There is no such thing as perfect feet. Even if they start out that way, the obstacles and daily wear and tear of life can end up making your feet hurt with every step you take. Certain shoe styles, athletic sports, and medical conditions only make matters worse.
Fortunately, custom orthotics can help get you moving again – without the pain. However, in addition to helping with foot pain, they can also be helpful for your ankles, knees, back, and overall health. Here’s a look at how custom orthotics may be even more beneficial for your health and well-being than you might think.
Foot Pain – It Affects More Than Your Feet
Do you remember the childhood song:
“The foot bone’s connected to the leg bone. The leg bone’s connected to the knee bone. The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone. The thigh bone’s connected to the…?”
At Care-Med, we think this song perfectly illustrates a key fact about custom orthotics we would like to discuss with our Toronto area clients.
While podiatrists often prescribe custom orthotics in response to foot pain and discomfort, these special inserts are also helpful in eliminating ankle, knee, hip, and back pain. Like the song, all of your bones are connected to the next. So, what happens with your feet extends to your legs and up to your back.
Your feet are responsible for keeping your back, knees, and ankles in proper alignment. Foot problems can result in pain and reduce mobility in your muscles, tendons, and joints as you change your stride to compensate for the pain. By properly aligning your feet, custom orthotics can reverse this process and relieve the pain felt in your feet and the rest of your body.
How Custom Orthotics Help with Ankle, Knee, Hip, and Back Pain
Custom orthotics, or orthoses, are designed to help alleviate pain in the feet, back, and lower extremities caused by a variety of feet issues, such as:
- Plantar fasciitis
- High arches
In response to these issues, custom foot orthotics modify and adjust the way in which your feet move and function. They are customized to your feet and made to snugly fit inside your shoes, helping to reduce impact by providing extra cushioning, alter the distribution of force, and realign your feet.
These three benefits work together to ease foot pain, but they can also help with ankle, knee, hip, and lower back pain. Some foot problems can place added strain on your back and weight-bearing joints, such as your knees and hips, resulting in pain and discomfort.
As mentioned above, this type of pain can be caused by a number of foot conditions. However, the majority of people suffering from foot pain have one of the following conditions:
- Severely high arches
- Flat feet
As an example of how one of these foot conditions can create a domino effect and impact other areas of the body, let’s discuss pronation.
Pronation is when your feet roll inward naturally or pronate. When this occurs, your bodyweight shifts to the edge of your foot, causing your knees to turn inward toward each other. This stance, in turn, causes the femur, or thigh bone, to enter the hip joint awkwardly at an angle.
This misalignment destabilizes the hip region and impacts the spine by putting added strain on the pelvis and lower back. Custom orthotics stabilize and align the feet, ensuring proper alignment in the hip region and helping to alleviate lower back pain.
Benefits of Custom Foot Orthotics
Custom orthotics offer a wide variety of benefits beyond alleviating everyday pain. Some of these benefits include:
Support for Your Feet
- Injuries, flat feet, and uneven arches can all result in foot and back pain. Over-the-counter insoles may help a little, but they don’t provide the custom support feet often need. Custom orthotics, on the other hand, are customized for the feet of each client to treat their specific foot condition. From pronation to supination, whatever your foot condition, a custom orthotic can provide the support needed to directly address it.
Protection for Your Joints
- Life can take a toll on your joints over time. As you age, the wear and tear of athletic activities combined with your weight, stress, and flat feet (if you have them) can affect your joints and cause them to rub together and even tear over time. Custom orthotics help absorb the impact of everyday activities, protecting your joints and helping you stay active and pain-free throughout the day.
- Custom orthotics can help prevent common injuries related to overuse, such as knee pain and plantar fasciitis. They can also minimize risks of stress fractures and provide the support needed to remain active and enjoy the athletic activities you love.
- Flat feet, arthritis, and misalignments in foot structure can increase foot, leg, and lower back pain. Custom orthotics make slight positioning adjustments to promote healing and alleviate pain caused by biomechanical misalignments.
If you are suffering from pain in your foot, knee, hip, or lower back, take the first step by scheduling a consultation with the physicians at Care-Med to explore your custom orthotic options today.
Finding the Right Orthotic for Knee, Hip, and Back Pain
Custom orthotics are much more than run-of-the-mill inserts you can pick up at your local drug store. Custom foot orthotics are medical devices prescribed by doctors to alter foot biomechanics and correct the way you stand, walk, or run. In most cases, foot orthotics fall into one of two categories.
Soft orthotics, also called accommodative orthotics, provide soft compression and cushion your foot to reduce impact when running or walking. They are often made of graphite or plastic and topped with neoprene, foam, or another softer material.
Rigid orthotics, also known as functional orthotics, are harder and custom-fitted to your shoes and feet. They are made from carbon fiber or plastic and can reduce knee, hip, and lower back pain.
For the best fit and results, we recommend visiting a podiatrist for an examination. At Care-Med, we will perform a several muscle and motion tests to determine the best type of orthotic for your feet. We will then take a cast of your foot and begin constructing an orthotic custom-fit specifically for your feet.
While the orthotics may feel a little different at first, wearing them will eventually become second nature, especially when you begin feeling less knee, hip, and lower back pain. You may also benefit from less leg fatigue when engaging in activities or standing for extended periods of time.
With the help of custom orthotics, you can once again do the activities you enjoy without the unnecessary discomfort and pain.
Custom Orthotics Near You in the Toronto Area
Custom foot orthotics do much more than alleviate foot pain. They also correct biomechanical issues and alleviate ankle, knee, hip, and lower back pain to help you move through life more comfortably.
If you’re searching for custom foot orthotics near you in the Toronto area, look no further than Care-Med. Our experienced on-site team offers a varied selection of medical orthotics to provide you with the orthopedic care you deserve. We know the ins and outs of custom orthotics and understand how they can benefit your individual case.
To learn more about custom orthotics and our services, contact our Toronto office by calling (416) 782-5353. You can also request an appointment using our convenient online appointment request form. Take the first step toward pain-free moving today!