How to Treat Common Foot Conditions With Orthotics

The overall posture of the skeletal body is primarily determined by the biomechanics of the foot and ankle. If there is a slight problem in the biomechanics of the foot, it leads to numerous musculoskeletal problems in the ankle, knees, hips and the back, thereby affecting general body functionality.

Most of the posture and musculoskeletal issues can be effectively handled by enhancing foot motions. This is where orthoses come in to provide control, support, shock absorption, stability and pressure relief on sore and uncomfortable areas. Therapy with foot orthotics is on the increase as it has proven its effectiveness in correcting foot problems, leading to healthier lifestyles.

While orthotics is not a cure-all option, it is one of the most effective options to prevent, conserve and treat common foot problems. Orthotic devices, when used, prevent muscle straining, injury, deformity, as well as halt the progress of any existing problem thereby allowing the much needed healing to occur. In addition to giving protection, orthotic devices also optimize comfort which enhances performance.

Common Foot Conditions That Are Treated With Orthotics

Achilles Tendonitis

Also referred to as Achilles Heels, this is one of the most common foot problems. It usually refers to the inflammation of the tendon that attaches the heel bone to the leg’s calf muscle. When this tendon is strained, it tightens and becomes inflamed, which is what is referred to as tendonitis. This condition is very painful and causes stiffness in the area near the heel. Continuously straining this inflamed tendon can lead to rupture or tear. 

Both custom-made and off-the-shelf orthotic provide the necessary arch support and control which relieves pressure on the tendon, thereby relieving pain and inflammation. The orthotic devices also provide cushioning, shock absorption and protection to the foot. 

Heel Spurs

A spur is a projection of an overgrown bone that occurs on the heel. This growth is usually as a result of bone calcification from constant pressure on the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs at the bottom of the foot to offer arch support. Heel spurs are usually characterized by extremely painful rear foot/heel, especially when walking, standing or running.

Orthotic devices, especially those used for plantar fasciitis and heel spurs provide the much needed arch support which prevents overstretching of the plantar fascia. Since this condition is prominent in people with high arches, orthotics offers the extra support thereby relieving the pressure on the plantar fascia. The orthotics that help are usually curved gel devices that offer protection, shock absorption and comfort to the foot. 

Metatarsalgia

This is a generic term that denotes discomfort or pain in the foot’s metatarsal region (the ball of the foot area just behind the toes). Depending on the severity of the condition, there can be one or more joints affected. Usually, this condition is characterized by a dull ache, a bruise like pain, numbness or tingling in the toes or ball of the foot.

Pre-molded orthotic devices that are prescribed by physiotherapists can be made to fit any type of shoe to offer comfort to the ball of the foot. This condition is effectively treated with therapeutic devices with full depth or narrow toe box devices depending on the severity. These devices relieve pressure on the ball of the foot and distribute the weight evenly to take away the pressure from the affected areas.

Plantar Fasciitis

This is pain or severe discomfort caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a long, fibrous band of tissue connecting the heel to the toes at the bottom of the foot. If this thick tissue is excessively strained or stretched, it can be torn leading to inflammation, which can be extremely painful. This condition is usually as a result of biomechanical imbalances such as pronation and high arches.

Pre-molded orthotics such as Footlogics, especially those made purposely to offer arch support and control which prevents overpronation, are the perfect solution for plantar fasciitis. The heel cushioning orthotics provide the much needed shock absorption which shields the plantar fascia thereby relieving pain and discomfort

In Conclusion

Endless foot conditions are caused by poor foot biomechanics, poor footwear that gives inadequate arch support and poor cushioning and shock absorption. All these reasons cause varying problems depending on the group of muscles and ligaments that are strained or inflamed. Continuously straining the feet can cause serious and sometimes permanent deformities. This makes it extremely important to correct these conditions as soon as they are detected.

Orthotic devices are simply shoe inserts that can be used to offer arch support as well as cushion the feet and provide the essential shock absorption properties. 

If you feel even a slight discomfort or pain in the feet, it is important to see chiropractic. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential in controlling most of the foot conditions. However, even if a condition is detected in its advanced stages, it can still be treated with the right devices.

 

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