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

 

Back to School?  Make Sure your Kids Put their Best Foot Forward

Back to School? Make Sure your Kids Put their Best Foot Forward

Back to School? Make Sure your Kids Put their Best Foot Forward

Summer is over and if your feet aren’t hurting a little, you may not have played hard enough. Even if your feet don’t hurt, back to school expenses might be painful. The beginning of the school year is when parents frequently have to make the tight budget of getting all school supplies and buying school clothes. Too frequently, shoes are the last thing left to be purchased. Parents also get discouraged when they finally buy a pair of nice, supportive shoes and find out that the child has outgrown them within a couple months. Shoes don’t have to be expensive to be quality, so here are some general tips that can help:

  1. Orthotics – A well made, padded, higher arched, stiffer shoe insert is surprisingly a cheap way to turn fair shoes into good shoes and good shoes into great shoes. Over-the-counter inserts are not expensive and they can be moved to different shoes. Come in to the clinic for personalized needs. Even if you don’t have an appointment, $40 can buy a supportive set of orthotics for your kids.
  2. Rubber – Buy a shoe with real rubber outsole. It is more rugged that the flimsy, degradable tread that is recently making shoes cheaper.
  3. Stiffer – Make sure the shoe is stiff in the middle and back. If it is limp, chances are it is not supportive and your child will likely feel it quickly.
  4. Cross trainer – Cross trainers are generally more supportive and are getting more fashionable. New Balance, Asics, and Saucony are usually good brands. The more common brands like Nike, Adidas, Sketchers and Reebok can be okay, but look for ones that have a removable insole.

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!

Justin Ward, DPM

Pediatric Heel Pain

Pediatric Heel Pain

Pediatric Heel Pain

Calcaneal apopysitis or pediatric heel pain is a common condition where the growth plate of the heel  is inflamed and becomes very painful.  It was previously called “Sever’s Disease” but it is not a true disease at all. Growing pains are a normal and sometimes unavoidable consequence of our bodies getting bigger.  However, with the heel bone, it is frequently made worse by poor shoe gear, abnormal biomechanics (body movements), foot deformities, tight achilles tendon, overuse, or prior  injuries.  Children usually tolerate a lot of pain when they are happily playing, but a child affected by this will frequently limp, toe walk, or even stop playing because of the pain.  This is a treatable condition and with care, can resolve relatively quickly.

Other conditions may occur or play a role on top of the calcaneal apopysitis.  Your foot and ankle surgeon can evaluate and diagnose these in the office and in rare cases can order advanced imaging studies or lab work.  X-rays in the office and a thorough medical history will aid in ruling out more serious conditions.  Achilles tendonitis, flatfoot or other conditions may also exist or even mimic the heel pain.

Treatments often include rest, ice, stretching, PT, immobilization, and medications. The benefits of appropriate orthotics are also very important.  An orthotic is an arch support or device that can help alleviate pain and can even be customized to each child if needed.  A variety of over the counter products may also be recommended specifically for each activity or condition to help the child’s pain.  With patience and parental support, the child can be back on their feet to a healthy lifestyle.

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!

Justin Ward, DPM

Spring & Kids Feet

Spring & Kids Feet

Spring & Kids Feet

April is “National Foot Health” month.  As we come into Spring, everyone is getting more active.  My four children are all in sports.  I have two children in soccer, one in flag football, and one in track.  I have already seen and will continue to see sports related injuries, many of which could have been prevented with proper shoe gear.

It is important that, no matter the activity, kids use proper shoes, socks, and athletic gear.  Children that are involved in high impact activities that include running, cutting, and jumping need to be especially careful.  Please reference the articles in our April newsletter for specific tips on how you can protect your children.

Have a safe and happy Spring!

Don’t Live Life in Pain!  Call us today at 505.880.1000 or visit nmfootandankle.com to make an appointment.

We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Jonathan Williamson, DPM

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