Plantar fasciitis is probably the most common condition I see as a pedorthist, and in severe cases, extremely debilitating.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that starts on the bottom of your heel bone and inserts on metatarsal heads at the ball of your foot. This fascia acts to support the arch in the foot. If this tissue becomes irritated from overuse or other biomechanical irritation, small tears begin to form throughout the day. During periods of relaxation, such as overnight or sitting for long periods of time, these tears begin to heal and scar tissue is laid down like a bandaid. When you first stand after these periods of rest, the scar tissue tears from the heel bone causing extreme pain with the first few steps, and the cycle begins again through the day. This is, in a nutshell, plantar fasciitis.
A custom made foot orthotic acts to limit certain movements in the foot and promotes others in order to offload the plantar fascia so that it can heal properly. For example, if someone pronates excessively during their gait, the orthotic acts to limit that rolling in movement so that the fascia doesn't pull from the heel like it naturally wants to.
In many situations, the orthotic is worn as much as possible until the plantar fascia is fully healed and then can be worn less and less, much like a splint.
There are many reasons that plantar fasciitis may develop but these are some of the most common:
Other treatment options in combination with custom orthotics can lead to quicker relief:
It is important to act quickly when you experience these types of symptoms. More often than not I see people who have been dealing with this pain for months, hoping that it will naturally go away. In many cases, the orthotic is relatively quick in relieving pain if caught relatively early.
If you experience heel pain please don’t hesitate to call 519-787-8111 or visit here to make an appointment to see how a pedorthist and custom orthotics can help.
Many people experience knee pain for a variety of different reasons. These reasons can include anything from osteoarthritis to traumatic injury to general wear and tear.
The knee is one of, if not the most, complex joint in the body. Generally speaking, the knee joint is where the thigh bone (femur) and the lower leg bone (tibia) meet. This structure is strengthened side to side and front to back by ligaments and cushioned by cartilage between the bones. If these structures become compromised in any way, often pain will arise.
A person’s structural alignment can also cause discomfort. As a pedorthist we look at a person’s alignment at their hips, knees, and ankles and the actual shape of the bones of the lower body. Everyone’s shape is different, and some types of alignment are more susceptible to experiencing knee pain.
Custom foot orthotics can help knee pain in 3 main ways:
1. Force distribution
If you are experiencing knee pain and would like to discuss options to limit your pain or discomfort, please do not hesitate to call 519-787-8111 or visit here to make an appointment for a pedorthic assessment.
Many people know that diabetes is the inability to cause any or enough insulin which results in an increased about of glucose in the blood stream. Many people do not know the effects that this can have on your extremities, especially your feet. This increase in blood sugar levels can cause poor circulation and may lead to damaged nerves.
These damaged nerves may progressively lose the ability to send signals to the rest of your body, which can result in a numb and tingling sensation in your feet, called a neuropathy. This ability to feel heat, cold, rubbing, or even shoe fit is extremely important for the body to be able to protect itself. Without this feedback from the nerves, the diabetic becomes much more susceptible to redness and blistering.
Without proper blood flow, a sore that has developed won’t get the nutrients delivered to it to properly heal. The combination of neuropathies and poor circulation can lead to ulcering and, in some cases, possible amputation.
A Canadian Certified Pedorthist can help by checking current shoe fit, recommending proper footwear, or offloading any high pressure areas (corns and calluses) with an orthotic device.
If you experience diabetic neuropathies or would like more information on diabetic footcare please do not hesitate to call 519-787-8111 or schedule an appointment here to see how we can help.
I've attached a great article provided by Industrial Alliance in partnership with the Pedorthic Association of Canada.
This is a great explanation of what you should and should not experience during an assessment and tips for purchasing custom orthotics. It also includes a lot of information on "red flags" to look for if you're concerned that you're not getting a truly custom device.
Insurance companies may seem like they are asking for a lot from you before reimbursing your claim, but they are trying to ensure that you are in fact getting what you're paying for!
One of the most common questions I get is “why do I need custom orthotics when I can get over the counter insoles for $60 at the drug store?” The answer is simple – you’re paying for a custom device versus a generic arch support.
When a patient decides to go ahead with a pair of custom made orthotics, I take a 3 dimensional foam box cast of both feet. This mold is then filled with plaster and once dry, the foam is peeled off leaving me with the positive mold of the person’s feet. Materials are heat molded and vacuum pressed to this mold. Because of this fabrication process, the orthotics are only going to be comfortable for the person they were made for, no one else.
When someone walks into a store and either steps on a pressure mat or chooses an insert based on shoe size, they are getting a generic insole. This means that the company has created an “average” arch height that they believe will work for the majority of people, possibly solving their problem at a reduced cost.
Over the counter insoles can be a great option for many reasons, including: decreased price, ..
That being said, some over the counter insoles are better than others in terms of structure and support. The following are features to look out for:
Some brands to look for: Sole, Birkenstock, Superfeet
If you try over the counter insoles and notice a difference but your pain isn’t quite gone, it may be a sign that your body likes the support but may need a little something more, such as a custom orthotic. My best advice is to listen to your body.. it is usually the best indicator of what it needs!
Check back often to see what's happening with Align Pedorthics. We will be posting everything from information articles to upcoming events to interesting facts. Please feel free to leave any topic requests in the comments section.
Laura Van den Borre,