Are you wondering whether a shoe insert or a custom-made shoe can help to relieve your foot pain or heel pain? There are many different kinds of orthotics, so you’ll want to talk to a foot doctor about what might be best for you.
Let’s talk about what orthotics are, what they can do for your feet, and where you can go throughout Maryland to get lasting relief from your foot pain.
What Are Orthotics?
Orthotics may be store-bought shoe inserts, custom-made shoe inserts, or full orthotic shoes that are made by your podiatrist to give your feet total support. Orthotics are used to treat a variety of foot, ankle, and lower-leg problems, and even back problems and issues with your posture.
If you have chronic foot pain and want to find relief once and for all, your podiatrist will take an assessment of your feet. The doctor will perform a type of foot measurement/fitting to determine where you need extra support and where you don’t.
By optimizing and evening-out loads on the foot and ankle region, orthotics enable your body to have the capacity to support your weight without causing foot pain. They allow you to stand and walk more efficiently and comfortably.
How Can Orthotics Help My Feet?
Some of the key goals of professional orthotic treatment include:
- Correction of foot deformities
- Better foot and ankle functionality
- Support for the ankle
- Reduced risk of further injuries
Orthotics can not only correct the positioning of your feet every time you stand up or take a step, but they can also provide extra supportive cushioning in key areas of the feet – such as the heel or ball of the foot. Thus, they can help to improve your posture and spinal alignment, help you to walk without limping (which can happen if you’re trying to avoid applying pressure on an area of your foot), and solve your foot problem without needing surgery.
Some of the foot conditions that can be successfully treated with orthotics include:
- Hairline fractures
- Heel pain
- Knee pain
- Plantar fasciitis (which leads to heel pain)
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Heel spurs
What Are the Different Kinds of Orthotics?
Your podiatrist will help you determine which type of orthotic is best suited for your feet. They fall into three broad categories:
Rigid orthotics are primarily designed to control motion and function in two major foot joints that are located directly below the ankle. They are often composed of a firm material, such as plastic or carbon fiber.
These devices last long, do not change shape, and are difficult to break. Using these can lessen or eliminate strains, aches, and pains in the legs, thighs, and lower back.
Semi-rigid orthotics are commonly used to provide balance to the foot for walking or playing sports. These are made up of layers of soft material that are reinforced with more rigid materials. They provide support to the muscles and joints in the foot and lower leg.
These kinds of orthotics are made to absorb shock, increase balance, and release pressure from spots on your foot that feel uncomfortable or sore. Typically made up of soft, compressible materials, they are highly effective for diabetic, arthritic, and deformed feet. Because of their bulk, you might need to wear these with prescription footwear. They may be fully customized orthotic shoes, too.
Custom Orthotics for Foot Pain in Central Maryland
If you’re experiencing chronic or intermittent foot pain, customized orthotics may be the perfect solution. Our highly skilled podiatrists at the Orthopedic Associates of Central Maryland can assess your feet and recommend the right treatment that is suited to your needs.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with a world-class podiatrist, call us today at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663). You can also fill out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to getting you back on your feet!