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Foot Health Blog

Find expert articles from physical therapists and podiatrists to help understand, diagnose, and treat different foot health issues such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, flat feet, and more.


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FSA Eligible: Buy Custom Orthotics With Your FSA Funds
OrthoticsFSA Eligible: Buy Custom Orthotics With Your FSA FundsWhen people have to make out-of-pocket payments for medical and health expenses, the demand for necessary health services reduces. This is not surprising at all since research suggests that the ability to pay is unequal to the willingness to pay as these out-of-pocket payments can eat up savings, ruin credit scores, and lead to impoverishment. Many people don’t realize there are financial schemes that can cover some of these costs, easing any strain on finances and ensuring they get what they need when they need it. The Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is one such plan. FSA is a type of savings account that you can contribute a portion of your earnings to. FSA is not subject to tax and can be used to cover certain medical and dental costs including medication and equipment. Are Orthotics Covered By FSA? Yes. Orthotics are included on the official FSA eligibility list. FSA coverage also extends to custom orthotics provided they're prescribed by a medical expert. Not only are all of Upstep's orthotics FSA eligible, but they're also covered by the Health Savings Account (HSA) and Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). Beyond providing coverage for your custom orthotics, Upstep goes one step further to make the process seamless and straightforward: You can make a direct purchase if you have a credit card linked to your FSA account; orYou can request reimbursement by providing your healthcare provider with the detailed invoice from Upstep. » Using HSA to buy orthotics? Here's how to get reimbursed for orthotics from HSA FSA Eligible Orthotics All Upstep orthotics can be purchased with FSA. Here’s a growing list of some of the products, their unique value, and who should use them. Orthotics for Flat Feet Flat Feet Custom Orthotics Upstep custom orthotics for flat feet are low-volume insoles that can be inserted into any shoe type. They have a wide and deep heel cup to support your foot arch and prevent pain. These orthotics help to keep your foot in its natural position. » Read our Flat Feet Custom Orthotics review Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis Plantar Fasciitis Custom Orthotics These orthotics are designed to treat any pain symptoms due to plantar fasciitis as well as the source of the pain. Upstep orthotics for plantar fasciitis have a deep heel cup to keep your foot aligned and prevent rolling outwards. They're also well cushioned to provide shock absorption and comfort and redistribute any pressure on your foot. » Read our Plantar Fasciitis Custom Orthotics review Orthotics for Heel Pain Heel Pain Custom Orthotics Upstep’s heel pain orthotics address foot biomechanics and cushion your feet to reduce any pain symptoms. They're tailored to individual foot specifications and lifestyle needs, thereby addressing the direct causes of heel pain and providing long-term solutions to foot pain problems. » Read our Heel Pain Custom Orthotics review Orthotics for Fitness & Walking Hiking and Fitness Walking Custom Orthotics Upstep fitness and walking orthotics are designed to fit into general and specific walking footwear. They have a moisture-absorbent top layer that prevents sweating, saving your feet from any discomfort. These insoles also maintain proper foot mechanics so that the foot remains aligned as it transitions from heel strike to toe-off with every step. » Read our Hiking and Walking Custom Orthotics review Orthotics for Running Running Custom Orthotics If you’re looking to hit the track or run a mile in your neighborhood, Upstep’s running insoles are your best bet. Designed using top-quality materials, Upstep orthotics for running aid efficient energy transfer, shock absorption, and pain relief, while also reducing the risk of injury. » Read our Running Custom Orthotics review Orthotics for Normal Everyday Activity Normal Everyday Activity Custom Orthotics If you need to wear insoles with your footwear for a few hours every day, Upstep orthotics for normal activity are your best bet. They're customized based on your shoe preferences and designed to guarantee comfort and prevent foot pain. Consequently, these insoles prevent long-term injury to your feet. » Read our Normal Everyday Activity Custom Orthotics review Orthotics for Supination Supination Custom Orthotics With supination, your feet and ankle roll