What Types of Orthotics are Available to Relieve Foot Pain?

Orthotics are devices made of thin materials to heal foot conditons and help restore a person's ability to walk, run or jump by making them feel more comfortable. They reduce pain and swelling as well as give increased stability to joints where needed. Orthotics also help to treat problems in other parts of the body as needed, such as the hips and back. The exact types of orthotics needed will depend on the condition that needs treatment. Your podiatrist will discuss the details with you during your consultation.

Types of Orthotics Available to Patients

The two main types of orthotics that podiatrists use are functional and accommodative orthotics. Functional orthotics are used to support abnormal foot biomechanics. In most cases they are made from materials like plastic polymer and are good for reducing conditions like foot flattening. This type of orthotic is also good for helping with shock absorption when walking, running or jumping.

Accommodative orthotics are used to correct minor foot problems and relieve minor foot pain. They can be used by anyone and include braces, casts, splints, night bars and gait plates.

•   Shoe modifications can be made so that less pressure is put on sensitive areas of the foot by redistributing weight to areas that are pain-free.

•   Ankle-foot orthotics(AFOs)control the ankle's position or range of motion directly to compensate for a deformity or weakness. These are the most common types of orthotics. They treat disorders affecting muscle function and may also be used to control the knee or lower leg. AFOs are designed in an "L" shape with the calf supported by the upright part of the device and the foot and heel supported by the lower portion. Straps are used to secure the brace to the leg and ankle.

•   Special purpose orthotics may be made for people with fractures, deformitiies, or other issues. They help people to correct or control an abnormal gait or a deformity such as a clubfoot.

If you feel uncomfortable when you walk, your first step should be to consult with a podiatrist. Sheldon H. Nadal D.P.M. would be happy to discuss your concerns with you and what your treatment options are available to you. Contact him today to schedule your personal appointment.