A Beginners Guide To Orthotics

 

The body is a complicated thing. When it comes to the body, there are certain things that most everyone does to ensure it continues to work the way it is supposed to and at peak performance. This often includes regular doctor visits, dental appointments, eating healthy, exercising, and taking vitamin supplements. However, there are other aspects of a person’s health and body that often overlooked. One of these things is the feet. There is a multitude of different things that can cause problems with the feet. Anytime you have pain in your feet, it should be taken seriously. Many people that spend a great deal of time on their feet or regularly wear high heels think that pain is a normal part of life. However, this is not so. Sometimes the pain is caused by underlying problems and sometimes it is not, but either way, it should be taken seriously. There are ways to alleviate pain in the feet as well as treat the causes of the pain. One of the best tools for this is orthotics. There are different types of orthotics to consider. Each one has a specific purpose, all revolving around correcting various foot problems. Here, you will find basic information about orthotics. This will include information about what they are, how to tell if you need them, the different types, and other useful information.

The first thing to consider is knowing when to get orthotics and how to go about it. Orthotics can only be obtained from a podiatrist or an orthopedic. With that being said, you do not have to start out going to one of these specialists. If you feel that you may benefit from or even need orthotics, you can go see your regular general practitioner. They will be able to examine you and determine if you need to see a podiatrist or not. It will all be dependant on what is causing the problem. A basic exam may include any or all of the following. Inevitably, the doctor will perform a physical examination of the foot or feet. They will also ask questions about where the pain is, what type of pain it is (stabbing, dull, etc.), whether or not anything makes it better or worse. Depending on the results of these things, you may need to undergo some imaging tests such as an x-ray. You may also need a CT scan and/or an MRI. These things will help your doctor determine the exact cause of your foot pain and determine if you need to see a podiatrist. Of course, if you break a bone, you will likely need to see an orthopedic specialist which will then determine if you need orthotics and if so, what type. If you are looking for an Edmonton clinic, be sure to click the link provided.

Within this same vein of thinking, you need to know when to consider seeing a doctor about foot pain and orthotics. If you spend at least eight hours per day on your feet, you should be considering orthotics. Even if you do not currently need prescription orthotics, you should invest in over the counter inserts so that you do not develop problems later on. Also, the same is true if you wear high heels daily or even every other day. As for pain, if you experience pain when standing, this is not normal and you should have it checked out as soon as possible. If you have pain anytime you first stand after sitting or laying down for a few minutes, this most likely indicates some type of problem. The pain could be in your heel, the ball of the foot, the arch, or even the toes. Depending on the underlying cause, the pain may even radiate into the ankle area.

Another thing to consider is a lump or knot that forms on the foot. Any time a lump or knot appears on the body, it indicates a problem of some sort. In the case of the foot, there are a few different possibilities. The most benign possibility is a plantar fibroma. This is a lump that forms in the arch or towards the heel. They are generally one inch in diameter or smaller. These are not life-threatening and they will not, in and of themselves, cause damage to the foot. However, they are painful and because of this, they often cause a change in the way you walk. This can cause other problems. There are not many treatment options, but one of the most recommended is a special orthotic that is designed to reduce pressure on the fibroma. Other possibilities include swelling from an injury or some type of tumor. Beyond just a lump, if there is an area of the foot that seems to be malformed, if you notice swelling or discoloration, you should see a doctor sooner rather than later.

Another indication of needing orthotics is the wear on the tread of your shoes. Simply take a pair of shoes that you wear regularly and examine the bottoms. If there seems to be more wear on one side of the shoe, something is causing you to put more pressure on one side of the foot. This most likely means that you are rolling your foot either inwards or outwards, neither of which is good. People often do this is they experience pain when a certain part of the foot experiences pain upon contact with the floor when walking. There may also be a problem that is causing your foot to turn or roll without the ability to correct it on your own.

Now consider the different types of orthotics available. There are two primary types to choose from. First, there are rigid orthotics which are often referred to as functional orthotics. This variety is best suited for use in dress shoes or walking shoes that have both low heels and a closed toe. The purpose of this type of orthotic is to ease and reduce foot aches and strains. By providing this relief, you will also see an improvement in any lower back, leg, or thigh pain you experienced due to not being able to use your foot correctly. These are generally made from carbon fibers or plastics. Next is soft orthotics which is also called accommodative orthotics. The purpose of this variety is to reduce pressure on specific sore spots on the foot. This type is a bit bulkier than rigid orthotics. Because of this, they often need to be used in conjunction with prescription footwear. This type of orthotic is generally made from soft, compression materials.

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