4 Reasons You Might Need Orthotic Inserts
We have 20 years experience fitting patients for Custom Orthotic Inserts. We have selected the 4 most common reasons that Custom Orthotic Inserts are useful for our patients. Besides these specific conditions, orthotic inserts can be a great way to alleviate the discomfort of tired, sore feet.
#1 -Fallen Arches
People who have low arches, or “flat feet” tend to develop more pain in them. Sometimes, the arches are just low and have been as long as that person can remember. Arches can also fall. This often happens when we become middle aged. Either way, the feet lack support. A custom orthotic is helpful because it supports the arch and doesn’t allow it to collapse further. This helps to limit strain in the foot and reduces pain.
#2 - Rolling Ankles
Another way that arches seem to be low is when we hyperpronate, meaning that our ankles roll in so the arch is near the floor. When you look at this happening, you can see the ankle is not in a vertical alignment any more. This situation can cause foot pain, but it also strain the muscles in the shins and calves and can also cause pain in the leg. Custom orthotic inserts allow a small amount of pronation (which is our body’s shock absorber), but not so much as to create muscle strain.
#3 - Heel Spurs
The technical name for this is Plantar Fasciitis. This name is more accurate because there is inflammation which causes the tell-tale searing pain near the heel when you first stand, which gets better… for a while. The “spurs” that are seen on an x-ray are symptomatic of long standing inflammation that has weakened the tough plantar fascia on the sole of the foot. The body’s response is to put calcium in the inflamed tissue to strengthen it, hence the spur.
Plantar fasciitis starts with fallen arches or rolling ankles. It needs to be dealt with because it can become very painful and severely limit how long you can stand or how far your can walk. While using ice and stretching can help in the short term, custom orthotics are a great long-term solution.
#4 - Stone Bruise
This is an old name for pain under the ball of the foot You feel like you are constantly stepping on a stone. This happens to a small arch between the big toe and the little toe, which lifts the joint of the second toe slightly off the floor. If this arch collapses, that joint contacts the ground often and rather hard, causing pain and often some inflammation. If this is really bad, there may be some numbness between the big and 2nd toes. A custom orthotic insert can be further personalized by adding a pad which doesn’t actually touch the ball of the foot, but lifts it up and reduces the pressure on this painful joint.
Dr. Doug is happy to help you deal with your foot pain. Check our Step-by-Step Guide to Orthotics to get information about the process.
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