The Foot And Ankle Center Blog

Posts for: February, 2019

Orthotics refer to padding placed within a shoe to improve an improper walking pattern. These assist people when it comes to standing, walking, and running with minimal to no discomfort in their feet. Foot & Ankle Center orthotics can remedy a wide range of symptoms that other versions cannot. Here’s why you should choose digital orthotics instead of over-the-counter orthotics.

A Google Diagnosis

It’s easy to be an educated consumer in the world today with search engines like Google giving us every opportunity to find the answers to our questions. At the same time, there also is a paradox of choice with so many varying opinions out there. If our feet are hurting, we can type in “feet pain” and self-diagnose ourselves. The issue is that you put yourself at risk for causing further harm by not seeing a podiatrist to recommend digital or over-the-counter orthotics.

Digital Orthotics

Digital orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts. These are produced by scanning all aspects of a foot, which helps create a computerized 3D model. This model is then sent for design. Podiatrists have the ability to work with individuals and make sure that no two feet are treated the same for their digital orthotics.

Over-the-Counter Orthotics

Over-the-counter orthotics are pre-made shoe inserts that can be found almost any place that shoes are sold. These are produced by taking common foot patterns and estimating which people will need which version. This type of orthotics is a cheap and short-term solution when it comes to foot pain.

Three Categories of Digital Orthotics

The Foot and Ankle Center offers three different categories of digital orthotics that will help you determine what’s right for you:

  • Rigid Orthotics control function utilizing a plastic or carbon fiber body. These improve or eliminate strains, aches, and pains in the legs, thighs, and lower back.
  • Soft Orthotics absorb shock and increase balance while removing pressure from your feet. Made up of cushioned materials, these are powerful for diabetic and arthritic feet.
  • Semi-Rigid Orthotics provide balance from layers of soft and rigid materials. These help athletes and children with foot pain.

Quality Over Quantity

According to OrthoInfo (from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons), “Although custom orthoses are considerably more expensive than off-the-shelf devices, they last much longer and provide more support or correction.” While it is true that the cost of digital orthotics is higher than most over-the-counter products, you will always get what you pay for. Ask yourself if it’s worth it to continuously go to the store and purchase a product you’re not entirely sure will even work.

Stop by the Foot & Ankle Center today and speak with one of our friendly doctors to find out if digital orthotics are right for you!


5 Preventative Tips to Help Avoid Heel Pain

After being on your feet all day, you’re not surprised that your feet are sore. The same thing happens every day, but you know what’ll fix the problem – a nice foot rub. Don’t get us wrong, good foot massages go a long way, but have you ever thought of ending your pain instead of appeasing it? After all, why should you have to endure any pain? Here are 5 preventative tips to help you avoid heel pain.

If the Shoe Fits

Make sure your shoes fit properly. This may sound odd, but people make unnecessary compromises when it comes to their feet. For example, a study was done to determine the commonness between wearing the wrong shoe size and how it related to pain for older adults. Results ultimately showed that 48% of participating women wore shoes larger than their feet and that “incorrectly sized shoes were associated with ankle pain in women.” There’s a reason stores have people to find the right shoe for you. Utilize them.

Dress for the Occasion

Try to always wear the right shoes for the occasion. When it comes to activities, your favorite pair of cowboy boots will not always be the best option. Wear dance shoes for dancing since those shoes are designed for flexibility and stability. Wear cleats for outdoor sports to help you gain traction on grass and dirt. Without the proper support, you will definitely feel the pain in your ankles the next day!

Exercise and Stretch

Find the time to stretch and flex. According to Healthline, “taking time each day to work on your strength and flexibility can ease your discomfort and improve your range of motion.” Check out these 8 ankle stretches, which include ankle circles, the towel stretch, and other ones we would recommend!

Avoid Walking Barefoot

Surprisingly, walking barefoot on firm surfaces causes heel pain in some people. It makes sense to want to slip out of your shoes when you get home from a long day of work. However, remember why you put the shoes on in the first place. Shoes both cushion and support your feet. The floor in your home is no different than the floor at your work.

Find Custom Orthotics

This can be a life changer. Orthotics refers to any device inserted into a shoe. Sometimes called arch supports, orthotics allows people to stand, walk, and run more efficiently and comfortably. Multiple types can be found including:

  • Rigid Orthotics: designed to control function and are used primarily for walking or dress shoes.
  • Soft Orthotics: used to absorb shock, increase balance, and take pressure off uncomfortable or sore spots.
  • Semi-Rigid Orthotics: provide foot balance for walking or participating in sports.

 

If you have a toothache, you go to the dentist, not to the pharmacy. Why should it be any different when you have a foot ache? The average person will wait months before seeing a podiatrist to check out their pain. Don’t be that person! Stop by the Foot & Ankle Center today and speak with one of our friendly doctors about your heel pain.