Posts for: December, 2018
Orthotics could be right for you if you experience discomfort or pain when on your feet due to an irregular walking pattern. By helping correct a person’s step pattern when walking, orthotics can reduce strain on the feet and minimize or completely eliminate foot pain and discomfort. Custom orthotics available through a podiatrist deliver the best results. At Oakton Foot and Ankle Center, Dr. Steven Vetter and Dr. Jugal Dharia are your podiatrists for custom orthotics in Fairfax, VA.
Types of Orthotics
Orthotics are also known as orthoses and are devices placed in the shoes to properly align the feet and ankles when walking and moving about. Problematic stepping patterns when walking or running can occur when the feet and ankles are not properly aligned. This misalignment can place additional strain on certain areas of the feet or ankles, which can result in pain and discomfort. Custom orthotics can correct foot and ankle placement when walking or running and alleviate pain and discomfort.
There are three types of custom orthotics available. Your podiatrist for custom orthotics in Fairfax can recommend the right type for you. Types of orthotics include:
- Soft — Provides support and cushioning, alleviates pressure on the balls of the feet, and absorbs shock. Soft orthotics are beneficial for patients with arthritis in the feet and ankles, diabetes-related foot problems, or foot deformities.
- Rigid — Alleviates discomfort and pain in the legs and lower back by correcting the positioning of the feet when walking or running. Rigid orthotics are beneficial for people with lower back pain due to an irregular step pattern.
- Semi-Rigid — Provides stability by correcting foot positioning and improving foot balance. Semi-rigid orthotics are beneficial for athletes and patients with flat feet.
Benefits of Orthotics
Custom orthotics prescribed by a podiatrist offer multiple benefits. The protect the feet, provide support, absorb shock, provide cushioning, and reduce strain. Other benefits include correcting foot and ankle positioning when walking or running, providing additional stability, and reducing discomfort and pain. Custom orthotics help your feet feel more comfortable on a daily basis. An additional benefit of custom orthotics is that they are created from plaster molds of your feet so the fit will be just right.
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort when walking, running, or even just standing, orthotics could help. A podiatrist can help determine if orthotics are right for you. For custom orthotics in Fairfax, schedule an appointment with Dr. Vetter or Dr. Dharia by calling Oakton Foot and Ankle Center at (703) 352-8888.
An ankle sprain occurs when the foot rolls or twists to the point where a ligament inside stretches beyond its normal capacity. Ankle sprains are extremely common, with an estimated 25,000 sprains happening in the United States every day. Athletes and people who work outdoors or on uneven surfaces are at a higher risk for spraining their ankle. Regular wear of high-heeled shoes is also a risk factor.
Sprained ankles are diagnosed by degree; that is, the severity of the sprain and the symptoms it produces. Grade 1 sprains are the mildest, with minimal swelling and tenderness due to a slight ligament tear. Usually, Grade 1 sprains still allow for weight to be put on the ankle. Grade 2 sprains have a more significant injury to the ligament and, while walking may still be possible, it is painful. Grade 3 sprains are diagnosed when the affected ligament has sustained a complete tear and the ankle cannot bear weight. Grade 3 sprains typically display obvious bruising and swelling around the ankle.
The grade of an ankle sprain will determine the treatment. The tried-and-true RICE method - rest, ice, compression, and elevation - is usually sufficient for Grade 1 sprains. Refraining from walking, keeping the ankle elevated for the first two days, stabilizing the ankle with a compression dressing, and applying ice to reduce swelling helps the sprain resolve within 2 to 4 weeks. Grade 2 sprains also respond well to RICE treatment, although healing typically takes longer and a firmer immobilization device, like a splint, is typically recommended. Grade 3 sprains often require similar treatment used for ankle fractures; a cast or brace may be needed and surgery may be considered for some patients.
To ensure proper healing, it is important to follow the recommendations of your podiatrist. Attempting to return to normal activity too soon could result in a repeat injury or permanent ankle instability.
What is Sesamoiditis?
Sesamoids are small bones that are only connected to tendons or surrounded in muscle. This only appears in a few places in the body, one of which is the foot. Two very tiny sesamoids are found in the underside of the foot near the big toe. One is on the outer side of the foot and the other bone is close to the middle of the foot. This structure provides a smooth surface for the tendons to slide over, which helps the tendons move muscles. They help with weight bearing and also help to elevate the bones of the big toe. So now that you know what sesamoids are, you might be wondering what sesamoiditis is and what its symptoms are.
Just like any other bone, sesamoids can unfortunately fracture. The tendons surrounding the sesamoids may also become irritated or inflamed and this is what sesamoiditis is. Sesamoiditis is also a form of tendonitis and is a common condition among ballerinas, runners, and baseball catchers due to the pressure that is constantly placed on their feet.
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis may include:
- Pain under the big toe or ball of the foot
- Swelling and/or bruising
- Difficulty in bending and straightening the big toe
- Resting and stopping any activity that could be causing pain and inflammation
- Anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and aspirin only after consulting your physician
- Icing the sole of the foot
- Wearing soft-soled and low-heeled shoes
- Cushioning inserts in the shoes
If symptoms persist after treatments, you may need to wear a removable brace for 4-6 weeks to help the bones heal. Call your podiatrist today to ask any questions about sesamoiditis and get on your way to pain-free feet once again!