Do you have pain at the back of your foot in the heel? You may have thought it was due to a bad shoe choice, but nothing has improved. Rather, it may be caused by the way you stand and walk, as well as the amount of support you have in your shoe. Orthotics may be a solution. Once placed, you may notice a significant amount of improvement in a matter of minutes and especially over time as you use them. Could this be the solution you’re looking for?
What Are Orthotics?
Orthotics are specially designed shoe and heel inserts. They are prescribed specifically for you to ensure they fit properly to provide your feet with ample support and protection. Properly selected orthotics can ensure exceptional improvement in several ways. Specifically, they work to ensure that, with every step you take, you’re moving in a way that’s not impacting the structure of your feet in a negative way.
Orthotics add a layer of comfort to your shoe. They also provide the support needed to guide your steps properly. As a result, orthotics help to relieve heel pain.
What Can Orthotics Do?
Orthotics provide proper support for your foot, especially in the heel. When you use custom-designed orthotics for your feet, they can help to retrain your foot as well as the lower leg muscles. By doing this, they teach your food and leg muscles how to provide you with the support that does not create painful pressure points. The more you wear them, the less heel pain you’ll feel.
Types of Orthotics
The key to relieving heel pain is to choose the right orthotics. To be clear, not just any device placed into your shoe is going to offer the type of relief or improvement you need. However, when you invest in a quality product designed for your foot, the changes can be remarkable.
Over-the-Counter Shoe Inserts
Let’s make it clear from the start that over-the-counter products purchased at big mass retailers do not provide orthotic relief. They cannot work as they should because they are not designed for your specific foot. There are a variety of types available, including arch supports, heel liners, and basic insoles. They aim to provide some cushioning for the foot to alleviate discomfort. These do not require a prescription.
Inferior, low-cost products do not work. They do not provide relief and may make heel pain worse in some cases.
Prefabricated Arch Supports
You may hear about prefabricated arch supports or prefabricated orthotics. These are designed for mass production. They may provide some gentle support to the arch of the foot. The problem with them is that they’re not contoured to fit your foot. As a result, they can lead to further damage to your foot as well as worsening heel pain, especially once they run down.
Custom orthotics are made just for you. They require a prescription but can be transformative in the way they support your foot. There are two types:
Functional orthotics: These are designed using semi-rigid materials. They help improve abnormal positioning and movement of the foot that could be behind your pain. They can help with high-arched foot, Hallux limitus, flat foot, and numerous other conditions.
Accommodative orthotics: This type is designed to provide a compression material that works as a shock absorber with each step. This can help with conditions like plantar fasciitis or diabetic foot ulcers.
What Causes Heel Pain?
The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. This causes a stabbing pain in the feet, which is most impactful during your first steps in the morning. The pain improves with a bit of walking, but any time you sit for a while, it may come back.
A second common cause of heel pain is Achilles tendon rupture, though this could indicate a serious level of pain that makes it impossible to walk on it.
There could be other causes, including Achilles tendonitis, bursitis, heel spurs, or stress fractures.
How Can Orthotics Help Relieve Heel Pain?
When custom orthotics are created for you, they are slipped into the shoe. With every step, they provide enough shock absorption that you do not feel pain with each step. Rather, the foot has ample support to move properly.
Get the Help Your Heels Need
You’re on your feet all day. Pain in your heels isn’t going to go away. Instead, let our team help you. Set up a consultation and appointment with our team. We’ll determine what is happening with your heel and offer a solution for it when you do. That may include the use of a custom orthotic. You can find relief from your pain.
Schedule an appointment at our Berkeley, CA office by calling (510) 647-3744 or contact us online.