outwards onto the outer edge of your foot. Upstep orthotics for supination provide the necessary stability to keep your foot aligned as well as arch support where abnormally high arches cause supination. Beyond these, Upstep supination orthotics help with shock absorption, limiting pressure on any one part of your foot. » Read our Supination Custom Orthotics review Orthotics for Foot Pain On My Feet All Day Custom Orthotics Upstep orthotics for foot pain use different material combinations depending on the cause of your foot pain. Generally, they're well cushioned to redistribute pressure away from painful areas of your foot. Also, they're durable, comfortable, and work well with different types of footwear. » Read our On My Feet All Day Custom Orthotics review Orthotics for High Arches High Arches Custom Orthotics Orthotics for high arches have a high arch height that supports all parts of your foot arch. While these orthotics don't address the cause of high arches, they relieve excess pressure on the ball and heel of your foot and distribute body weight evenly. They also provide stability and shock absorption to your foot. » Read our Arch Support Custom Orthotics review Orthotics for Pronation Pronation Custom Orthotics While pronation is normal to a degree, overpronation isn’t and needs correction with a custom orthotic. Overpronation is a leading cause of arch pain, and Upstep insoles address this by preventing the inward roll of your foot and reducing strain on your ankles. Moreso, Upstep insoles ensure the neutral alignment of your feet and the rest of the kinematic chain. Orthotics for Metatarsalgia Metatarsalgia Custom Orthotics From work to sporting activities, Upstep orthotics for metatarsalgia have significant shock absorption capabilities, reducing the tension transmitted through your feet, as well as redistribution functions to relieve pressure from painful areas in your feet. These insoles are made of rigid but cushioned materials to address foot pain. Orthotics for Achilles Tendon Achilles Tendon Custom Orthotics Upstep Achilles Tendon orthotics are made from top-quality materials using the most advanced technology. They act as heel lifts, shortening the tendon and reducing pressure during walking or running. This limits pain and irritation in the tendon and promotes its healing. Orthotics for Basketball Basketball Custom Orthotics Upstep’s basketball insoles are lightweight, moisture-absorbing, and comfortable—designed to fit your foot and maximize energy return while you play basketball. Depending on your shoe needs, they can come in low-, medium-, or high-top sizes. Orthotics for Tennis Tennis Custom Orthotics Orthotics for tennis provide added advantage if you want to play tennis like Alcaraz or Nadal. Made from EVA foam, these insoles are extremely durable, moisture absorbent, and capable of improving your dynamic range. They're suitable for grass and hardcourt-specific tennis shoes, ensuring your feet remain stable while you play. Use It or Lose It With all FSA savings due for forfeiture at the end of the calendar year, it stands to reason that you should use yours. As you may have noticed from the list above, Upstep’s custom orthotics aren’t just for those with foot conditions. They're also for those looking to improve everyday comfort and support their feet as they perform sports or their daily activities. Upstep's procedure is convenient and easy, allowing you to create your impressions at home and receive orthotics that are tailored just for you. Coupled with their FSA eligibility, you don't have to look any further for custom orthotics. » Still unsure whether custom orthotics are for you? Visit Upstep's website for more information
5 Best Insoles to Wear While Squatting to Aid in Heel Elevation
Orthotics5 Best Insoles to Wear While Squatting to Aid in Heel ElevationSquatting is a popular exercise for anyone looking to keep fit. It targets several muscle groups at the same time, including the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and core abdominal muscles. As simple as it may seem, squats can cause injury when not performed properly. If you're going to start a routine that includes squatting, but remain unsure about where to begin, getting the right shoes is a good start. However, beyond what a shoe can do, the right insole can improve your squats by aiding heel elevation, boosting stability, and improving your range of movement. Below we’ve compiled a list of the best five insoles to wear while squatting to aid heel elevation. Gym Custom Orthotics 1. Upstep A personal, tailor-made, long-term solution for your feet Custom made Based on your unique foot shape to address your foot needs Indoor workouts Zumba, Step, Circuit, TRX, CrossFit, Weightlifting, and more Versatile Works