When your feet hurt, you want relief. Sore, achy feet keep you from enjoying everything from backyard races with your grandchildren to that 5K you’ve been training for. You might have put up with it until now, gradually limiting your activities, because you didn’t realize treatment could help, or feared it would mean surgery and a long recovery. The good news is that custom orthotics may relieve your discomfort and get you back to normal without surgery.
Shoe Inserts—Who Needs Them?
Basic over-the-counter inserts are available for a variety of problems. Heel cups, metatarsal pads, toe separators, and full-foot inserts can be seen in department stores, pharmacies, and even online. These are generic inserts designed to give a little extra support or cushioning. They provide soft padding for a high arch, a heel that has lost its natural fat pads, or just a pair of shoes that need a little more support to make your feet more comfortable. Some also protect the area where the shoes rub against your feet.
If you go this route, you are basically finding palliative solutions to your foot pain. Think about what you need them for: they could be a little cushioning for those work shoes you stand in all day, for example, or a good support for your arch while running. Bring your shoes to make sure the liners fit and try them out, making sure you can return them if they don’t work. Sometimes, the wrong insert can cause more instead of less problems for your feet.
When Custom Orthotics Are a Better Answer
When support insoles are designed for your specific feet, you don’t need to worry that they may do more harm than good. Prescription custom inserts will address your particular foot structure. They fit in most types of shoes or boots, so you shouldn't need to replace the your favorite shoes. They are molded to fit your feet and give you support exactly where you need it. Accommodative types are soft devices that work great for protecting diabetic foot ulcers and cushioning painful calluses or deformities in your feet.
Functional versions are designed from semi-rigid materials and are used to treat painful injuries like shin splints, tendinitis, or plantar fasciitis. They do more than just relieve pain, however. They also help control abnormal movement of the foot, correcting the faulty mechanics that can cause your problems. By distributing your weight more evenly over the entire sole of your foot, they relieve the pressure on certain vulnerable areas.
Finding the Right Support
Mark Gasparini, D.P.M. can prescribe the exact device you need. We will examine your feet, analyze your gait as you walk, and may use digital images to get a better picture of your foot structure. Computer foot analysis will show exactly where your foot needs support and give a blueprint for construction of your orthotics. Once you begin wearing them, they will help align the bones in your feet and ankles, accommodate any deformities, and improve how your extremities function. The pain relief is often dramatic and very welcome. You will be able participate in activities that you enjoy once again.
Pain should not be your normal state of affairs, and there is no good reason to put up with it. Call our office in Massapequa, NY at (516) 804-9038, or request a consultation online. We can usually treat your discomfort with conservative methods and are eager to get you back to enjoying life again!