When your body is in pain, you search for a solution to live a more comfortable life. At Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute, we’re in the business of helping you obtain a solid foundation with foot, ankle, and lower leg treatment. Our team of professionals are experts in foot orthotics, making us your go-to choice for personalized care.
What Are Orthotics?
A foot orthotic is a personalized device that rests in the shoe, giving your foot comfort, pain relief, and stability. Unlike the typical shoe insert you can purchase at a convenience store, the best orthotics are custom-made for each patient and offered through prescription by our doctors. Certain biomechanical issues are relieved, helping patients, run, walk, and stand with greater ease.
What Do They Treat?
Orthotics work to correct a variety of issues. While flat feet is a common issue orthotics relieve, someone with the following may also seek orthotics for help.
- Heel Pain
- Knee Pain
- Lower Back Pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
Orthotics will realign the foot and leg structure so mal-alignment of the bone isn’t an issue. Stress on the ligaments, tendons, and muscles is also relieved, which can make a big difference for these conditions.
Why Should Someone Get Orthotics?
Some may think signs of a need for foot orthotics would be quite obvious, but there are some you may not be aware of. If you already know your feet are flat, it’s time to visit Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute for a consultation. Some other signs include:
- Prolonged Pain – Far too often, people learn to deal with pain in the feet by adjusting the way they walk or suffering through it. If your feet, heels, knees, or hips are in pain on a regular basis, it could mean you need orthotics to correct a real health issue.
- Worn Shoes – Everyone’s shoes wear out, but your right and left shoe should wear pretty evenly. If one shoe is more worn on the sole than the other shoe, you don’t give even pressure to them as you walk. This often means you have a health condition that could be corrected with orthotics.
- Swelling – Your feet should not swell while you participate in normal activities such as standing or walking. If they do, you could be experiencing a wide variety of conditions that call for extra support from a prescribed device.
How Do Doctors Determine Need?
If you suspect you’re dealing with an issue that may require orthotics, you should speak with our patient care coordinator to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. There are some specific things our doctors may do to determine whether orthotics are needed. This includes:
- A physical examination – A doctor will visually and manually examine your feet to look for abnormalities and check your pain level.
- Imaging – Through different types of imaging techniques, we are given a better idea of what is going on inside your feet.
- Movement – Our doctors and surgeons are better able to see where the issue lies when they watch you move your feet, ankles, hips, and legs.
What Types Are There?
Our team of professionals will decide what type of orthotics will be best suited to treat your issues. After making a mold, one of the following types of orthotics can be made.
- Functional – A functional orthotic, or rigid orthotic, is made from carbon fiber, plastic, or another similar material. They are designed to relieve strain and pain of the feet, thighs, lower back, and legs.
- Accommodative – An accommodative orthotic, or soft orthotic, is made from soft compression materials. They are designed to relieve pressure from conditions such as diabetic foot ulcers and similar issues. Accommodative orthotics can be large enough that you’ll need special shoes to wear with them.
Both types of orthotics should fit comfortably in your shoes. You simply slip them in before you insert your feet, and wear your shoes as normal.
Getting on Track to Pain Relief
At Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute, we are committed to helping you get on the right track to pain relief. Contact us today on Clayton Road, or give us a call at (314) 381-1800 and let’s schedule a consultation.
Image credit: By YURII MASLAK