I can`t believe how many times per day i have answered this question in 30+ years of clinical practice and teaching. The answer is simple, your footwear are the foundation of your structure!. Without a stable solid foundation the best orthotic in the world will do little to improve your functional control or stability. It's a bit like a race car team struggling to adjust the suspension on their car while running street tires on the track. In the modern world we have chosen to live in, the surfaces our feet deal with every step are hostile, unforgiving and repetitive. Like or not we are completely dependant on the use of footwear as a result of our environment. The shock absorbing nature of the footwear has won over the popular vote in both manufacturing and retail versus structural stability. As a result of this structural integrity and functional design has seen a rapid decline in the last 10 years. Innovation appears rampant in the market place, however when examined even briefly, reveals that most designs are intended to appeal to the eye or allude to an advanced but unrevealed technology. The real beneficiaries of these changes are the manufactures and the retailers. So as per usual its a case of buyer be beware, or buyer be better informed. If we as clinical specialists don't arm you with the necessary information you need to purchase the correct footwear for your specific feet then we have failed to perform our most fundamental of tasks.
So back to the question, shoes versus orthotics. Good stable foot footwear is vital and in many cases all that may be required. Where symptoms prevail or the severity of the condition demands orthotics are often a superb next step and must be designed appropriately with consideration for the condition, individual and the activities intended.
Could orthotics improve your sore, tired feet?
Chances are good that you’ve seen shoe inserts before. These foot-shaped products are designed to fit inside your shoe and offer support while also improving any preexisting foot conditions you might have. Wondering if orthotics could be right for you? From the office of our Whitby, Mississauga, Brantford, and Toronto, ON, podiatrists, find out what orthotics could do for your foot health.
As you might imagine, orthotics come in many different shapes, styles and sizes to accommodate a host of foot shapes and issues. We have orthotics that can alter and improve how the foot functions, we have orthotics that are protective and supportive and those that do a little bit of both. During your evaluation, our Toronto, ON, foot doctors will examine your feet and discuss the symptoms and issues you are having to determine which type of orthotic is right for you.
Could I benefit from orthotics?
There are many ways in which orthotics can improve your foot health. They can be used to:
- Support the arches or raise arches
- Realign the foot’s structure to improve function
- Redistribute the weight more evenly
- Relieve pain and sensitivity in certain areas of the foot
- Improve shock absorption
As you might imagine, mechanical problems in the feet can lead to everything from heel and arch pain to hip and back problems. In fact, while a lot of people may not realize it, their lower back pain could be due to a biomechanical dysfunction in the feet. Fortunately, custom orthotics can improve the health and function of your feet to prevent or even alleviate these issues.
You could benefit from custom orthotics if you are dealing with:
- Flat feet
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Runner’s knee
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
…And the list continues. If you are dealing with any of the issues above, or if you just feel like your feet might need a little more support and cushioning throughout the day then you can always turn to us to find out if orthotics could improve the health and function of your feet on a day-to-day basis.
No matter whether you are dealing with flat feet, rheumatoid arthritis or sore runner’s feet, custom orthotics might be able to help you. Turn to the experts at Podiatry Associates, who are proud to serve the Mississauga, East Toronto, Whitby and Brantford, ON, areas. Call us today.
Do you fondly remember the days when you could walk without pain? When you have a bunion, many things you used to take for granted become much more difficult. The podiatrists at Podiatry Associates in Whitby, Mississauga, Brantford, and Toronto, ON, offer treatments that can help ease your bunion pain.
What can I do at home to relieve my pain?
Making a few lifestyle changes may help reduce your pain and slow the progression of your bunions. If you've continued to wear tight shoes or high heels despite your bunions, it's time for a shopping excursion. Look for well-padded shoes that offer ample room in the toe box area.
Adhesive pads cushion your aching foot, reducing pressure and friction from your shoes. Apply them to your bunion and also to your toes if your big toe overlaps your second and third toes.
It may also be necessary to make a few changes to your usual routine. Although exercise is an important part of good health, you may need to temporarily alter your usual routine. Avoiding activities that involve running, walking or jumping is a simple way to decrease pain. You may also be more comfortable if you limit the amount of time you spend standing or walking during the day.
How can my Whitby, Mississauga, Brantford, and Toronto, ON, foot doctor help me?
