One of the most common types of pain is that of the feet and heels. Our feet pain more than the rest of the body because they have to bear our body weight most of the time. Foot pain that is superficial can be treated easily; however, pain that is internal could be a cause of attention. At such times it is best to see a podiatrist and seek medical assistance. If you are unable to walk normally due to the pain, you end up putting pressure on other parts of the body. This can cause further damage as the rest of the body is not designed to support your body weight.
When podiatrists examine your foot they mostly suggest physiotherapy, because issues like muscle or joint pain can be healed with regular physiotherapy. Once you start physiotherapy, your physiotherapist will advise you to wear orthotics or foot insole. Orthotics are extremely helpful in easing pain and avoid the extra pressure that comes on your foot and lower limbs.
The Role of Orthotics in Relieving Foot Pain
Orthotics are superficial gear that modify the physical structure and provide support to the skeletal limbs. They work as shock absorbers when they are worn as foot orthotics. They support the appropriate alignment of the feet. Foot orthotics are remedial foot insoles that are worn inside the shoe in a way that they support the arch of your foot. They realign the lower legs, heels and ankles. As per studies almost 95% of foot pain and conditions like shin splits, plantar fasciitis, heel spur, Achilles tendon etc can be managed by wearing foot insoles.
Most of the times, doctor suggest custom-made orthotics when the patient seeks treatment for foot pain. The combination of physiotherapy and use of orthotics is the best way to treat most heel or foot problems, unless it is extremely serious and needs surgery. Even in cases where surgery is needed, after the surgery the podiatrist will advice the use of foot insoles inside the patient’s shoes for prevent further damage. There are a range of insoles available in the market like toe separators, heel cups, bunion cushions etc that are used to relieve foot pain.
Foot Orthotics for Lower Limbs Pain Management
The use of foot orthotics is not limited to foot pain; rather it is widely used for pain management of the lower limbs. Here is a look at the lower limbs conditions that foot orthotics can cure.
· Low Back - Lifestyle changes and desk jobs result in major percentage of the adult population complaining of low back pain. The condition is treated as per the severity of the pain and it can range from physiotherapy to surgery. Whatever treatment the doctor decides, they will advice the patient to use foot insoles. Even if a patient has to undergo surgery for lower back pain, wearing foot insoles after the surgery helps in managing pain. Wearing foot orthotics like heel cups help as less pressure is exerted on the lower back, which averts further damage to the back.
· Arthritis – Pain caused to the lower limbs due to arthritis can be controlled by regular exercising and wearing foot insoles. In most cases of arthritis, pain management is the main focus, as with age treating the condition becomes difficult. Wearing foot insoles regularly is the best and the easiest treatment. Prolonged use helps control pain caused in the hip, thigh and ankles due to pressure.
· Knee –The knee pain is a common occurrence and can be caused by age, excess weight, weak muscles, arthritis, sports injury etc. This condition has no substantial cure but it can be reduced considerably by regular flexibility exercise of the knees, losing weight and wearing orthotic inserts in the shoes. These foot insoles work as shock absorbers and reduce the pressure on the knee.
Who Should Wear Foot Orthotics?
Doctors suggest sportsmen to use foot orthotics to prevent structural damage to their foot or lower limb problems. The fact is you don’t need to be in pain to wear foot orthotics; you can use them as a preventive measure from any type of foot injury or to support your lower limbs. Apart from muscle and joint pain in the lower limbs, regular use of foot orthotics also ensure relief in other conditions like warts, fungus, dry skin, athletes foot and perspiration and foot odor.
Always use foot orthotics and insoles that are of a high quality and that are available in different sizes. Avoid ‘one size fits all’ options in the market and opt for a custom fit for better pain management. Speak to a podiatrist before buying any orthotics over the counter for best results.