5 Signs Your Feet Might Need Orthotics
When asked who needs custom orthotics, a common answer many people immediately turn to is: someone else.
Surely you couldn’t need custom orthotics, right? Those are only for people who are older, or who are in more pain, or who have other kinds of foot and ankle issues.
But here’s the truth: orthotics defy stereotypes. Orthotics, like many other tools we use here at Premier Podiatry Group, can benefit people from many different walks of life with many different types of conditions. They can provide the alignment and cushioning needed to relieve pain not just in the feet, but farther up the body as well.
If we believe they will help you, we will recommend them—it’s as simple as that.
What are some signs that custom orthotics might be something to consider for you? There can be many reasons, but we’ll go into a few of the more common ones here.
(And we promise not to make it sound like a Jeff Foxworthy bit.)
Your Shoes Are Wearing Out Unevenly
An abnormal foot structure, such as having flat feet, can cause an imbalance that influences the way we walk or bear weight on our feet. This, in turn can place extra stress on certain areas of the feet, or even the knees and hips, causing pain over time.
A good way to tell to if you might have an abnormal foot structure is by checking a pair of long-serving shoes. Does the tread on your sole look much more worn out on one side than the other? Does one shoe overall look more worn down? These are both signs of an abnormal gait and should be checked out by a professional. Orthotics can provide the correction and cushioning to take stress off areas before they become problematic.
Foot Pain is a Daily Experience
This one sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at the human mind’s ability to reason itself out of getting the help it needs.
If you come home every night and your feet are aching, you can pass it off on your shoes. If you wake up every morning and your heels hurt hitting the floor, you can chalk it up to part of getting older.
In some cases, you might even be right. But blaming something isn’t the same as treating it! Custom orthotics could be what you need to provide cushioning at work or stress relief from the plantar fasciitis that makes your mornings miserable.
Or maybe something else is needed, instead. The first step, however, is seeking help and getting to the root of the problem!
Your Family Has a History of Foot and Gait Problems
Most cases of abnormal foot structure and misalignment are the result of genetic inheritance. If your parents or grandparents had arch problems, odds are pretty good you do, too.
An abnormal foot structure does not always mean something needs to be done about it. However, knowing your history and being aware that problems might develop in the future can be very helpful. If pain or discomfort starts to develop because of your gait or foot structure, orthotics can help put a stop to it before it becomes a more complicated and chronic condition.
In other words, you don’t have to reach a certain threshold of pain before orthotics can become a viable option. In some cases, they can be a super preventative measure.
You Recently Suffered an Injury Affecting Your Lower Limbs
Injuries to the ankle, leg, knee, or hip can have immediate, altering effects on the way you walk. The recovery process, sometimes involving the wearing of a boot or other device, can also affect the way you get around.
In these cases, the temporary use of an orthotic can help prevent additional lower limb or back pain until your injury fully heals. It’s a good way to save an additional trip to a specialist.
Your Workouts Keep Leaving You in Recovery Mode
Many athletes benefit from orthotics greatly, and need them because of the excess force they often place on their bodies in their pastimes.
Whether you’re a seasoned participant or someone who just likes to get out on weekends, persistent pain and problems means something is wrong.
In some cases, you may be ramping up your intensity too suddenly and doing too much too soon. In other cases, though, imbalance can come into play once again, leaving you more vulnerable to pain and injuries.
An athlete who finds help in a good pair of custom orthotics can find their risks of injury greatly reduced. The realignment and cushioning of the orthotics serves them well in keeping the forces at play better tempered.
Not only that, but athletes often find they get fatigued less easily with orthotics as well! Why might this be? When your gait is abnormal, your body often must fire more muscles to provide stability to your entire body. With that balance better restored, less energy is expended in this effort and can be channeled more efficiently.
All Signs Point to Action
Custom orthotics are great tools to provide individualized help for those suffering from certain conditions. They are not always the right or only option, though.
Perhaps physical therapy might be a better fit; an advanced treatment such as HyProCure or laser therapy could be also be an option.
Whatever might help, our experts are more than happy to discuss your choices with you and help you walk away confident in your decision. If signs of trouble keep popping up, don’t ignore them any longer. The sooner a problem is addressed, the more effectively it can be treated!
Our offices in Ebensburg and Johnstown are happy to accept new patients from Cambria and Blair counties. Call us at (814) 472-2660 or fill out our online contact form to have a member of our staff schedule an appointment with you.