Anyone with foot problems knows that our feet can have a huge effect on how we live. If our feet are in constant pain, it can make something as simple as walking from place to place difficult.
Fortunately, with proactive care and effort, we can ensure that chronic foot pain is stopped at the source before it can develop into an irreversible condition.
Choosing Custom Orthotics
Doctors and podiatrists often prescribe custom orthotics to help treat foot issues before they develop into serious conditions. These specialty devices can be made to fit into any pair of shoes, and offer comfortable cushioning for the feet, reducing pressure and correcting foot deformities as well as issues of gait and pronation.
Most practitioners recommend custom orthotics instead of over-the-counter shoe inserts because they can be made to your measurements, and can take multiple concurrent issues into account.
Over-the-counter shoe insoles may make a pair of shoes more comfortable for a short time, but they can’t change your gait or pronation, which are often major contributing factors to conditions that can cause chronic foot pain.
Today, we’ll explore some of these conditions, and explain how custom orthotics can offer relief.
These Conditions May Be Responsible for Your Chronic Foot Pain
Plantar fasciitis is a condition caused by irritation of the tissue that begins at your heel and extends along the bottom of your foot.
It’s often caused by overuse and is common among runners and other athletes. People with flat feet are also more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. It can be treated with orthotics that stabilize the arch of the foot. Orthotics can help the heel stay centred, which assists with shock absorption and reduces tissue irritation from Plantar fasciitis.
Heel spurs are a painful condition caused by bony growths along the heel bone. When the growth puts pressure on the surrounding tissue and tendons, it can be extremely painful and make walking difficult.
To minimize pressure on the spur, podiatrists and doctors often recommend orthotics with plenty of cushioning and shock absorption in the heel cup.
Is there anything more annoying than bunions? This irritating condition, which presents as a painful lump on the lower joint of the big toe, is the result of toes pressed together in ill-fitting shoes or high-heels.
Bunions can also occur when an improper gait or biomechanical irregularities puts pressure on the big toe. Custom orthotics made for people with bunions help position the foot in the correct position. It also takes the pressure off the joint, giving a bunion space to heal on its own.
A neuroma, or Morton’s neuroma, is a type of inflamed nerve which makes sufferers feel like they have a painful pebble right underneath the ball of their foot. It’s caused by excessive pressure on the toes and heel, either from overuse, shoes that are too tight, or foot deformities. Orthotics made to accommodate neuromas help redistribute pressure and may also reduce irritation.
Tendonitis develops when any tendon in the foot is irritated or inflamed. Typically, it’s the Achilles tendon that develops tendonitis, which is usually caused by a combination of overuse and improper, unsupportive footwear.
It can feel like a mild ache, or tendonitis may develop into a sharp, severe pain that runs from the calf to the heel bone. Orthotics for tendonitis help stabilize the foot and ankle and helps provide shock absorption.
Another common repetitive strain injury is bursitis, which is caused when the fluid-filled sacs that cushion our bones become irritated and inflamed. These sacs, called bursae, can be found in our hips, knees, and right behind the Achilles tendon in the heel.
If you have biomechanical or gait issues, your doctor or podiatrist may prescribe custom orthotics to help keep the foot pronated correctly, reducing strain and minimizing pressure on the sensitive bursae.
Living with arthritis can be difficult. The two most common types are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, both of which cause joint inflammation and eventual degradation.
Arthritis can limit motion and cause pain in the legs, ankles, and feet. Many people with arthritis benefit from supportive, reinforced orthotics, which help hold the foot in a stable position. The orthotics also offer shock absorption to minimize discomfort for sensitive feet caused by arthritis conditions.
Hammer toe is characterized by an abnormal bend in the joints of a toe, which is caused by pressure on the surrounding tendons and joints. If left untreated, the toe will remain bent until it cannot be unclenched, which causes pain, redness, and swelling.
Insoles and orthotics that are made with rigid arch support are great for hammer toe, as they can help return the foot to its proper alignment, taking pressure off the tendons and joints in your toes.
Many people with high arches have feet that are more rigid and less mobile than the average person, so they overcompensate by supinating while they walk.
This puts a lot of pressure on areas of the foot that are not designed to carry this amount of weight, causing foot issues like plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, and hammer toe.
Custom orthotics are often necessary for people with high arches, as over-the-counter options aren’t designed for the shape of their feet. A great pair of high-arched custom orthotics can help control supination and take the pressure off vulnerable areas of the foot.
Diabetic neuropathy is a condition where nerves throughout the body are injured by the elevated levels of blood glucose present in individuals with diabetes. It’s typical for the nerves in the legs and feet to become damaged first, before the condition affects the rest of the body.
Custom orthotics and shoes designed for neuropathy help support the weight of the body, stabilizing areas that have become unstable or weak from nerve damage. They can also be created with hypoallergenic top covers, to help minimize abrasion and friction on sensitive feet.
Protect Your Feet with Custom Orthotics from Orthotics Direct
Have any of the conditions we mentioned above impacted your feet, or reduced your quality of life? Taking proactive steps to protect your feet and control gait and pronation can help you minimize pain, and maintain your mobility as you work to heal your foot issues.
A great way to ensure you’re taking care of your feet long-term is to invest in a pair of custom orthotics from Orthotics Direct.
Our orthotics are made using your exact measurement and are built using materials that give support and reinforcement while being gentle and comfortable on your feet.
Want custom orthotics delivered right to your door? You got it! Our digital cast or foam cast systems allow you to measure your foot and order orthotics, right from home on your computer or mobile.
Take control of chronic foot pain today with custom orthotics and Orthotics Direct.