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By Adam Falivene, DPM
Heel pain, flat feet, high arches, calluses – maybe your child is constantly tripping or saying their feet feel tired? We’ve rounded up some of the most common signs that you need orthotics.
If you’re experiencing foot pain or swelling during or after everyday activities (standing, walking around), it’s time to see a podiatrist. There is no reason you should live with unnecessary foot pain. Orthotics might solve your problem.
Your podiatrist will investigate the cause of your discomfort and provide advice on proper footwear and suitable exercises to help get you back on track.
Sharp heel pain can be a sign of plantar fasciitis or a sign that you might need orthotics. This common foot problem occurs due to inflammation of the plantar fascia – the thick band of tissue running from your heel bone to your toes. It is more susceptible to inflammation if you’re overweight, have a tight Achilles, high arches or flat feet, or spend a lot of time standing or wearing high heels.
Custom-made orthotics can help alleviate symptoms by providing additional support or heel cushioning.
If you have flat feet – with little or no arch – you may experience foot pain or overpronation (inward rolling of the foot). Orthotics can help to relieve pressure on the arch and reduce pronation, optimizing your foot function.
Collapsed arches can occur in older adults, leading to flat feet-related balance problems. Orthotics may help provide stability and reduce discomfort and falls.
Another of the most unmistakable signs you might need orthotics can be revealed by a peek at your footwear. A shoe heel that is more worn on the inside is a sign of pronation (inward rolling), while supination (outward rolling) will cause wear to the outer side of your shoe. Or maybe one shoe is more worn than the other, which is a sign of different leg lengths. These issues should be addressed – possibly with corrective footwear or inserts – to prevent joint pain and dysfunction.
Children with a flexible flat foot, Met adductus or in-toeing can benefit from specially made orthotics for kids to help control their foot motion. This way they can get back to running around being kids.