with any athletic footwear Made from durable materials Provides comfort and support Extended return policy 180-day money-back guarantee with free adjustments Designed by podiatrists with years of experience, Gym Custom Orthotics are ideal for those looking to perform indoor workouts. Using durable materials that caress every inch of your feet, these custom insoles help to improve stability, reduce pain, and protect you from injuries throughout your workout—making them ideal for squatting to aid heel elevation. A moisture-absorbent top layer also helps to reduce any odor. Upstep insoles are affordable, being eligible for both FSA and HSA, and come with a 180-day money-back guarantee, including free adjustments. Ramble Insoles 2. Tread Labs Full length, firm, flexible support for your feet Extra arch support Choose from 4 arch heights for the best fit Replaceable top cover Keep your insoles for the long term Prevents odor Made from 100% recycled antimicrobial polyester fabric Million mile guarantee Easily replace your insoles if they crack or lose their shape Tread Labs Ramble Insoles are flexible yet supportive. Designed for shoes with full-length, removable inserts, these insoles keep your foot neutrally aligned and in a proper weight-bearing position, making them ideal during squatting. Tread Labs Ramble Insoles have a 2-part system that includes an arch support and a top cover that can be replaced if it wears out. The top covers are made from polyurethane foam and 100% recycled polyester fabric, making them resilient. They're also treated for microbes to reduce foot odor. When you first start using the Ramble Insoles, the support may feel excessive, but you’ll get used to the feeling within a week or two. A drawback of the Ramble Insoles is that they're not custom-made. Instead, they're available in four specific arch heights (low, medium, high, and extra high), possibly making their support less than ideal. Performance Wide Medium Insoles 3. SOLE For sustainable, shock-absorbing comfort every day Naturally wide toebox Provides more comfort and stability Improves balance Distributes weight evenly over your foot Deep heel cup Helps prevent lateral movement Reasonable return policy 90 day return policy SOLE Performance Wide Medium Insoles are affordable and made from recycled wine corks, offering you a cushioned footbed that absorbs shock, provides comfort, and protects your feet during weight-bearing. These insoles have a deep heel cup that prevents lateral ankle bone movement during squatting and a solid arch support that keeps the heel elevated. Unlike custom orthotics, SOLE Performance Wide Medium Insoles are not tailored to your foot size, but are heat and wear moldable, thereby possibly giving you a less-than-ideal fit. You can return them within 90 days of purchase and get a replacement if you're dissatisfied with your purchase. M-100 Insoles 4. Protalus Give your feet full volume, maximum support Maximum support Insole sides come up higher on the sides of your feet Rebound foam Increases your mobility Anti-slip ridges Insoles won't slip inside of your shoes Reasonable return policy 90-day return guarantee The Protalus M-100 Insoles feature a Tri-Planar Alignment System that improves body alignment and functioning. The high arch support keeps your foot arch up and reduces pressure, while the rebound foam and anti-slip ridges provide mobility and additional stability. Protalus M-100 insoles have a semi-custom fit and come in a range of sizes to pick from. The fit may therefore not be perfect and require some trimming. However, these insoles have a 90-day guarantee to ensure your satisfaction with your purchase. Orange Insoles 5. Superfeet Protection for your feet from high-impact punishment High-impact foam forefoot Provides additional shock absorption Heel cup and stabilizer cup Increases structure and stability Odor control Organic top coat prevents odor Durable Guaranteed to keep shape until the first 12 months or 500 miles Superfeet Orange Insoles are specifically designed to cater to the needs of persons involved in high-impact activities. These insoles have a deep heel cup and an additional stabilizer cup that positions and stabilizes the heel. A high-impact foam forefoot provides extra support and shock absorption, which is especially useful during squats. Superfeet Orange Insoles are affordable and durable, guaranteed to maintain their shape, comfort, and support for the first 12 months or 500 miles (whichever comes first). Finally, the natural top coating controls bacteria and therefore odor. However, while these insoles are available in a variety of sizes, they aren't tailored to your feet and may require trimming. You may possibly not obtain the perfect fit and support. Choose Wisely Elevating your heels during squats will increase the depth of your squat and help transfer force to your quadriceps. With a proper insole, you'll not only improve your squat but you’ll also keep the ankle in a neutral position, preventing injury. Orthotics provide the necessary support for your arch, cushion the feet, and aid shock absorption. Of these, custom orthotics yield the best results. Based on your feet and your needs, custom orthotics will support your unique foot shape in a way other orthotics can't. » Want to see more custom orthotics? Browse Upstep's custom orthotics range
