Foot Inserts/Orthotics 101

Foot Inserts/Orthotics 101

Foot Inserts/Orthotics 101

Not everyone is born with perfect feet. And even if they do start out that way, life can throw a few obstacles in your path that end up making your feet hurt — every single day. Certain shoe styles, medical conditions such as diabetes and arthritis, and even healthy-for-you exercise/sports can create foot problems that slow you down.

For many pain causing problems, foot inserts/orthotics are often recommended to help balance foot structures that may be out of alignment or imbalanced. Foot orthotics can be made from different materials, and may be rigid, semirigid, semiflexible, or accommodative, depending on your diagnosis and specific needs.

Determining what type of insert will work for your feet is what DPMs do best. After a thorough evaluation that includes assessing your foot structure, current footwear and how you walk, recommendations for non-custom OTC-type inserts or custom –type will be discussed with you. Many foot problems can be addressed with OTC inserts and proper shoes. A question often asked by patients are about kiosk-type inserts which capture an image of your foot then recommends inserts. These may provide some relief but more frequently only do so for short periods of time then individuals are motivated to make an appointment with a DPM.  NMFAI has several types of OTC inserts that are often recommended and are priced reasonably.

Custom orthotics are recommended for foot deformities where asymmetry is present or more progressed structural malalignment exists. These orthotics are made to an actual model of your foot that is either captured via a casting process or via advanced digital scanning. There are many choices for orthotic materials and the toplines or covers. Your doctor will discuss with you what activities and footwear you will be using the orthotics for then determine the type of orthotic to order. Often, the recommendation is to have different orthotics made for the variable activities and shoes being used.  An orthotic made for a hiking shoe is needing to be sturdier with greater shock absorption then one used in a dress shoe. Instead of compromising how one orthotic will work for you if you are active in different types of sports or work, having different orthotics may be the better choice.

The good news about custom orthotics is that they will last many years. I, personally have an orthotic that is over 30 years and works as well as it did when it was originally made. Just like your home and car, orthotics do need regular maintenance to keep them in the best working condition.  With that said, many patients do require new, updated orthotics as their foot structures may have changed over time so we recommend annual check-ups on your orthotics to make sure their working optimally for you.

Don’t live life in pain, we now have another fantastic option for returning you to enjoy a pain free active lifestyle.

Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

 

Janet Simon, DPM

 

#topdoctors   #bestABQfootdoctors   #nmfai   #wesavesoles #footdoctors   #podiatrist  #albuquerque #newmexico

 

Happy “Dogs” while Walking & Hiking

Happy “Dogs” while Walking & Hiking

Happy “Dogs” while Walking & Hiking

Walking and Hiking

Dr. Janet Simon

Dr. Janet Simon

With limited activities due to COVID emergency, many New Mexicans are hiking and exploring outdoor trails. We are obviously blessed with these opportunities to get out and enjoy the natural world. The term “dogs” has dual meaning here – 1) feet, often referred to as dogs in the early 20th century and 2) canines. While walking and hiking both “dogs” need to be prepared and protected from injuries and overuse.

As a podiatrist, I am often asked for recommendations on sock and footwear choices. Having properly fitting socks is important along with shoe/boot fit. Sock fit is often overlooked and from what I’ve recently observed on the trails sometime absent for a few newcomers to hiking. A synthetic blended sock is recommended over 100% cotton and I advise individuals that the thickness is a personal choice. Obviously, when purchasing new shoes/boots try them on with the thickness of sock you’re planning on using.

Shoe/boot choices are dependent on the type of walking/hiking. My observations on the Sandia trails are that experienced participants have “proper” shoes and the less experienced have footwear that I know will be bringing them soon into my office for foot problems. I’m not totally opposed to walking sandals on paved trails but do not feel they’re appropriate on rocky, cactus laden trails. Using a boot that provides increased ankle support will be beneficial especially if you’ve had history of ankle sprains, posterior tibialis tendonitis or overpronation.

Not only are humans out on the trails but their dogs too and it’s clear that many dog owners have not given much thought about their dogs paws or other wellness concerns on the trails. Recently, I’ve witnessed many small dogs being carried on trails that clearly were not appropriate for them to be on. Furthermore, their paws need to be conditioned for longer distances, as well as, their joints and muscles too.

Dogs do feel pain and unlike humans cannot complain vocally. Similarly, to what was stated about matching up the type of footwear to the difficulty or type of trail, matching up your dog is wise too along with providing booties or applying Musher’s wax to their paws. Dog’s “dogs” need protection too.

Additional advice that veterinarians share is making sure your dog is current on their vaccinations and well hydrated and nourished. Our Sandia trails require dogs to be leashed and I will opine that this is not only safety for others but also for your dog to stay on the trail and hopefully away from cacti.

Summing up – being safe during your walks/hikes is the message for both you and your “dogs”. My office is open and if concerns arise about human feet/ankles please call. We can see you in person or schedule a virtual visit. If your dog is having paw or other problems, please contact a veterinarian.

Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Janet Simon, DPM

 

#westandopen #topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles #footdoctors #podiatrist

 

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