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

 

What’s with the MLS laser?

What’s with the MLS laser?

What’s with the MLS laser?

MLS Laser Therapy

MLS Laser

Here at New Mexico Foot & Ankle Institute we continuously deal with painful conditions.  We see arthritis, tendonitis, nerve pain, sprained ankles, broken bones and lots and lots of deformities that limit activity levels for various reasons, but the #1 reason is pain.  With the 100’s of different problems we see there are still only a limited number of solutions.

Personally, I struggle occasionally with a pinched nerve in my left foot.  Despite my good orthotics and great collection of good shoes sometimes it still bothers me.  It came down to getting a steroid injection or using the MLS Laser on it.  I chose the MLS laser and it worked great for me.  So why chose the MLS laser over a steroid injection?  For me, the answer was as simple as the shot hurts and the laser doesn’t.

Low level lasers have been around for many years and studied extensively and shown to be effective in increasing blood flow to an injured area which in turned helped the healing.  Our MLS laser is short for a class IV multiwave locked system laser.  Additonally, te new MLS laser that we are now using is a high energy laser and overcomes the limitations that the older lasers had of not being able to treat conditions that were deeper down from the skin.  High energy lasers like the MLS laser have been shown to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-edema effects.  There is a lot of science behind how this works which is well beyond the scope of this discussion today.

The take home message is that the laser can be used to treat almost all of the painful conditions I see in clinic.  Similarly, it opens another door for us to offer more treatment options to patients who are looking for immediate relief of their pain and for safe and pain free ways to achieve that goal.  The laser worked well for my inflamed nerve and we’ve seen tremendous results with the laser on postoperative patients, slow healing wounds, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, sprained ankles and many other conditions.  In brief, we are always striving to enhance our services to our patients by offering the best available treatments on the market and this is just another way we do this.

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!

Nathan Ivey, DPM

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

 

Shocking Options to treat Heel Pain!

Shocking Options to treat Heel Pain!

Shocking Options to treat Heel Pain!

New technology keeps hope for a pain free living! Do you suffer from chronic heel pain, better known as plantar fasciitis? Do you feel like you’ve tried everything but surgery and there’s no hope? Think again!

Shockwave therapy really isn’t a new technology.  It has been around since the 60’s.  The technology was first used in to break up kidney stones and is still widely used today and is called lithotripsy.  Orthopedic use of this technology was FDA approved back in 2000.   Extracorporeal shockwave therapy or ESWT has been used in my office since 2002 with some great results.  The ESWT technology was old and outdated and we were required to use local anesthesia and it was a long treatment time and we often used boots as part of the recovery so over time we looked for newer and better options.

The US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health released its first abstract on the benefits of Extracorporeal Pulse Activated Therapy (EPAT) for the treatment of plantar fasciitis in 2012. The researchers concluded that results of EPAT treatment on patients with chronic recalcitrant plantar fasciitis, in particular patients with chronic symptoms for more than 12 months, showed significant improvement.  EPAT treatment effectively decreased plantar fascia thickness and patient pain. Shocking? Literally.

NM Foot and Ankle Institute has been using a shockwave for treatment in patients since 2002. However, in January of 2018 we introduced this new EPAT technology into the practice. Our new shockwave (also known as pressure wave therapy) was introduced to the practice because this new and improved technology means that no numbing is required and with three short treatments recovery is easier and doesn’t require you to be off of your feet at all. Because foot and heel pain is typically caused by plantar fasciitis, patients suffering from this condition are thrilled to learn that relief from pain is available without the inconvenience of surgery or having to take time off of work. Some patients report improvement after only one treatment, while others report the pain subsided after 4 weeks. Overall, 85% of patients report they are pain free or enjoy significant pain reduction within 12 weeks.

Sessions take between 10 to 20 minutes on average depending on if you are having treatment on one or both feet. The recommended treatment is one treatment a week for three consecutive weeks.

Extracorporeal means non-invasive. No anesthesia is involved. Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology is the most advanced treatment being used today in lieu of surgery. It eliminates the requirement of rehab after surgery, and patients are able to bear their weight immediately and can return to their normal activity within days of the EPAT treatment.

Other benefits of the unique EPAT treatment is that it stimulates the metabolism, enhances blood circulation and accelerates the healing process. The damaged tissue gradually regenerates and eventually heals.

Don’t live life in pain!  Contact New Mexico Foot & Ankle Institute today at (505)880-1000 for an appointment to discuss pressure wave therapy treatment to treat your plantar fasciitis!

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

Nathan Ivey, DPM

#topdoctors #bestABQfootdoctors #nmfai #wesavesoles #wearebettertogether

 

Arch Madness

Arch Madness

Arch Madness

March brings the onset of spring and warmer weather.  As we decide to start doing more walking outside it’s also a great time to inspect our orthotics. Many orthotics are very durable and will last sometimes for years. Patients always ask when it is time to replace orthotics.  With plastic orthotics it is often hard to tell when they are worn out.  The biggest sign is increased symptoms in our feet. Orthotics wear out by getting softer and less supportive. If you don’t feel like you are getting the same support you used to, I can assure you that you are right.  If you have an over the counter orthotic and it is over a year old it is probably time to replace it. You can put a new orthotic in your exercise shoes and use the old ones in our old dirty work shoes or some dress shoes that need some increased support.  Custom orthotics that aren’t as supportive also make a good 2nd pair of orthotics for shoes that we don’t use as much and don’t do as much walking in.  March is a great time to come in and get fitted for some new orthotics. Bring in your old orthotics (custom or over the counter) and we’ll give you $50 off a new pair of custom orthotics.

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!

Nathan Ivey, DPM

THE ACHILLES

THE ACHILLES

THE ACHILLES

According to mythology, the Greek Hero Achilles was invincible except for his Achilles tendon, which was shot by an arrow and later caused his death. Today, arrows rarely pierce the tendon, but it still remains a huge weakness to modern man. Why does it cause so many problems?

Well, in podiatry we literally see hundreds of different problems and sadly, a tight Achilles is arguably one of the most common root causes of foot pains and problems. A tight Achilles causes abnormal pulls when we walk and structures in the foot have to take a beating because of it. Recently I had a patient with only foot pains and NO Achilles pains.  He looked at me strangely and said, ‘So, you want me to stretch my pain-free legs and it will help fix my FOOT pains?!’ The answer was basically, ‘Yes.’ In a matter of weeks he was feeling better.

Sometimes the Achilles hurts and sometimes it doesn’t but if you have heel pain, tendon pain, muscle cramps, diabetic ulcers, forefoot pains, shins splints, and even bunions and you can join the Greek Hero and blame at least part of it on your Achilles.

Don’t  Live Life In Pain!

Call us at 505.880.1000 today to make an appointment.

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

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