How Do I Know If I Need Orthotics?
Occasionally, it is normal to have a bit of pain show up in your feet and ankles. Maybe you had a long day that required more standing and walking around than usual. Maybe you went on a long hike or took a vacation that required you to move around more than usual. No matter the reason, occasional foot, and heel pain are considered normal for most patients.
But there are times when the foot pain will become more severe and seems to creep into your daily life more often. When this is the case for you, it may be time for you to consider a custom orthotic to help alleviate the pain and make you feel better.
Symptoms That Make You Ask, “How Do I Know If I Need Orthotics?”
There are many symptoms and conditions that can be relieved with the use of custom orthotics. It is important to weigh the pros and cons when debating purchasing custom orthotics, as they can be expensive, especially when they are not necessary. Some of the signs that you will need a custom orthotic include:
Foot Pain and Swelling
If you start to notice that your feet are swelling or in a lot of pain from normal daily activities, then this is a sign that you should consider a pair of custom orthotics. You should not live with unnecessary pain in the foot and a good pair of orthotics could be the tool you need to solve this problem.
Your podiatrist will be able to do a complete exam to see what will work best for you. They can look to see what is causing the discomfort and pain, determine whether the orthotic is the right solution if you need to do some specific exercises, or even if a good pair of shoes would be the best solution. If you need a custom orthotic, they can help too.
You Have Sharp Pain in the Heels
When you start to notice a sharp pain in the heel, especially right when you wake up in the morning, you could be suffering from plantar fasciitis. This is a condition that occurs when you have some severe inflammation of the plantar fascia or the thick tissue that goes from the bone in the heel to the toes. Orthotics are an effective solution for this condition.
The plantar fascia is going to support the arch of your foot to help absorb some of the shocks that you feel. There are several conditions that can cause it to become inflamed such as being overweight, having a tight Achilles tendon, flat feet or high arches, wearing high heels, or standing for a good portion of the day.
When you suffer from this condition, it is a good idea for you to purchase custom orthotics. Custom orthotics can provide you with some additional heel cushioning and arch support to make the foot feel better.
Do you Have a High Arch or a Flat Foot?
If you are dealing with a condition of flat feet, where you have little to no arch, then there could be a good deal of foot pain when your foot rolls inward. Sometimes, this posture can even cause a condition called overpronation. Orthotics will be able to reduce some of the pressure put on your arches, as it reduces the amount of rolling that happens by keeping your foot in place and adding support.
Orthotics can also work well if you suffer from really high arches. When you have a pronounced arch, it can cause foot pain, instability in the ankle, calluses, corns, and problems with the toes. Underpronation, a resulting condition the opposite of the aforementioned overpronation, can also occur. Both of these are signs you need arch support. A good pair of custom orthotics can provide some relief and makes it easier to walk around, while relieving most of the pain.
Your Balance is Failing
As you age, you may notice that your balance will start to go a bit. While a little bit of balance issue is normal if you notice that it starts to dramatically go down and you are falling over often, then this is a sign that something is wrong with the feet and you need to look at solutions to help you feel better.
Collapsed arches can lead to flat feet in older adults. Collapsed arches, along with various other conditions of the feet, usually lead to balance problems. Orthotics are useful because they will be able to provide some additional stability, reducing the amount of discomfort you notice and also preventing falls.
You Notice Uneven Wear in Your Shoes
Take a look at your shoes and see if you notice certain areas are wearing out faster than others. If this is the case for you, then it is a sign that you need to get a pair of custom orthotics. A sole that is worn out more on the inside is a big sign that you have an inward rolling of the foot, or pronation. If the outer side of the shoe is worn out, you have supination, or an outward rolling.
Another sign is that one of your shoes is more worn out compared to the other. This is a sign that you have different leg lengths to deal with. All of these issues can be addressed with a custom orthotic and the right type of shoe. You will need to discuss this with your doctor to see if they think the orthotics can provide help.
You Have a Lower Limb Injury
Those who have had an injury to their lower limbs may find that it will affect the way that they walk. After the injury, you need to make sure that your feet get the proper support and that you are aligned and able to move as efficiently as possible.
Your doctor will give you a few exercises and tips that can help with this after the injury. But you may find that a good pair of orthotics will be a great tool to help out with this, reducing the likelihood of further injury or pain along the way.
You Have Complications from Diabetes
Those with diabetes may notice many problems with their feet, like a burning sensation. Orthotics can help alleviate some of the common causes of pain and other issues along the way. While these orthotics can help distribute the pressure on the feet, your doctor will likely want to prescribe a pair meant to specifically help with the management of diabetic foot complications.
There are so many reasons why you should consider purchasing a pair of custom orthotics. They can help correct issues with your gait, provide some great support to the arches, and even change the distribution of pressure across the foot. This helps to alleviate a lot of pain and makes your feet feel amazing. However, high blood sugar levels often result in nerve damage, and it is important to remember that semi-rigid and rigid orthotics are not safe options for diabetics.
Choosing a Custom Orthotic for Your Feet
There are a lot of issues that can show up with your feet. You need to take good care of them to ensure they can carry you through life and help you see the best results as well. With the help of a good pair of custom orthotics, you will be able to give your feet more love and ensure that many foot conditions are healed at the same time.
When you are ready to get a pair of custom orthotics, then make sure to work with one of our professionals to help. We are able to complete a full assessment of your foot, making sure that we pick out the perfect orthotic for your foot, no matter what condition is causing you problems.