The health of your feet greatly affects not only your ability to walk without discomfort but your overall quality of life as well. Pain in the foot can easily travel up through your body and cause significant pain elsewhere. At Gibbs Foot & Ankle Clinic in Edmonton, we believe custom orthotics are a great help in dealing with issues that you already have or as a preventative measure for future foot problems. They’re also used by athletes to deal with the stresses they put their bodies through day-in and day-out as well as for injury prevention. Avoid pain and future problems; trust our custom orthotics in Edmonton!
Custom orthotics are used to treat a variety of foot-related ailments and symptoms, including:
Bunions A bony, often painful, bump on the base of your big toe results from progressive deforming changes in toe positioning usually because of joint instability and muscle imbalances.
Flat feet No discernable arch in the foot and can cause pain from your feet all the way up to your back.
Plantar fasciitis Pain in the connective tissue that stretches from the ball of your foot to the back of your heel, usually caused by intensive and repetitive pressures on the plantar fascia, which creates small tears that result in inflammation and sharp pain, especially in the morning or after long periods of being off your feet.
Calluses An area of thickened skin caused by repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation.
Joint problems Can have many different causes, from arthritis to strains and sprains, or other injuries.
Shin splints An inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around the tibia.
Limb length discrepancy Caused hereditarily or through an accident, one of your legs is longer or shorter than the other.
Diabetes The most common is a nerve problem called Peripheral Neuropathy, causing burning, tingling, or stabbing pain.
Vascular disease Can cause reduced blood flow to your limbs, creating coldness, leg pain or sores that won’t heal.
Arthritis Joint pain or disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion.
Leg or back pain This happens when you have something out of line or nerve trouble such as sciatica.
In-toeing When feet are turned inward instead of parallel to each other pointed straight ahead; commonly known as “pigeon-toed.”
Out-toeing When feet are turned outward instead of parallel to each other pointed straight ahead. Sometimes caused by hip external rotation, tibial torsion, or something more serious such as cerebral palsy.
Custom orthotics are made up of a rigid yet slightly flexible foundation, such as polypropylene or graphite as well as a cushioned casing for comfort, usually neoprene, silicone, or ethylene-vinyl acetate. The plastic core is shaped to correct your feet’s specific musculoskeletal imbalances and to redistribute pressure when you’re standing and moving in order to encourage proper arch, joint, and bone alignment.
Depending on what your orthotics are made of, they may last you anywhere from 5 to 10 years through the top cover on the shell may need replacing sooner because of wear and tear. But don’t worry; it’s a quick and affordable process.
Read on for a few frequently asked questions about custom orthotics:
Are They Uncomfortable?
While there will be an adjustment period when you first get them, they shouldn’t be uncomfortable in the long-term. If you are having issues, contact us or bring them back in and we’ll see what can be done.
Do They Only Work With One Pair of Shoes?
Typically, your orthotics are fitted for the shoes you wear the most. If you want to switch them to a different pair, just let us know so that we can make some adjustments to ensure they’ll fit well in multiple shoes. There will be some shoes that you won’t be able to wear them in, such as ballet flats, dress shoes, or other low-volume footwear.
How Do I Know if They’re the Right Fit in My Shoes?
Ensure that you’ve removed the sock liner or foot-bed before you put them in. They should slide smoothly into your shoes and fit easily without any wrinkles or bunching. The solid part of the orthotic should not tip or rock, sitting firmly in your shoe.
Do I Have to Wear Them 24/7?
Depending on what they were prescribed for, you may not need to wear them all the time. Typically, an 80% rule applies – wear them for work as well as anytime you’re walking or standing for an extended period of time – but you should talk to your podiatrist to confirm.
Can They Be Adjusted?
Yes, if you feel that something’s not quite right with your custom orthotics, and you’re in Edmonton, bring them by to have adjustments made. These changes can usually be made in-house but we may need to send them out to have more complex issues dealt with.