Your podiatrist can offer treatments and devices that can decrease your pain, including corticosteroid shots, night splints and orthotics. Night splints help realign your foot while you sleep, while orthotics do the same thing when you wear shoes. Orthotics are custom-created for you by your foot doctor to address your unique foot issues. If your bunion interferes with your life or causes severe pain, surgery may be the best option. During surgery, your foo doctor removes the bump, realigns the bone, removes excess tissue, and repairs tendons and ligaments, if necessary.
Find real relief for your bunion pain with a visit to the podiatrists at Podiatry Associates. Schedule an appointment by calling (416) 694-4166 for the Toronto, ON, office, (905) 433-0200 for the Whitby office, (905) 568-3800 for the Mississauga office, or (519) 751-2900 for the Brantford office.
Find out how your East Toronto, Whitby, Mississauga and Brantford podiatrists can help you with your heel pain
The podiatrists at Podiatry Associates in East Toronto, Whitby, Mississauga and Brantford, ON, are equipped with years of experience and knowledge of how to:
- examine your feet
- prescribe the proper course of treatment
- create a custom plan according to your needs
This is especially necessary when it comes to resolving issues and problems, like heel pain.
Heel Pain Causes
The heel is the largest bone in your foot. Heel pain is a result of the foot's fascia, a connective tissue that extends from the heel of the foot to the toes, becoming irritated or inflamed. Heel pain is also a result of heel spurs, a growth on the bone that may be painless in many cases but may also result in:
- chronic pain, which is any pain that lasts more than three months and reoccurs intermittently
- arthritis, which is swelling of cartilage and lining in joints
- gout, which is the buildup of uric acid salts, a normal byproduct of the diet, in the joints
Other disorders which may also lead to heel pain include:
- Nerve injuries
- Collagen disorders
- Heel bone abnormalities
Heel Pain Treatment
There are invasive surgical treatments to get rid of heel pain, such as the removal of connective tissue and heel spurs, but before going down that road, consider wearing comfortable shoes made of soft rubber, stretching your feet out daily, and avoiding rigorous sports and exercises.
For more information regarding your heel pain, contact the doctors of Podiatry Associates. Their office is conveniently located in East Toronto, Whitby, Mississauga and Brantford, ON, for when you're ready to schedule an appointment with them.
Could your foot problems be due to a bunion? Help is on the way!
A bunion is a fairly common foot ailment; however, just because you have one doesn’t mean that you have to just put up with the pain and discomfort. Learn more about this condition and how your podiatrist may be able to help provide the relief you’ve been looking for.
What is a bunion?
A bunion is a bony bump that originates at a toe’s joint. While any toe can be affected, bunions are most often found at the base of the big toe.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms of a bunion are:
- A large, hard protrusion at the base of the big toe
- Localized pain and swelling
- Soreness and redness around the affected toe
- Difficulty moving the big toe
What causes a bunion to form?
A bunion forms when weight isn’t distributed evenly on the joints of the feet. Over time this causes the joint to become unstable and form a hard lump. A bunion may be the result of a congenital foot deformity, a past injury or arthritis. There is also a debate as to whether wearing tight, high-heeled shoes could also cause a bunion to form.
What treatment options are available to me?
There are many conservative options that you can try to help alleviate your bunion symptoms. Some of the most common options include:
- Wearing shoe inserts or custom orthotics (which your podiatrist can prescribe for you)
- Only wearing shoes that fit comfortably and give your toes room to move
- Splinting or taping the foot so it’s in the proper position
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like Tylenol or Aleve
- Taking prescription medication or cortisone injections may also reduce pain and swelling, particularly if symptoms are more severe
- Applying a wrapped ice pack to the bunion to reduce swelling and discomfort
Can a bunion be removed?
While the treatment options above are designed to reduce and even eliminate the pain you are experiencing, they are not designed to remove or get rid of the bunion. The only way to truly get rid of a bunion is to have it surgically removed, and surgery is not often recommended until you have exhausted all other treatment options and still haven’t experienced any relief.
Will a bunion get worse if left untreated?
Bunions are known to increase over time, but it will be hard to predict when a bunion will get larger. When you come in to see your foot doctor we may be able to determine just how large your bunion may become over time.
Contact your Podiatrist
A bunion doesn’t have to rule your life. Turn to your podiatrist to find the answers you need to treat your bunion symptoms effectively.
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