If you're experiencing chronic foot pain, you know how serious it can be. Foot pain can sideline you from all your favorite activities, significantly reducing your quality of life and even intervening in your ability to complete daily tasks. What many people don't realize is that many causes of chronic foot pain can be corrected with the use of orthoses.
As the top foot doctor San Antonio has to offer, Dr. Davis and the team at South Texas Podiatrist are dedicated to helping our patients find relief from chronic foot pain. One of the ways we do this is by providing custom-fitted orthoses. Here's a general overview of orthoses and the ways they can help you get back on your feet:
What Are Custom Fit Orthotics?
Orthoses are devices that are designed to correct an issue that is causing you chronic pain, discomfort, or difficulty walking. They were developed by podiatrists to provide support and relief for a wide variety of foot conditions. Orthoses come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one goal: to improve the function of your feet so you can live your life pain-free.
In most cases, your orthoses will be worn inside of your shoe. Orthoses can serve a number of purposes, including to:
- Support: Orthoses can provide support for your feet and ankles, helping to take the pressure off of sore spots and preventing further injury.
- Align: Orthoses can help to realign your bones and joints into their proper positions, relieving pain caused by misalignment.
- Absorb shock: Orthoses can help to absorb the shock of impact when you walk or run, protecting your feet from further pain and injury.
- Prevent deformities: Orthoses can help to prevent deformities from developing or worsening, such as bunions and hammertoes.
- Correct deformities: If you have a structural issue with your feet, such as fallen arches or bunions, orthoses can help correct the problem and improve your foot function.
- Improve muscle function: If you have weak foot muscles, orthoses can help to improve muscle function and take the strain off of your tendons and ligaments.
Custom-fitted orthoses are made specifically for your feet. Your podiatrist will take a mold of your feet and use that to create a pair of orthoses that is tailored to the unique shape of your feet. Custom-fitted orthoses provide the highest level of support and
How Do Orthoses Work?
Orthoses work by changing the way weight is distributed. For example, if you have bunions, the weight of your body is not evenly distributed across your feet. This can lead to pain and further deformity. Orthoses can help redistribute your weight so that it is evenly distributed across your feet, taking the pressure off of sore spots and preventing further deformity.
Orthoses also work by providing support for weak or injured muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This can help to take the strain off of these tissues and allow them to heal. Additionally, orthoses can help to realign your bones and joints into their proper positions. This can relieve pain caused by misalignment and prevent further deformity.
Orthoses can be used for both children and adults who are experiencing issues with their feet, ankles, legs, hips, or even back.
What Are the Different Types of Orthoses?
There are two main types of orthoses podiatrists use to treat foot pain:
- Rigid: These types of orthoses are typically made from plastic or metal and are designed to provide support for bones and joints in your feet. They are often used to treat conditions like bunions, hammertoes, and heel spurs. Their ability to provide support also makes them the best orthotics for flat feet.
- Soft: These orthoses are usually made from foam or gel and are designed to provide cushioning and shock absorption. They are often used to treat conditions like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.
When you consult with the team at South Texas Podiatrist, your specialist will work directly with you to determine which type of orthoses is best for your individual needs.
How Do I Know If I Need Orthoses?
If you are experiencing chronic foot pain, the first step is to consult with a podiatrist. After a thorough examination, your podiatrist will be able to determine if orthoses are right for you. Some factors that may indicate that orthoses are the right choice include:
- You have tried other treatments, such as stretching and icing, but your pain persists
- Your pain is affecting your ability to do your daily activities
- You have a family history of foot problems
- You are pregnant
- You are a runner or athlete
- You have diabetes
- You have arthritis
If you are experiencing any of the above issues, orthoses may be able to help. The best way to find out is to consult with a podiatrist who can give you a thorough examination and recommend the best course of treatment.
At South Texas Podiatrist, Dr. Davis and his podiatry team have years of experience creating custom orthotics designed specifically for each patient’s unique needs. If you’ve been struggling with chronic foot pain, we encourage you to contact our office today and discuss custom orthoses as a potential option to help you find relief.
With 20+ years of experience providing top-quality foot care, South Texas Podiatrist is here to help you get back on your feet. If you’re ready to experience care from the top podiatrist San Antonio has to offer, schedule an appointment with us today.