Best 'At Home' Custom Orthotics
OrthoticsBest 'At Home' Custom OrthoticsWhile orthotics are used by many people globally to address and manage symptoms from a variety of foot conditions, there is a common conception that custom orthotics are expensive and that the time and effort spent to get assessed and fitted is overwhelming. This can lead many consumers to look for a "self-help" alternative like making their own custom orthotics at home. Can You Make Custom Orthotics at Home? Yes, there are multiple ways to make your own custom orthotics at home and with materials that can be easily purchased. However, these orthotics are uncertified, meaning they weren't assessed and approved by a podiatrist. Home-made custom orthotics will not necessarily be the correct shape or fit and may not provide the required support your feet need. Instead, they can potentially exacerbate your symptoms further and contribute to the pain or discomfort you may be experiencing in your feet. How to Make Custom Orthotics at Home There are different ways you can attempt to make your own orthotics at home, each with potential limitations: 1. Over-the-Counter (OTC) Molds OTC orthotics are not specifically made to the shape of your feet as opposed to custom orthotics that are tailored to your needs. OTC orthotics usually require trimming to fit your shoe and foot correctly to avoid causing any discomfort. This means OTC orthotics are not always a perfect fit and may not entirely provide your feet with adequate support.  2. Foot Shape Cut From Material You can make custom orthotics at home from materials such as cardboard, yoga mats, or self-adhesive corks. Start by sitting with your knees and ankles at a 90 degree with your feet on a piece of cardboard. Trace the outline of your foot, ensuring to mark the ball of your foot and your heel because these are high-pressure areas when you place weight on your foot. Remove your foot and finish off with a rough outline of where your foot arch is. This template can now be used to create your orthotics from your chosen material. However, be aware that this tracing-and-cutting method leaves room for error and may not provide the support you need. 3. Caulk, Silicone, or Gel You can make a mold of your feet by using caulk, silicone, or gel and once it's dry, you can trim it to fit in your shoes. While a mold should provide you with comfortable orthotics, a margin of error still exists because you may be inexperienced with working with these materials. Incorrect molds can cause your symptoms to worsen. 4. 3D Printer While a 3D printer can be a good method to create your own orthotics, it does have limitations, including access to a 3D printer, the necessary knowledge to create a model of your feet, and the expertise to create a suitable and effective design to feed into the printer. Home-made custom orthotics can aggravate rather than correct your foot condition, potentially leading to increased levels of pain and discomfort. Prescribed orthotics, designed and manufactured by experts in the field, will address your needs more effectively. Upstep's Simplified Process Acquiring the correct orthotics for your foot condition is simple when using Upstep’s website: Take a short quiz regarding your foot condition and what purpose you want the orthotics to fulfill.Receive an impression kit from Upstep within 4 business days of starting the process. Make impressions of your feet in the comfort of your home and send it back to Upstep (free of charge). The impressions are assessed to design custom insoles specifically for your needs.Receive your custom insoles within 18 business days of Upstep receiving the impression kit. Thereafter, Upstep has a 120-day money-back guarantee and will make further adjustments to the orthotics to suit your needs. Type of Custom Orthotics to Make at Home Orthotics for Normal Everyday Activity Normal Everyday Activity Custom Orthotics Orthotics for Normal Everyday Activities are an ideal solution for persons who are on their feet for more than 4 hours a day. These custom orthotics are made from durable materials to give your feet the support they need throughout the day. Daily use can relieve foot pain or discomfort. Orthotics for Flat Feet Flat Feet Custom Orthotics Orthotics for Flat Feet work to support and maintain the arch of your foot, thereby preventing it from collapsing as you place weight on your feet. This limits the potential for pain or discomfort, especially if you've been on your feet for a period of time. These custom orthotics aim to be a long-term solution to managing flat feet for your everyday and sporting activities.  Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis Plantar Fasciitis Custom Orthotics Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis are specifically designed to reduce the damaging forces that are commonly associated with causing symptoms of plantar fasciitis. These orthotics aim to provide you with the support you need while fitting easily into your lifestyle. Orthotics for Heel Pain Heel Pain Custom Orthotics Orthotics for Heel Pain are designed with specific cushioning around the heel to lessen the impact with the ground during walking or running activities, commonly linked to causing heel pain. The orthotics aim to restore the normal mechanics of your foot with every step, reducing pressure and pain. Orthotics for Supination Supination Custom Orthotics Orthotics for Supination are designed to limit the outward roll of your foot when you place weight onto it. Instead, your weight is redistributed throughout the entirety of your foot, drastically limiting the risk of injury to the outer side of your foot and ankle complex.  Orthotics for Foot Pain On My Feet All Day Custom Orthotics On My Feet All Day Custom Orthotics are designed with supportive and shock-absorbent materials that redistribute your weight through your whole foot surface, limiting areas of high pressure which are linked to pain or discomfort after a period of time. Orthotics for High Arches High Arches Custom Orthotics These orthotics have extensive arch support to account for the high arches that you may have. The support will redistribute any weight placed on your foot, limiting the strain placed onto the arches, relieving areas of high pressure, and preventing the risk of injury to your feet.  Orthotics for Pronation Pronation Custom Orthotics Orthotics for Pronation aim to address the inward roll of the foot by supporting your feet and preventing the damaging forces that are at the center of the problem. The orthotics will provide stability to your feet and limit the risk of injury. Orthotics for Metatarsalgia Metatarsalgia Custom Orthotics Orthotics for Metatarsalgia are specifically designed to reduce the pressure placed on your forefoot, which is often seen as the leading cause of this condition. These orthotics boast supportive cushioning under your forefoot and will help you to effectively manage pain. Orthotics for Achilles Tendon Achilles Tendon Custom Orthotics Achilles Tendon Custom Orthotics are an effective way to limit the severity and cause of Achilles Tendonitis. These orthotics are designed to reduce the strain placed on your Achilles tendon as you move, thereby aiming to prevent the development and worsening of any pain. Orthotics for Fitness & Walking Hiking & Fitness Walking Custom Orthotics Orthotics for Fitness and Walking are designed to improve the natural heel-to-toe action of your foot as you walk, reducing the fatigue that your feet experience through a well-designed, cushioned, supportive orthotic. These orthotics are durable and designed for frequent use in an effort to limit pain in your feet. Orthotics for Running Running Custom Orthotics Orthotics for Running are designed by podiatrists to give your feet the support and cushioning they require to hit the pavement without developing any discomfort. The orthotics are made from materials that are shock absorbent, thereby drastically reducing foot pain and limiting the risk of injury caused by running. Orthotics for Tennis Tennis Custom Orthotics Orthotics for Tennis are designed to improve the dynamic range of your foot on both grass and hard courts, thereby improving your overall performance. The orthotics stabilize your feet while changing directions quickly and protect them from any applied tension.  Orthotics for Basketball Basketball Custom Orthotics Basketball orthotics are made from shock-absorbing materials to protect your feet and ankles during physical basketball activities and maximize energy return. The orthotics are lightweight and will easily fit within a range of sneakers. While you can make your own orthotics at home, the process is difficult and may worsen your condition over time. It's recommended that you invest in professionally manufactured custom orthotics as these are guaranteed to provide the required support, are tailor-made to the shape of your feet, and cater to particular conditions. » Want to learn more? Visit Upstep's website  
