Posts for category: orthotic devices
Heel pain can cause discomfort throughout the day and affect your ability to carry out regular daily activities. A common cause of heel pain is a foot condition known as plantar fasciitis. One way to treat this condition is with custom orthotics, which are devices worn inside the shoes. Dr. Barry Noble, Dr. Mark Bradley, Dr. Marilyn Bradley, and Dr. William Jacob, the experienced foot specialists at The Podiatry Associates in Whitby, Brantford, and Mississauga, ON, treat heel pain and can fit you for custom orthotics.
Plantar fasciitis is a foot condition associated with pain at the bottom of the heel and sometimes in the arch. Running along the bottom of the foot is a thick band of tissues called the plantar fascia. These tissues connect the heel bone to the toes and provide shock absorption for the foot. Constant pressure or strain on these tissues can cause them to become swollen or inflamed, which can lead to heel pain and discomfort. One method for treating plantar fasciitis is wearing custom orthotics in the shoes.
How Orthotics Help
Orthotics are devices that are placed inside the shoes to correct a wide range of foot issues, including irregular step patterns. Orthotics help position the feet and ankles so they are in proper alignment with one another. It is possible to obtain over-the-counter orthotics, but custom orthotics deliver better results since they are tailored to each patient’s unique foot structure. We offer custom orthotics at our offices in Whitby, Brantford, and Mississauga, ON, for the treatment of heel pain.
Orthotics help with heel pain and other foot problems in several ways, including:
- Providing added cushioning
- Alleviating pain and discomfort
- Providing more arch support
- Improving stability and balance
- Reducing strain on the feet and ankles
- Improving alignment in the feet and lower extremities
Several types of custom orthotics are available, including semi-rigid, rigid, and soft orthotics. Semi-Rigid custom orthotics provide additional arch support, which is beneficial to individuals with flat feet. Rigid orthotics help correct irregular step patterns by improving foot positioning when walking. Custom soft orthotics provide added cushioning and support and are helpful to patients with arthritis in the feet or ankles. One of our foot specialists can recommend the right type of custom orthotic for your heel pain.
Custom orthotics can provide relief from chronic heel pain and discomfort. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Barry Noble, Dr. Marilyn Bradley, Dr. Mark Bradley, and Dr. Will Jacob for help treating your heel pain by calling The Podiatry Associates in Mississauga, ON, at (905) 568-3800. We are also located in Whitby, ON, at (905) 433-0200, and Brantford, ON, at (519) 751-2900.
In a recent online forum with our colleagues we were debating the merits of various techniques for capturing foot structures in order to manufacture custom functional orthotic devices.
Most experts in our field will agree that in general the foot should be captured non weight baring with the patient ideally lying face down on a couch. So that rules out foam boxes, pressure mats, weight baring scanners, and little beds of funky nails to contour the weight baring foot (I kid you not!).
If we are making a true functional custom orthotic you can accept that if the shape of the foot is captured weight baring it's kind of like closing the stable door after the horse has already run off and is grazing someone else’s grass.
The goal is to capture the architecture of your foot at its best so we can fabricate an appliance to enable you to function in the most efficient, ,stable orientation.
For most, that leaves us with two real options, the first of which is using plaster of paris.
This was how we functioned for the first 20 or so years of our careers and it works well in skilled hands. It is however messy, time consuming, labour intensive, and not particularly environmentally friendly.
The second method, 3 Dimensional scanners come in various shapes and levels of accuracy. The stand out of the pack for us was the Veriscan system, which we first adopted for use in conjunction with Integrity Orthotics. The system has been revised and improved several times over the years. Essentially it utilized two laser and camera combinations on a carousel to capture a very accurate 3D image. The digital image is transferred to the Integrity laboratory enabling them to mill out an exact replica or custom modified version of the foot using a CAD/CAM system.
In our busy practices we quickly found a significant improvement in clinical fit and accuracy of the orthotic devices and an increased level of patient satisfaction. The environmental impact of reduced cleanup costs, shipping, waste and material, helped hammer the final nail in the plaster coffin. That said there are still occasional cases for very problematic Diabetic foot types (Charcot feet) where we still revert to a semi weight baring plaster cast when making custom orthotics or footwear.
Rest assured we will continue to look at future offerings from the scientific innovators to bring further improvements and refinements to enable you to function better.
A final thought!. One sage contributor to the online debate summarized, without a good diagnosis and appropriately written orthotic prescription, the method of capturing the foot is of no importantance.
If you have any questions regarding this topic please comment below or message us and we'll be quick to reply.
