For years we have been helping patients suffering from knee pain.
In the first few weeks of this new year we have been asked to help several personal friends, all approaching or having passed that magical age of 50. All are still very actively participating in what would be considered high level recreational sports and have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in their knees or OA for short.
It is an extremely common condition, more than 4.6 million Canadians have been diagnosis with this condition, and while most are mature it can, as in my case manifest itself much earlier in life.
Most frequently used forms treatment involve the use of self or physician prescribed
anti-inflammatories, modification of activity, knee bracing, and surgical intervention when orthopaedic surgeons deem it suitable. Some of this OA is as a result of acute trauma to the joint, many are overuse and biomechanical in nature and like many conditions we treat most are multifactorial in origin and progression.
So the question is what does an individual do with diagnosed OA off the knee?.
If we limit our activity, then we gain weight and loose muscle tone both of which will further exacerbate the problem. Research shows that many orthopaedic surgical intervention do little to extend the life span and functionality of the joints and may accelerate functional instability and cartilage degeneration. In traumatic cases it may be necessary to surgically repair or stabilize the structures but strengthening is a key component to success.
How can a Chiropodist/Podiatrist help treat OA in the knee?
To answer that we have to accept that normal function of the knee is dependant upon a stable functional base. Without stability there can be either excessive internal or external rotation of the leg and joint, or hyperextension or limitation of knee flexion. These functional instabilities usually arise from structural misalignments we were born with or acquired over time. For us, the greatest challenge comes in identifying the origin of the instability and how it manifests itself during gait. In our clinics the most beneficial tool used in understanding the complex mechanism of functional compensation is our PediGait video analysis system. This HD camera system allows us to view our patients from every angle and slow their gait cycle down and compare side by side and before and after images. Additionally, it provides us with a baseline and thus a comparable history of progression throughout the treatment and subsequent management of each patient. .This information allows us to make necessary changes to footwear, daily habits, therapies and where necessary, design of functional orthotic devices for daily use. Only then are we able to improve functional control allowing the other members of the therapeutic team to work their magic through rehab and strengthening.
Too frequently we are presented with new patients who, post knee, ankle or hip surgery, have turned to us as a last option to improve their mobility. Often we discover that they have been walking in slippers, sandal or barefoot the majority of time during their recovery. While we cannot reverse the ravages of OA, we can help limit the advancement of the disease and enable healing to occur in the best possible environment.
Find out how wearing custom-made shoe inserts could help with painful, achy feet.
Heel pain is one of the most common issues that adults face. If you are an athlete or runner you may find yourself dealing with heel pain more than you would like to admit. Here at The Podiatry Associates in East Toronto, Whitby, Mississauga and Brantford, Ontario, our team of podiatrists and chiropodists can provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan to tackle heel pain caused by heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and everything in between. Find out more about custom orthotics and how they could alleviate your heel pain.
What are custom orthotics?
Custom orthotics are specially crafted devices that are placed within the shoes to help realign the joints and muscles of the foot and ankle. Just as glasses or contacts work to correct your vision, custom shoe inserts also work to correct imbalances and problems within the feet.
What are the benefits of custom orthotics?
Orthotics can be used to treat a wide range of problems and can be beneficial for,
- Taking stress and strain off the feet
- Redistributing pressure and force evenly throughout the foot
- Providing cushioning and support for the heels and arches of the feet
- Stabilizing the foot and ankle
- Providing shock absorption when walking or running
Custom orthotics are specifically designed to support your feet and your feet alone. This is what makes them different from the orthotics you can find over the counter. Custom orthotics can correct mechanical imbalances and provide your heels and arches with the proper support they need to take pressure off the areas as they heal. Of course, your podiatrist will recommend other treatment options along with custom orthotics to reduce pain and inflammation and to speed up healing.
When should I see a foot doctor for my heel pain?
When you turn to us for an evaluation we will ask questions about your symptoms, examine the feet and perform the proper diagnostic testing to be able to make a definitive diagnosis. The goal is to find out the cause of your heel pain. While some cases of heel pain will go away on their own with rest and home care, there are some cases in which plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis can become chronic. If you are dealing with recurring or unresponsive heel pain then seek immediate medical attention.
With offices in East Toronto, Whitby, Mississauga and Brantford, Ontario, The Podiatry Associates offers a full-service podiatry clinic to treat a variety of foot and ankle problems. If you want to find out more about custom orthotics and whether they are right for you call one of our clinics today to schedule an appointment.
Foot deformities and other chronic podiatric conditions can cause considerable pain and dysfunction for patients. Fortunately, here at Podiatry Associates in Mississauga, East Toronto, Whitby, and Brantford, ON, surgery and lengthy recovery are not the norm. Our foot specialists offer a number of treatments to address podiatric issues, including the use of customized orthotics to improve function, ease pain, and accommodate deformities. Could orthotics help you?
What is an orthotic?
Orthotics are custom-fabricated shoe inserts that are available from the podiatrists here at our offices in Mississauga, East Toronto, Whitby, and Brantford. Designed to cushion, protect, and balance your feet, orthotics present a wonderful alternative to more invasive interventions, such as surgery. Made according to your specific diagnosis, lifestyle, and foot structure, orthotics fit inside your shoes to deliver comfort and stability.
What kinds of orthotics are there?
Of course, we've all seen shoe inserts and insoles sold at the local pharmacy or supermarket. Sometimes termed "kiosk-generated products," these inserts provide limited benefits, especially when it comes to more specific concerns, such as bunions. Consequently, most podiatric issues are much better addressed through the high-quality materials, expert design, and individualized manufacturing process involved with orthotics.
In general, orthotics are either accommodative or functional. Accommodative orthotics are made of softer materials to cushion, support, and protect feet that are marred with ulcerations, corns, calluses, and deformities (either acquired or congenital). Functional orthotics, on the other hand, typically provide more support for athletes and people who spend a significant amount of time on their feet.
What conditions do orthotics treat?
Orthotics are an exceptionally versatile treatment. Conditions they can improve include:
- Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs
- Corns and calluses
- Diabetic ulcers
- Gait imbalances, such as overpronation
- Charcot foot
- Flat feet, or fallen arches
- High arches
- Shin splints
- Lower back pain
- Knee pain
- Hallux rigidus, or stiff big toe
- Limb deformities
- Uneven foot or limb length
Do you qualify for custom-made orthotics?
To qualify you for treatment, your podiatrist will do a complete foot and ankle examination and some imaging (X-rays or another kind). Also, they may perform a video or computer gait analysis to determine precisely how you place your feet on the ground and whether your weight and pressure are evenly distributed. Proper balance often alleviates many foot and ankle problems, including chronic pain.
Custom-molding of your orthotics follows. Your inserts will be made for your feet and your feet alone, much like eyeglass lenses are fabricated according to your specific prescription.
Learn more about orthotics
Call one of four offices (Mississauga, East Toronto, Whitby, and Brantford) to schedule a consultation with one of our podiatrists: Contact us by calling (905) 568-3800 for the Mississauga office, (416) 694-4166 for the East Toronto office, (905) 433-0200 for the Whitby office, or (519) 751-2900 for the Brantford office.
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