Orthotics: Helping to Keep Your ‘Achilles Heel’ an Expression Only

Do you have pain in your feet, ankles, legs, knees, hips or lower back? Then you may have a condition that is known as overpronation, which is just a fancy way of saying that one or both of your feet do not function correctly. Orthotics (devices used to alleviate this condition) may help you start that exercise program you always wanted to try, train for that marathon next year, or just enjoy a long walk with your loved ones after dinner. Orthotics can simply improve your everyday activities as well, no more falling into a chair at night filled with discomfort, stiffness and pain. This article will discuss many of the symptoms of overpronation, conditions that result from it and present information on how Orthotics may be the answer to ending the suffering.

What are some of the commonly diagnosed problems associated with overpronation?

Overpronation is the cause of many foot related problems. Listed below are ten of the more common diagnoses along with their prospective symptoms.

1.) Plantar Fasciitis causes pain in the front of and beneath heel. It is when the plantar fascia (the tendon that connects the toes to the heel bone) begins to stretch and pull away. A Heel Spur, a hard sometimes painful bump, may develop from this condition. Orthotics can be used to help correct the common cause of overpronation that is associated with this problem.

2.) Achilles Tendonitis is characterized by pain behind the heel, in the lower calf and ankle. It is caused by the stretching of the tendon in the area. Orthotics has been used to help correct overpronation, the cause behind this uncomfortable condition.

3.) Chondromalacia Patellae’s symptoms include pain in the knees. It is caused by the degeneration of the cartilage in the area. Orthotics has prescribed to alleviate the discomfort of this condition by correcting its cause, overpronation.

4.) Shin Splints are simply the inflammation of the tendons and muscles in the front or on the side of the lower leg. Its symptoms include pain and swelling in the area. Orthotics have been used as a first step for people with this condition to avoid surgery.

5.) Neuroma’s symptoms include pain in the ball of the foot and toe numbness. The Overpronation that causes this condition can be corrected through the use of Orthotics.

6.) Bunions are located next to the big toe, on the inner side of the foot. It is a deformity of the bone joint that is attached to the big toe. They can be present for many years before becoming painful. Even though the use of Orthotics does not cure bunions, they can be utilized to slow down the progression of these irritating bumps.

7.) ‘Hammer Toe’ is a term that used to describe the ‘clawing up’ of any of the five toes due to bone contractures. Calluses (or corns) are often present in the area, which can become infected underneath. Hammer toes are often connected with bunions. The use of Orthotics may alleviate the condition, though surgery usually ends up being the best option.

8.) Foot Ulcers are commonly caused by diabetes. They are made worse by overpronation. Orthotics can be worn at night to help alleviate the pain and discomfort of these little sores on the bottom of your feet.

9.) Arthritis literally means ‘joint inflammation’. Most diagnoses of this condition affect the foot. Orthotics can be used to help alleviate the symptoms of this common condition.

10.) Many people suffer from back, leg and/ or ankle pain that continues to go undiagnosed. These symptoms are often a sign of overpronation. If you are suffering from any of these conditions, Orthotics are often helpful with alleviating some of your discomfort.

What are Orthotics and how do they work?

Orthotics are devices that are made out metal, plastic, carbon or other rigid materials. They are made to support the ligaments and bone structures of the foot. In short, they make sure that your foot hits the ground and distributes your weight evenly when you are walking. They come in many different shapes and sizes based on the diagnosis of your particular problem. There are four main groups of Orthotics. Functional Orthotics incorporate special wedges used to correct defects in the arch of the foot. Weight-dispersive or Accommodative Orthotics usually have padding that is used to relieve pain caused by the excessive pressure overpronation creates. Supportive Orthotics are arch supports usually prescribed to treat problems in the arch. Finally there are Early Childhood Orthotics that are designed to correct walking problems in young children. Some of these devices can be bought in your local drugstore or they can be custom tailored to your foot.

How do I find out if I need and Orthotic and where do I get one?

If you are tired of constant stiffness and/or pain, you should see a certified podiatrist today or at least talk to a knowledgeable pharmacist. They will evaluate all of your ailments and help decide on the right type of Orthotic for you. They can also provide further advice on foot care and other treatment methods that are complementary to the use of Orthotics. Almost everybody’s foot function can be improved through the use of these miracle devices as perfect feet, like perfect people, are a very rare find.

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