The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Give Chronic Pain The Boot: 3 Common Foot Injuries That Custom Orthotics Can Help

Posted by on Friday, December 5th, 2014

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We know what you’re thinking. You’ve been in such debilitating pain for so long, how could a piece of polypropylene inserted into your shoes really help your condition? NY podiatrists at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine have seen prescription orthotics have a significant impact on a number of foot and ankle issues over the years. Rigid “functional” orthotics control abnormal motion and treat injuries like plantar fasciitis and tendinitis, while soft “accommodative” orthotics address diabetic foot ulcers and calluses. Over-the-counter orthotics may give you extra padding to help with mild discomfort, but serious pain should be addressed by a trained professional.

repetitive foot injuries
Not every foot falls perfectly flat during walking or running. This can cause repetitive strain injuries over time. Help from a podiatrist can address whatever biomechanical issues you may have. Image Source: Flickr.com (Paul Huxley)

Here are three of the most common repetitive strain injuries The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine routinely treats with orthotics:

Plantar Fasciitis

This condition occurs when there is inflammation in the plantar fascia tendon along the bottom of your foot from heel to toe. Too much physical activity without rest and naturally flat feet are common causes. Orthotics can offload pressure from the plantar fascia to alleviate your symptoms. A study conducted in Ohio found that people with custom orthotics fared much better than those with over-the-counter products.

Achilles tendinitis

Inflammation of the Achilles tendon often occurs in people who do a lot of running. Orthotics can lift up the heel to reduce the strain on this tendon. A 2009 study found that “Individuals with biomechanical problems of the foot may benefit from orthotics.” Over-the-counter products were found to help with excessive pronation, when the foot rolls inward as a person walks, but “mal-alignments caused by forefoot or rearfoot abnormalities may benefit from custom orthotics.”

Metatarsalgia

The shock absorbers beneath the five long bones in your feet can become irritated and inflamed with repeated stress, especially if your footwear is inadequate. Metatarsalgia is a blanket term that can include stress fractures in the bone, increased pressure placed on the nerves, or dislocation, and capsulitis. Foot mechanics, tight Achilles tendons, and calluses may all contribute to the development of this pain. Any of these issues can lead to joint swelling, chronic stiffness, and lost range of motion if not treated early. Elevating some or all of the metatarsals can relieve pressure and alleviate discomfort. According to Podiatry Today“Orthotics are key components in treating metatarsalgia and one can employ various orthotic modifications after identifying the underlying etiology. Manipulation, shoe modifications, injections and surgery are other treatment options clinicians can use with or instead of orthotics.”

NY Podiatrists Heal Repetitive Strain Foot Injuries With Custom Orthotics

Over time, walking in worn-out shoes or running without addressing biomechanical abnormalities can take its toll, causing chronic pain. The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine is equipped with the latest technology to alleviate your foot pain, whether it’s through orthotics or another minimally invasive method such as shockwave therapy. During your initial exam, we’ll listen to your concerns, assess your foot structure, and use the latest technology to examine how you walk and run. If orthotics are needed, we’ll take a 3-D image of each foot, take measurements, and create a unique set of shoe inserts that will lead to greater comfort and mobility. Contact us to set up an appointment.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.