Are your feet acting up again? Perhaps you’re wondering if you need a fresh pair of inserts or to further cut back on activities that hurt your feet. These might help. But depending on your specific symptoms, you might benefit more from an orthotic device instead.
To be certain, you can consult with one of our podiatrists here at The Podiatry Associates in our Mississauga, Brantford, or Whitby ON office for a professional evaluation. Until your appointment, here’s a primer on orthotics.
What are Orthotics and How Do They Work?
For some people, OTC shoe inserts can work well to relieve their aching feet. For others, however, they might need orthotics. These are prescription medical appliances that are worn inside the shoes to fix biomechanical foot problems, including issues with how a person runs, stands, or walks.
Orthotics can likewise aid in treating foot pain due to conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, bursitis, and plantar fasciitis. Additionally, the right orthotic device can significantly delay or get rid of the need for surgical intervention for conditions like flat feet.
Different Kinds of Orthotic Devices
Accommodative orthotic appliances or soft orthotics are crafted from soft materials made for compression. They work by giving cushioning to remove pressure off achy or uncomfortable areas from problems like foot ulcers from diabetes or plantar fasciitis. These are inherently bulky so you may have to wear them with prescription shoes.
Functional orthotic devices or rigid orthotics are created from harder materials such as carbon fiber or durable plastic. They’re specifically developed for alleviating pain and strains in the lower back, thighs, ankles, and legs. This type of orthotic is best for dress shoes or closed footwear with low heels.
What Kind of Orthotic Should I Use?
This question is best answered by your podiatrist in our Mississauga, Brantford, or Whitby ON location. During your consultation, your feet will be inspected thoroughly and 3D images of them will be taken. If your podiatrist determines that you require orthotics, a mold of your affected foot/feet will be taken to ensure an accurate fit.
The mold will then be sent to a professional who’ll fabricate the soft or rigid orthotic device for you. Make sure to go to follow-up visits with your podiatrist to help make certain that your orthotic device is working for you.
For More Details or Questions on Orthotics, Speak to Us
You can schedule an assessment with one of our podiatrists here at The Podiatry Associates by dialing (905) 433-0200 to reach our Whitby ON office, (905) 568-3800 to reach our Mississauga ON office, or (519) 751-2900 to reach our Brantford ON office.
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.
Custom made orthotics improve the health and function of feet that have been hurting due to structural abnormalities and unbalanced gait. At The Podiatry Associates in Mississauga, East Toronto, Whitby, and Brantford, Ontario, your podiatrists prescribe these specialty inserts with great success, allowing patients of all ages to be free of pain and have better ankle functionality. Drs. Barry Noble, Mark Bradley, and Marilyn Bradley use today's latest diagnostic techniques and materials to craft the best orthotic choice for their patients, and they can help you, too!
What are orthotics?
They are custom-fabricated inserts placed directly into shoes. Accommodative orthotics are made of soft materials to protect and cushion feet that have wounds, calluses, and other skin/structural issues. Diabetics typically benefit from these soft orthotics as well.
Another orthotic type is the functional orthotic. Constructed from more rigid materials such as carbon fiber, these customized inserts provide biomechanical stability in order to avoid gait problems and other issues caused by abnormal motion of the feet. Plantar fasciitis, stemming from overpronation, is a podiatric condition which benefits from functional orthotics, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
Conditions which benefit from orthotics
Orthotics are a wonderful alternative to more invasive therapies such as surgery, medications, or cortisone injections. Typically, they last indefinitely, being precisely crafted according to a digital or cast mold of the foot. The APMA says that while drugstore inserts (heel cups, insoles, and the like) have their place for very minor problems, custom-fabricated orthotics render the best therapeutic effects and outlast any retail product.
Your podiatrists prescribe orthotics for conditions such as:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Foot ulcers
- Foot and heel pain
- Flat arches
- Ankle sprains
- Corns and calluses
At The Podiatry Associates, your professional team uses visual inspection and conventional gait analysis (i.e. watching you walk) to determine if orthotics are the right treatment modality. Also, we use FSCAN examination and frame by frame PediGait video analysis for the most precise observation and evaluation of biomechanical abnormalities.
Let us help you
The Podiatry Associates delivers a wide variety of services which help you stay on your feet and keep moving. We have four convenient locations to serve you best: Mississauga, East Toronto, Whitby, and Brantford, ON. Schedule an appointment by calling (416) 694-4166 for the Toronto office, (905) 433-0200 for the Whitby office, (905) 568-3800 for the Mississauga office, or (519) 751-2900 for the Brantford office.