If you have been standing for long periods, wearing high shoes, walking with uncomfortable shoes, sore feet are probably a common occurrence in your life. In such situations, a gentle massage and probably staying away from such bad habits is enough to eliminate your foot problems. There are instances, however, when that painful foot is no ordinary sore foot. In such instances, you will need to see a specialist called a podiatrist. Podiatrists are foot specialists that help alleviate and cure severe foot-related pains and distortions. One common treatment method requires the use of orthotics. Orthotic instruments are devices which are used to align, support and correct deformities that may be causing pain in your feet, joints, or even spine. Lower-limb orthotics are usually inserted in your shoes. Here are three instances when foot pain may actually mean you require orthotics intervention.
Diabetes-related foot pain
People with diabetes are usually aware of the imminent danger of foot sores. Diabetes causes limited blood flow to several extremities, which often results in poor healing of wounds in these regions. For any patient with diabetes, any experience of foot pain should be immediately checked by a podiatrist. The podiatrist will recommend either accommodative custom orthotics or off-the-shelf shoe inserts. These have to be soft enough to protect your inner soles, but also breathable, since this is a requirement for footwear in diabetes patients.
Persistent heel pain
When pain in your heels becomes continuous and unabating, it is no longer an ordinary heel discomfort that will go away on its own. This, in many instances, is an indication of a heel spur. A heel spur is a bony outcrop that grows at the base of your heel. Heel spurs progressively become more painful with time. They have to be medically addressed at earlier on-set stages before they can become permanent deformities. This is where functional orthotics are called into play. Heel spurs may also need to be x-rayed before determining whether to surgically remove them or to modify muscular movements in your foot using functional orthotics to help deter the spur on its own. Remember, when using functional orthotics, it is important to continuously visit the podiatrist and follow orthotics adjustments as recommended.
Pain in joints of lower limbs
When the pain you feel in your feet is in the muscles, simple massages and muscle rubs may be sufficient to alleviate it. When you feel pain in specific joints, however, you may need orthotics. These are joints like the tarsal joints, patella or knee joints, even your ankle. Such pain means that your walking dynamics need to be altered to restore a more comfortable orientation to the joints before further damage occurs. Such pains may also indicate the start of arthritis and arthritis-related complications. It is therefore important to have a doctor examine them as early as possible.