Best Tailor's Bunion Exercises
BunionsBest Tailor's Bunion ExercisesA Tailor’s bunion is a smaller variation of a bunion that occurs in the fifth metatarsal or smallest toe of the foot. This is different from a bunion which usually occurs at the base of the big toe. Over time, the alignment of the small toe starts to change and a bump may occur. In most cases, this bump is not painful and does not pose a threat to your overall health. Only in severe cases will this condition result in pain.  This condition is caused by altered foot mechanics or due to ill-fitting shoes. Other causes of Tailor’s bunions include ligament laxity, arthritis, and walking on the outer edge of the foot, as seen in a foot with a high arch. Conservative management strategies are commonly used to prevent bunions from worsening and manage this condition safely and cost-effectively. Tailor's bunions can make wearing shoes feel uncomfortable and in severe cases, can hinder mobility. The symptoms of Tailors bunions: Misalignment of the smallest toe (5th metatarsal).Pain in the area.Redness.Swelling around the base of the small toe. Inability to bear weight.Pain when wearing tight shoes. Can Exercise Help Tailor's Bunions? In the majority of cases, exercises can be used to manage Tailor's bunions. The exercises for bunions aim to strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the foot. Strengthening the muscles of the foot can aid in restoring the normal biomechanics of the feet during daily activity or while exercising. Exercises may not entirely cure your Tailor’s bunions, but may greatly reduce your chances of them getting progressively worse. The intrinsic muscles of the feet will aid the small toe in maintaining its alignment when weight is placed onto the forefoot. Strengthening these can greatly improve lower leg mechanics and can prevent pain from arising in other areas of the body. Exercises to Treat Tailor’s Bunions Exercises can be done daily to aid in treating your Tailor’s bunion and prevent it from worsening in the future. The exercises can be done once or twice a day, four to five times a week. Here are some exercises that you can do: Toe exercises Sitting with the legs outstretched in front of you and your toes facing upward, attempting to spread the toes and hold for 15 seconds, then relax. Repeat several times on each foot. Toe curls Start sitting with the legs outstretched in front of you. Curl the toes, hold for 1 second and relax. Repeat several times on both feet. This exercise can be done in a sitting position, with your feet placed on a towel. Attempt to pull the towel backward with your toes by curling them backward. Foot stretch Sitting, cross your leg over the other by placing your foot on the opposite knee. Apply a gentle stretch backward to the forefoot with your hand. You should feel the stretch in the sole of your foot. Hold for 15-20 seconds and release. Repeat 3 times per foot approximately 2-3 times a day. You can also stretch the calf muscle to stretch the posterior structures of the foot that contribute to conditions such as plantar fasciitis, flat feet, or general biomechanics alignment issues in the foot. Can Exercise Prevent Tailor's Bunions? Though fixing bunions without surgery is a conservation correcting method, exercise can help prevent bunions from developing and getting progressively worse. It may, however, may not prevent you from developing them altogether. Alongside exercise, changing the type of shoes you are wearing may help you relieve the symptoms related to this condition. Shoes that are wider and have sufficient space on the outer side of the foot area will help limit the progression of this condition. Orthotics for bunions can also be used to redistribute the weight throughout the entirety of the forefoot and away from the outer side of the foot, where the Tailor’s bunion is located. Ice can be used to reduce swelling and inflammation in the area. Apply for 15-20 minutes, and can be applied several times throughout the day as pain determines. For more information on the different types of orthotics available, take a look at our custom orthotics. When to See a Doctor for Tailor's Bunions It is advised that you seek advice from a medical practitioner if your small toe is causing high levels of pain and discomfort while walking or going about your daily activities. Should the pain be at such a level that you are having trouble walking, medical advice should be sought regarding the management of this. In severe cases where the bump is progressively getting larger, the doctor may suggest surgical intervention as an option, once conservative management therapies have been exhausted. This, however, may take some time to entirely recover from or may never recover.
