Foot disorders can significantly affect someone's gait or render them immobile in extreme cases. Therefore, it is crucial to see a podiatrist and have them examine the extent of a foot disorder and propose appropriate treatment. Custom foot orthotics are inserts that podiatrists prescribe to patients to align the feet, prevent injuries, relieve pain, and enhance walking efficiency. Notably, custom orthotics are recommended for extreme cases; hence, not everyone is a candidate. This article highlights signs that you need custom orthotics.
Diabetic Patients — If you have diabetes, taking care of your feet is crucial because diabetic foot problems are a significant health concern that often leads to hospitalisation. Foot problems related to diabetes arise from either nerve damage or poor blood circulation. Therefore, diabetic patients who wear regular shoes are at high risk of developing foot problems. In such cases, a podiatrist might include custom foot orthotics as part of the management process. Before making custom foot orthotics, a podiatrist examines your feet and determines precise areas where pressure sores could develop. Therefore, custom foot orthotics relieve pressure on specific spots when walking, preventing pressure ulcers and eventual infections.
Chronic Foot Pain — Conditions such as arthritis, heel spurs, high arch and plantar fasciitis can lead to excruciating chronic pain when walking. Sadly, most patients do not know the problem until their condition worsens and they can no longer walk properly. When you suffer from mild or chronic foot pain, a podiatrist recommends custom foot orthotics. Notably, people with acute foot pain can wear standard feet orthotics since their condition is temporary. However, it is different from chronic foot pain that develops over time and can get worse. Therefore, custom orthotics for chronic foot pain help correct structural issues and, most importantly, relieves pain at specific points. For instance, custom orthotics designed for heel spur patients help level and take pressure from the heel. Conversely, patients with a flat foot need custom orthotics that raise the arch to a natural curvature.
Back Pain — Low back pain is another condition that warrants custom foot orthotics, especially for people that stay on their feet for extended periods. Lower back pain is often caused by complications on the lower spine (lumbar or sacral spine). For instance, staying on your feet for long with a compressed nerve in your sacral spine increases pressure at the point, causing excruciating pain in your back. In such a case, a qualified podiatrist will design custom foot orthotics to absorb jarring shock at a specific point on a patient's lower spine.