In many cases, pain in the back or neck, hips, legs, knees, and ankles can stem from your feet because of their shape, their alignment, your weight and height, or injuries and physical ailments. This is when orthotics can provide a great source of relief.
Orthotics can relieve or prevent pain by adjusting your gait and properly aligning your feet, ankles, legs, knees, and back. Your gait refers to your walking pattern, which affects the way you walk, how your foot makes contact with the ground, and how your weight shifts from one step to the next.
One of the most common conditions that calls for orthotics as a treatment is over-pronation, or "flat feet". If the arch of your foot is too low or if it is completely flat, this can cause noticeable pain and will affect how your feet absorb impact. It will also throw off the alignment of your entire body, causing your feet, ankles, and knees to roll inward. Orthotics provide arch support that evenly distributes pressure and properly aligns your body from the feet up.
Learn more about Flat Feet >>
On the flip-side, under-pronation, or supination, is a condition in which your arches are actually higher than they should be. This causes an outward rolling of your feet, ankles, and knees, and causes the majority of impact to be absorbed by the outer edge of the foot. Neither of these arch conditions are healthy, and they can both cause serious pain and injury. Orthotics for high arches can relieve foot pain and fatigue when used correctly and consistently.
Other reasons you may need orthotics
Development of Calluses
If you are consistently developing calluses on the bottoms of your feet, it can be a sign that your gait is uneven. This uneven distribution of pressure and friction causes calluses to develop on your foot in places like underneath your big toe, the ball of your foot, or even on the outside of the big toe. By correcting your gait and relieving pressure on these areas, orthotics can reduce instances of callus growth.
See our post about Causes and Treatments of Corns and Calluses here >>
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition of the band of tissue, called the Plantar Fascia, which connects your heel to the base of each of your five toes. When this tissue becomes inflamed or excessively stretched, you can start to experience dull to severe pain in the heel. Pain and discomfort caused by plantar fasciitis can be reduced when you have proper support for your foot, such as orthotics. They help realign your feet, allowing them to function as they are supposed to, and they relieve stress and strain on your plantar fascia. When using orthotics over a consistent period of time, you can even reduce long-term complications caused by plantar fasciitis, such as midfoot arthritis.
Vionic footwear has been proven to relieve pain caused by plantar fasciitis >>
Flat, unsupportive shoes
The best part about orthotics is that you can add them to footwear that you already own. If you already have footwear you like, but they are flat or don't properly support your feet, you can slip in a pair of orthotics to receive a comparable benefit to orthopedic shoes. However, they are less expensive, they provide instant relief, and they allow you to stick with footwear styles that you are familiar with.
Midwest Podiatry Centers sells Vionic footwear at all five clinics >>
Other foot ailments
Orthotics can provide relief for other conditions of the foot as well like bunions, heel spurs, tendinitis, and arthritis. Again, orthotics help alleviate these conditions by properly aligning your feet and reducing friction and pressure caused by foot deformities. If you don't have any of these conditions, you may actually be able to prevent them from developing by providing your feet with the support they need. Be proactive and avoid complications before they arise.
Let one of our podiatrists fit you with the right pair of orthotics. Schedule an appointment today >>
If you are new to wearing orthotics, or are trying out a new pair, be sure to ease your way into them. Wear them for just a few hours a day until your feet are able to adjust to the added support. It's also best to replace them every six months, or when you begin to notice they are wearing out.
If you have concerns about the fit, size, or type of orthotic that is best for you, schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists. Our clinics are conveniently located in and around the Metro area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and include Richfield, Downtown Skyway, Blaine, St. Anthony, and Vadnais Heights. Call 612-788-8778 or send us an appointment request here.