How Orthotics Help with More than Foot Pain
It’s a common misconception that orthotics are just used by people who have flat feet. Sure, we may need to prescribe a pair of orthotics to provide additional arch support, but that is really just the start of the story. Let’s take a look today at how orthotics do more than just help with foot pain.
Before looking at some of the other areas, we should start with foot pain relief. There are certainly many “tools” podiatrists can use to relieve your foot pain. We create treatment plans consisting of various techniques and options—depending on your unique case—but orthotics are one of the most versatile tools we have. This can be attributed, in part, to the fact there are different kinds of orthotic devices.
Generally-speaking, orthotics are either accommodative or functional. At the risk of oversimplifying, accommodative orthotics work with the structure of your feet and may be used to provide additional cushioning in areas that face excessive force or strain. Functional orthotics work with biomechanical processes—how your foot actually moves—and corrects abnormal motion.
Depending on the source of your foot pain, you may benefit from either an accommodative or functional orthotic device.
Since we’re discussing how orthotics help with more than just foot pain, though, it needs to be mentioned that these medical devices are sometimes used as part of diabetic foot care plan. Individuals who have diabetes are at heightened risk of dangerous foot ulcers, so we sometimes prescribe custom orthotics to offload excessive pressure from focused areas on the feet.
Now, it makes sense that custom orthotics relieve pain and difficulty for your feet—and they are certainly quite useful in diabetic foot care—but they can also correct problems further up the body. This can be attributed to a chain reaction wherein a misaligned foot causes misalignment in the ankle, which then places the lower leg out of proper alignment. In turn, the knee joint, thigh bone (femur), hip joint, and even back can all be affected and cause pain for you.
In spite of their versatility, not all of our patients need custom orthotics. We reserve prescribing them only for those who will actually benefit from using a pair. Whether or not this applies to you will obviously depend on an array of factors, including the condition you need treated.
Speaking of that condition which is causing pain and taking away your ability to perform favorite activities, comes see us for professional foot and ankle care. You may find that a problem in your foot is causing pain elsewhere in the body. If you would like additional information on how orthotics can help with more than just foot pain, or you need to request an appointment, give Waukesha Foot Specialists a call at (262) 544-0700.