Posts for category: Foot Care
What are orthotics?
These specialized shoe inserts are a little different from the ones you can find at your local drugstore. Orthotics are special, custom-made shoe inserts designed and fabricated by your podiatrist to specifically fit your foot and its unique needs. There are many reasons why a podiatrist may recommend orthotics.
Sometimes orthotics are used to alleviate symptoms and improve common foot, leg, or even back problems, while other times your podiatrist may recommend them to improve the support and health of your feet to prevent problems in the first place.
Do I need orthotics?
Orthotics is just one way to treat foot and leg problems and your doctor may recommend orthotics if you are dealing with,
- Leg, hip, or back pain
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Plantar fasciitis
- Certain injuries to the foot or ankle
Orthotics can help people of all ages and backgrounds, from athletic kids and adults to those who are overweight and seniors. Feet continue to change as we get older, and as aches and pains set in, custom orthotics could be what you need to help make getting around as easy as it once was.
Types of Orthotics
There are many different kinds of materials that can be used to create orthotics. The type of condition you are dealing with will most likely help your podiatrist determine which material to use.
Orthotics range from soft and flexible to hard and rigid. Those with plantar fasciitis or diabetic feet are more likely to benefit from the cushioning and additional support of soft orthotics while athletes and those who often wear dress shoes are more likely to benefit from rigid orthotics.
If you are interested in orthotics and how they could help you, talk with your podiatrist to learn more.
Simple daily activities, such as walking or standing for extended periods, can be challenging when you are dealing with heel pain. Without treatment, the pain may only worsen with time. The good news is many effective treatments are available that can provide relief from heel pain. The experienced podiatrists at Family Foot & Ankle Care in Chandler AZ can help with your heel pain by recommending specific treatment options.
Common Causes of Heel Pain
Several factors can lead to the development of heel pain. Regularly performing repetitive motions that put stress on the feet is one cause of heel pain. Sustaining a foot injury can also result in heel pain. Other potential causes include stress fractures, tendonitis, arthritis, and heel spurs. These are all common causes of heel pain, but one of the most common is a foot condition known as plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the band of tissues along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. These tissues are known as the plantar fascia and connect the heel bone to the toes. When these tissues are irritated, the pain is felt at the bottom of the heel. For many people with plantar fasciitis, the pain worsens over time without treatment.
People with either extremely high arches or flat feet tend to be at risk for development plantar fasciitis. Activities that put a lot of stress on the heels, such as long-distance running or certain types of dancing, can also lead to the development of plantar fasciitis. Obesity is another risk factor for developing plantar fasciitis and heel pain. If you're worried you have this condition, talk to your heel pain Chandler specialist today.
Minor heel pain is often treated at home by resting the foot, icing the heel area, and limiting physical activity for a while. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce inflammation of the plantar fascia tissues and alleviate any pain or discomfort. Once the heel pain has subsided, wearing shoes that provide enough support and cushioning can help prevent the pain from returning.
If your heel pain is chronic or severe, it is best to seek medical treatment from your heel pain Chandler provider. At our podiatry office, heel pain is treated through several methods. One of our skilled podiatrists can recommend the right treatment option based on the cause and severity of your heel pain. Treatments for heel pain include:
- Padding and Strapping
- Custom Orthotics
- Walking Cast
- Night Splint
- Physical Therapy
Foot surgery is sometimes needed in the most serious cases when other methods cannot resolve the root problem. For instance, structural problems in the foot that are causing heel pain are corrected through surgical intervention. As another example, heel spurs, which are calcium deposits that develop on the bottom of the heel, can be a source of pain. Removing heel spurs through surgery provides long-lasting relief from the pain and discomfort they were causing.
Whatever the cause of your heel pain, there are treatment options that can help. Schedule an appointment with one of our heel pain Chandler podiatrists to discuss the different options for treating your heel pain by calling Family Foot & Ankle Care in Chandler at (480) 732-0033.
- Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain and swelling
- Ice the bunion for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day to also alleviate pain and swelling (conversely, you may choose to soak your bunion in warm water to ease symptoms)
- Consider getting prescription orthotics (shoe inserts) to place within your shoes to take the pressure off the deformed joint and to reduce pain with walking or standing
- Wear a night splint, which will straighten out the big toe while you sleep to reduce morning pain and stiffness
- Only wear shoes that have a wide toe box that doesn’t put pressure on the bunion. Avoid high heels and shoes with pointed toes.
- Perform stretching exercises every day to alleviate stiffness and to improve mobility and range of motion within the feet
- Apply a non-medicated pad over the bunion before putting on shoes to prevent friction and the formation of a callus
Should I consider bunion surgery?
Worried that you might be dealing with a bunion? Experiencing regular bunion pain? If so, a foot and ankle professional can assess the problem and provide you with a customized treatment plan to help you get your bunion pain under control.
- Ingrown toenails
- Chronic heel pain
- A broken foot or ankle
- Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in the feet
- Severe pain
- Difficulty bearing weight on a foot or ankle
- A visible foot deformity
- Signs of infection (e.g. redness; swelling; fever)
- An ulcer or open wound