Nearly 90% of Americans will have foot pain at some point during their lifetimes, with many painful problems becoming more common with age. A lot of that pain has to do with changes or abnormalities in the shape of the foot, years of weight-bearing, and even the way we walk (our gait patterns).
Recognized as a leading podiatry practice in Camarillo and Santa Barbara, California, Align Foot & Ankle specializes in custom orthotics or shoe inserts to correct problems that cause foot pain and other symptoms. Hai-En Peng, DPM, FACFAS, uses state-of-the-art techniques to ensure a custom fit to help every patient achieve their treatment goals.
Here are five common foot and ankle problems that can be treated with durable, comfortable, custom orthotics.
A bunion is a protruding lump on the side of your foot near the base of your big toe. Bunions form when the tip of the big toe is pushed inward toward the other toes, coaxing the joint at the base of the toe to move out of position. The lump you see is the base of the big toe bone.
Not surprisingly, bunions can make it hard to find shoes that fit, and when you wear regular shoes, your bunion suffers. Custom orthotics can offer a nonsurgical alternative to bunion treatment, relieving pressure on your bunion while improving weight distribution when you walk or stand.
Arthritis is a chronic condition associated with wear and tear inside a joint. Most people think of arthritis affecting the hands or knees, but it can also happen in your ankles and foot joints. Each foot has 33 joints, and any or all of these joints can develop the painful inflammation associated with arthritis.
Custom orthotics relieve pressure on sore joints, redistributing your weight, so your gait remains stable and secure. Orthotics can help relieve the pain of ankle arthritis, too.
A collection of ligaments, tendons, and muscles, your arch comprises the central part of your foot. The purpose of the arch is to support your foot, whether it’s moving or simply supporting your weight while you stand still.
Sometimes, the arch “flattens out,” resulting in considerable pain, especially when you put weight on your foot. Other times, the arch can be unusually “high,” causing an atypical curvature that can cause pain, too.
Custom orthotics can be designed for both arch issues and plantar fasciitis, a common foot condition that happens when these tissues become inflamed.
Hammertoes are toe joint deformities when the ligaments and muscles pull on the toe, causing it to remain in a bent position, like the claw of a hammer. If you have hammertoes, you may also have corns or calluses on the top of the toe, and shoes can cause pinching and pain. Custom orthotics rebalance the tension on muscles and ligaments, relieving pain and preventing your symptoms from worsening.
In addition to arthritis, other issues can cause ankle pain, too. That includes tendonitis and instability. Custom orthotics provide extra support and help align your joints for better mobility and improved stability, too. The right orthotics may even help relieve knee or back pain.
If orthotics can do so many things, why not save yourself a trip to the doctor’s office and buy a pair off the shelf? Simple: While custom orthotics are designed specifically for your foot, store-bought orthotics and shoe inserts use general ensign principles that could worsen your problems.
Custom orthotics can help relieve foot and ankle pain, prevent future problems, and even avoid the need for invasive procedures. To learn how they can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Align Foot & Ankle today.