How Do Good Orthotics Help with Heel Pain?
In this article, we’ll discuss what orthotics are, what they treat, and how they can help with heel pain. We’ll also talk about the different levels of orthotic support and which type of orthotics might be right for you.
What are Orthotics?
Orthotics are devices that are worn inside the shoes. They’re designed to correct abnormal foot biomechanics and relieve pain in the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.
Custom orthotics are specifically designed for each person and will not be much help to others. These custom orthotics are built to target various foot problems such as heel pain, bunions, arthritis, diabetic foot problems, and more. The rigid materials will, for example, provide for people who need to keep their feet from hyper-pronating, such as athletes.
What Do Orthotics Treat?
Orthotics can be used to treat various conditions, but they’re most commonly used to treat heel pain and plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes pain in the bottom of the foot near the heel. It’s often caused by overpronation when the foot rolls inward too much when you walk or run.
Are Just Good Shoes Enough?
Unfortunately, no. Even if you have the best shoes, they won’t provide the support that your feet need if you have a foot condition like plantar fasciitis. Orthotics will provide you with the support and cushion that will help rid you of heel pain with every step you take.
The Three “Levels” of Orthotic Support
There are three basic levels of orthotic support:
- Soft supports are made from materials like foam and gel. They provide cushioning and shock absorption, but they don’t do much to control abnormal foot biomechanics.
- Semi-rigid or semi-flexible supports are made from materials like plastic and leather. They’re stiffer than soft supports, so they can help control abnormal foot biomechanics better.
- Rigid or custom-made supports are made from materials like carbon fiber and titanium. While the first two levels can be found in pharmacies and grocery stores, this level of orthotic is usually ordered through podiatrist offices. They’re the most expensive, but they provide the best support for abnormal foot biomechanics.
Which Type of Orthotics Do I Need?
The type of orthotics you need depends on the severity of your foot condition. If you have a mild condition like heel pain, you might only need soft support. But if you have a more severe condition like plantar fasciitis, you might need semi-rigid or rigid supports. Before you get some store-bought shoe inserts, have a chat with Dr. Joel Foster to find the best treatment.
Get Help with Heel Pain and Custom Orthotics
If you’re not sure which type of orthotics you need, our team can help. We’ll assess your condition and recommend the best treatment options for you. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.