Best Home Remedies for Heel Spurs
HeelBest Home Remedies for Heel SpursHeel spurs refer to bony protrusions that extend from the calcaneus bone, usually due to a calcium buildup as a response to repetitive stress and strain. The spur may protrude into the soft tissue surrounding the heel, leading to inflammation and pain. Symptoms of a heel spur include sharp stabbing pains in the morning, with duller aches later in the day. There can be point tenderness to the touch in the middle of the affected heel and a feeling of warmth around this area. What Causes Heel Spurs? Repeated micro-tearing of the membrane covering the calcaneus and aggravation of the area due to increased tension of the plantar fascia from plantar fasciitis, are further causes of heel spurs. Moreover, they can also occur due to the influence of systemic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Those with excessive heel strike in the gait cycle, and those regularly doing high-impact exercise, can develop this foot condition. A person's weight and sex can also contribute to a greater likelihood of a buildup of calcium deposits - with more women and overweight people suffering from heel spurs. Natural Treatments for Heel Spurs There are many natural remedies to help you manage your heel pain at home, without more extreme treatment methods like surgery. Although natural remedies won’t cure the bony spur, they do slow the growth of the spur and decrease the severity of pain.  To start, you can aim to relieve the pressure on the heel by taking a look at the shoes you wear regularly, and determining whether they are suitable for your condition. Shoes with hard soles may aggravate symptoms, especially during day-to-day activities. When it comes to shoes for exercise activities, look for shoes with a shock-absorbent sole to reduce some of the force during heel strike.  Custom-made orthotics and shoes may be a relatively inexpensive way to manage the heel pain associated with the continued pressure on the heel. Orthotics distribute weight evenly throughout the foot and thus take the strain off the structures in the heel. This will slow the development of a heel spur.  Massage Techniques for Heel Spurs Massage is a great way to treat symptoms associated with heel spurs. The areas to massage include the sole of the foot, areas around the heel, and the calf muscle. Massage promotes the lengthening of structures to reduce tension, as well as increasing circulation, which promotes healing. Massaging the underside of your foot with a massage ball can relieve tension in the plantar fascia that could be contributing to the development of a heel spur. A foam roller can also be used to massage and stretch the structures that may be contributing to your daily symptoms. Self-massage can be done in the comfort of your home. Starting at the heel, take your thumb and gently apply circular massaging strokes to the area. The amount of pressure you use should not cause any pain. You can apply circular strokes to the sole of the foot towards the toes, and thereafter, long strokes across the length of the foot. Exercises for Heel Spurs Exercise to strengthen and promote mobility in the joints of the ankle, knee, and hip will also aid you in relieving your symptoms. Below are some of the best exercises to do. Calf muscle stretch against a wall: This stretch can be done against the wall, which provides a stable base to stretch against. Stand upright and place your forefoot with the toes facing forward against the wall. Slowly bend the knee to feel the stretch in the calf muscle. Calf stretch using a towel: Start by sitting with your legs out in front of you. Put a towel around the forefoot of one of your feet, and pull your toes toward you, stretching the calf muscle. Hold for 15-20 seconds.Calf isometric exercises with a towel: Start in the same position as before, with the towel around your forefoot. Push your forefoot into the towel and apply equal resistance by pulling back with your arms. Hold for five seconds and repeat 10-15 times per leg. Toe exercises: Place the feet flat on the floor with the weight distributed evenly across the foot. Lift the toes of one foot off the ground and hold for 2-3 seconds, and repeat ten times. Lift the toes off the floor while fanning them out from one another. Hold and then repeat. Yoga: Yoga has been found to be very effective in reducing pain in the body, including the foot and heel. There are many ways to treat foot conditions, including heel spurs. These bony protrusions can easily and simply be treated at home with natural remedies, massage, and exercise. Keep in mind, however, that if your symptoms persist or worsen, you should receive professional medical advice from a healthcare professional.
Tailor’s Bunion: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Foot painTailor’s Bunion: Causes, Symptoms, and TreatmentA tailor's bunion, also called a bunionette, is a growth on the outside of the foot at the base of the last 5th metatarsal bone (pinky toe). A tailor's bunion looks like a swollen, hard bump on the outer portion of the little toe. Symptoms of Tailor’s Bunion A tailor's bunion feels like a painful, red area with swelling at the site of the enlargement.The presence of callous or corn (smaller type of callous) on or near the bunion due to the effect of friction on the skin.Possibility of infection due to the presence of broken skin around the bony lump. Causes of Tailor’s Bunion There are several causes for the formation of a bunion on the side of the pinky toe: Tight shoes that constrict the feet.Weight gain.Structural problems with the feet.Wearing high heels