Posts for: August, 2020
What are orthotics?
These specialized shoe inserts are a little different from the ones you can find at your local drugstore. Orthotics are special, custom-made shoe inserts designed and fabricated by your podiatrist to specifically fit your foot and its unique needs. There are many reasons why a podiatrist may recommend orthotics.
Sometimes orthotics are used to alleviate symptoms and improve common foot, leg, or even back problems, while other times your podiatrist may recommend them to improve the support and health of your feet to prevent problems in the first place.
Do I need orthotics?
Orthotics is just one way to treat foot and leg problems and your doctor may recommend orthotics if you are dealing with,
- Leg, hip, or back pain
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Plantar fasciitis
- Certain injuries to the foot or ankle
Orthotics can help people of all ages and backgrounds, from athletic kids and adults to those who are overweight and seniors. Feet continue to change as we get older, and as aches and pains set in, custom orthotics could be what you need to help make getting around as easy as it once was.
Types of Orthotics
There are many different kinds of materials that can be used to create orthotics. The type of condition you are dealing with will most likely help your podiatrist determine which material to use.
Orthotics range from soft and flexible to hard and rigid. Those with plantar fasciitis or diabetic feet are more likely to benefit from the cushioning and additional support of soft orthotics while athletes and those who often wear dress shoes are more likely to benefit from rigid orthotics.
If you are interested in orthotics and how they could help you, talk with your podiatrist to learn more.
Whether we are walking, running, or jumping, it is our heel that first makes contact with the ground. This means that it bears the full impact of the shock as well as carry the entire weight of our body. So it is not surprising that many people will experience heel pain at some time in their lives.
Mild heel pain should be gone overnight. But it could easily worsen with prolonged standing or walking. If you have yet to visit your podiatrist at Oakton Foot and Ankle Center here in Fairfax, VA, Dr. Steven Vetter or Dr. Jugal Dharia, here are some easy guidelines to alleviate your symptoms.
Simple Home Treatments for Heel Pain
- Rest and Stretch. When the cause of the pain is overuse or over fatigue, resting the affected foot may suffice. Combine resting your foot with stretching exercises to prevent pulling and tightening of the plantar fascia.
- Proper Footwear. The simple case of wearing proper fitting footwear that supports the biomechanics of your foot will be a big help in relieving heel pain. This prevents stressing the tissue at the bottom of your foot so it won’t get stretched and irritated.
- Wearing a Splint. Bracing the foot and ankle stretches the plantar fascia to alleviate pain and maintains its proper position while sleeping.
- Healthy Weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is another way to relieve heel pain.
When Heel Pain Continues
Regardless of whether these home treatments work or not, the moment the pain continues or becomes chronic, it is time to visit your podiatrist in Fairfax, VA. There will be some procedures or treatments that your podiatrist can recommend to relieve heel pain. These might include a mix of the following:
- X-ray or MRI. An X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging will ensure that the cause of the pain is not a stress fracture or spur.
- Prescription pain relievers may be given for pain and inflammation.
- Physical Therapy and Orthotics. Physical therapy that includes stretching of the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia will be taught to strengthen the lower leg muscle. This may be accompanied by the use of custom-fitted orthotics so that the pressure on the feet can be distributed more evenly.
- Steroid medications can be injected into the tender areas to relieve pain.
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy. Sound waves are used to stimulate healing of the pain associated with chronic plantar fasciitis.
- Usually the last resort of podiatrists, surgery may be needed to relieve heel pain.
Contact Us for More Information, Questions, or Concerns About Heel Pain
Set an appointment with your podiatrist, Dr. Steven Vetter or Dr. Jugal Dharia, here at Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, by calling (703) 352-8888.
When to See a Podiatrist for Orthotics
Orthotic devices are also known as shoe inserts or insoles. They are designed to stabilize the feet and ankles and reduce pain in the joints. You may not be even aware that you could benefit from orthotics, read on to find out how they might help you.
Dr. Steven Vetter and Dr. Jugal Dharia are podiatrists at Oakton Foot and Ankle in Fairfax, VA. They can examine your feet and ankles and discuss how orthotics may help you.
Signs That you May Benefit from Orthotics
Fairfax residents may need to see a podiatrist for orthotics for the following reasons:
- You spend more than five hours a day on your feet: If you have a job that necessitates hours of standing, you are at risk of plantar fasciitis. This is a painful disorder that arises when the plantar ligament (connecting the heel to the toes) becomes overstretched.
- The soles of your shoes wear down unevenly: If the tread on your shoes is worn down on one side more than the other, this can be a sign that your feet have a tendency to turn inwards or outwards. Orthotics can correct this problem, helping you avoid foot pain.
- You have no arches or high arches: Either of these issues can prevent your shoes from providing the foot and ankle support that you need. Orthotic devices can offer support and regulate the balance of your feet.
- You are experiencing persistent pain in one or both feet or heels: If the pain is severe, or tends to hurt more during the morning, you may be suffering from a condition such as plantar fasciitis.
Don’t avoid seeking help for your foot pain. If you live in Fairfax, VA and you would like to find out more about how orthotics can help your foot and ankle pain, call Dr. Vetter and Dr. Dharia at (703) 352-8888 to schedule an appointment.
Here are some possible reasons why you may be dealing with foot and ankle swelling,
It’s normal for there to be a little bit of swelling in the ankles and feet due to extra fluid and pressure placed on the body from the developing uterus. This is more common for women in their third trimester, especially the weeks leading up to delivery, or during hotter months. However, it’s important to keep an eye on your swelling to make sure it’s not severe or appearing suddenly. If you notice significant swelling of the feet and ankles along with stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or headaches, call your doctor right away, as this could be a sign of high blood pressure (known as preeclampsia).
You have a foot or ankle injury
This is a common reason why people often turn to a podiatrist. Everything from strains to sprained ankles and fractured bones in the foot can lead to sudden swelling after an injury. It’s a good idea to ice the injury to help reduce swelling. If your swelling is accompanied by severe pain or trouble walking on the foot then you should see a podiatrist immediately.
You could have a blood clot
A blood clot in the leg, often known as deep vein thrombosis, can stop blood from flowing through the legs back to the heart. As a result of the blockage, this can lead to swelling in the ankles and the affected leg. Since a blood clot can be particularly dangerous it is important that you seek immediate medical attention if your swelling is accompanied by leg pain, fever, and any color changes in your leg.
You may have heart or kidney disease
It is possible that swelling in your feet or ankles could be warning us of problems with your kidneys, liver, or heart. If you find that your ankles start to swell at night, your body could be retaining both salt and water (a possible sign of heart failure). When kidneys don’t function properly excess fluid can accumulate within the body and lead to swelling. If you notice swelling along with weight gain, loss of appetite, and fatigue then you should talk with your doctor.
These are only some of the reasons why you may be dealing with foot and ankle swelling. Other causes could be,
- Consuming too much salt
- Sitting or standing for too long
- Side effects from certain medications
- An infection (more common in those with diabetic neuropathy)
- Weak or damaged veins in the legs