How Custom Orthotics Help Foot Pain

by | Jul 11, 2017

As with any profession, podiatrists use many different “tools” to achieve results for you. Naturally, the specific tool we use depends on the task at hand (or, more accurately, foot!). Custom orthotics are one such option that resolve painful conditions for our patients. Further, they can even relieve pain in other areas of the body, like knees, hips, and back.

Let’s take a look today at how custom orthotics help pain, both in the feet and elsewhere.

To start, orthotics are a valuable tool for treating pain for several reasons, including:

  • Custom orthotics are versatile. You might associate orthotics with flat feet—and we certainly use them when this condition causes pain or difficulty—but that only scratches the surface of what they can do.

Whether or not you are aware, your feet endure tremendous amounts of force and pressure. Even simply walking around, you place tens of thousands of pounds of force on them during an average day. Add sports, running, or other exercise into the equation, and that number can balloon quickly.

We may prescribe orthotics to redistribute forces in a more equitable manner, when necessary. This is useful for conditions like bunions, arthritis, and hammertoes, but can be downright essential for preventing foot ulcers if you have diabetes.

  • Custom orthotics work with your unique foot structure. Sure, you expect a general structuring of (almost) anyone’s foot—five toes, heel, ankle, etc.—but feet contain numerous parts, which vary in size, specific placement, and other such factors. Since all feet are not the same, we cannot use a universal orthotic. Instead, we customize these medical devices to work with your unique feet.
  • Custom orthotics work with your unique gait. In the same way that foot structure differs, so too does your gait (the way you walk). When customizing your orthotics, we take gait into consideration to ensure your feet move in a natural manner.

Now, it makes sense that custom orthotics resolve pain and difficulty for your feet, but they can also relieve pain further up the body. This can be attributed to a chain reaction wherein a misaligned foot leads to misalignment in the ankle, which then puts the lower leg out of position. In turn, this can affect the knee joint, femur (thigh bone) alignment, hip joint function, and even your back.

We don’t prescribe custom orthotic for all our patients – just those who really need and will benefit from them. Whether or not this applies to you will depend on an array of factors. Of course, no matter if we prescribe orthotics or not, you can rest assured knowing we do everything possible to resolve the problem causing your foot or ankle pain and difficulty!

If you would like additional information on custom orthotics or the services we offer at Wisconsin Foot Center, simply give us a call at (414) 425-8400. If you’d prefer, you can go ahead and request your appointment with us online right now!

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