specific training in this field. Your examination should begin with a review of your medical history. This will include your symptoms, previous injuries, footwear, occupation, and the sporting activities in which you participate.
Next, there should be a hands-on biomechanical evaluation of the lower limbs, including foot structure, alignment, strength, range of motion, soft-tissue damage, as well as the identification of any abnormalities. This will be followed by a gait analysis, where you will be observed standing, then walking, to identify abnormalities or compensations occurring through your legs. For example, you may favour one leg due to a tight muscle, a painful joint, or a previous injury. From this combined information, a diagnosis can be made and a management plan developed for you.
If it is determined that you would benefit from orthotics, a proper impression of your feet must be taken. This is a critical element to your success. A non-weight bearing impression is taken of the foot, usually with a 3-D laser scan which gives an exact image of your foot in a neutral position. Standing in a foam box will only capture your foot in a flat, deformed position and leads to guess work during the manufacturing stage. Orthotics not manufactured specifically for your needs can result in pain by overstressing your muscles, bones, and joints.
The choice of materials used to manufacture orthotics is endless. The selection should be determined by the results of the examination, your body weight, the type of shoes, and the activity for which the orthotics will primarily be used. Runners usually benefit from a soft, flexible orthotic that absorbs impact and controls the function of their feet. Order our FREE Consumer’s Guide to Buying Custom Foot Orthotics for more information on what to look for when buying orthotics.
Custom foot orthotics can usually be transferred from shoe to shoe. They should be fit into the type of shoes you wear the most, to receive maximum benefit.
Being educated about your foot condition, and the process of obtaining orthotics, will ensure you take the right steps to maintain your foot health. Call Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic today to schedule an appointment with Chiropodist Tony Abbott. You and your feet deserve it! Schedule your evaluation online, or dial (705) 444-9929.