that put strain on the feet.Poor foot function.Large head of the 5th metatarsal bone.Abnormally shaped little toes.Loose ligaments.Supinated foot. Can You Correct Tailor’s Bunion Without Surgery? There are several ways to get rid of bunions on the pinky toe without surgery. The best way to slow the progression of a tailor's bunion and help it shrink naturally is by following a conservative treatment during the early stages. A few steps you can follow at home are: Maintaining a healthy body weight.Wearing proper-fitting shoes that are wider near the toes.Using shoe inserts to help position the foot correctly.Using ice packs, warm socks, and massage.Using custom-made orthotics for bunions.Using bunionette pads and cushions.Wearing bunion splints (also known as bunionette toe spacers) at night may help alleviate pain. Exercises for Tailor's Bunion Exercises for bunionette pain are effective as a preventive and curative measure. They help in keeping the feet healthy and hopefully free from surgery by improving blood circulation, movement, and flexibility of the muscles and joints of the foot and toes. All the below exercises can be carried out as a home treatment for bunionettes: Toe spread outsToes circlesMarble pickupHeel raisesAnkle toe pumpsBarefoot beach walkingSelf-massageTowel grip and pull exerciseIce massage with a frozen bottleToe squeezes How Do You Keep Your Bunionettes From Getting Worse? The best way to keep your tailor's bunion from getting worse is by wearing proper shoes with a wide toe box. Additionally, exercising the feet and your toes three times every day will play a key role in preventing the bunionettes from worsening and avoiding the need for surgery. Following your healthcare practitioner's advice, the do’s and don’ts, maintaining a healthy weight, and wearing a custom orthotic inside a well-fitted shoe will assure that your bunionettes don't get worse. » Interested in custom orthotics? Browse our online store and get yourself a pair. Is Tailor’s Bunion Surgery Worth It? Sometimes, in the case of a chronic tailor's bunion that is causing excessive pain, surgery is the only option. Though you are still able to receive surgery in less severe cases, you'll have to weigh up the pros and cons to decide if it's going to be worth it. Bunionette surgery itself is not painful since the patient is under the effect of general anaesthetic. However, it may take about 4-6 months to recover from tailor's bunion surgery. Depending upon the nature of your job (whether sedentary or physical), the surgeon will make recommendations as to when you are allowed back on your feet. Generally speaking, walking can be started 0-6 weeks post-op in a hospital shoe with full weight-bearing on your legs. Post six weeks you may be able to fully bear weight on your affected foot and walk in your regular shoes. Additionally, another factor to weigh up when deciding if surgery is worth it is cost. Not everyone has insurance that will cover this type of procedure, and so the best way to find out is by getting in contact with your insurance company and hospital. When Does a Tailor’s Bunion Need Surgery? Needing surgery for tailors bunion is multifactorial. If there is the presence of symptoms such as severe foot pain, swelling, and redness with no reduction in them after implementing conservative treatment options, then you may need surgical excision of the bunion. Consult a podiatrist or GP if you are unsure of the severity of your situation.
Bunions: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
BunionsBunions: Symptoms, Causes, and TreatmentA bunion looks like a bump on the outside of the base of your big toe. It is an abnormality of the foot bone which causes the big toe to bend away from its normal position towards the second toe. While usually painless at the early stage, the bunion on the big toe can become inflamed and cause more pain if left untreated. The pain is persistent or intermittent and is found in the metatarsophalangeal joint. Bunions, also known as hallux valgus, are more common in adults than in adolescents. Other than age, ill-fitting shoes, genetics, and occupation can also predispose people to have bunions. You need to look out for the early signs of bunions and address them before it leads to permanent deformity and activity limitation. To do this, it is important to understand not just the causes, but what a bunion looks like, and possible treatments. We will cover all these in the article below. Symptoms of Bunions Bunions present with several symptoms, including: PainSorenessNumbnessBurning sensationRednessSwelling at the metatarsophalangeal joint There can also be a thickening of the skin at the base of the affected toe, corns, calluses, and movement restrictions of the affected toe. The pain caused by bunions can range from mild to severe depending on how long you’ve had them. It can also be either persistent or flare up intermittently. Again, it may simply be throbbing at night or worsening with activity throughout the day. Common Causes of Bunions There are several ways you can get bunions, such as: Poor footwear An ill-fitting shoe with a narrow toe box or high heels can cause bunions to form. Structural foot problems Low arches or familial history (genetics) can lead to a bunion on the big toe. Other foot conditions Hypermobility, arthritis of the foot (mostly rheumatoid arthritis), and neuromuscular conditions like poliomyelitis can also cause bunions. Activities or jobs that require prolonged standing Aside from these factors, bunions are also statistically more common in females and older individuals. Natural Treatments for Bunions Bunions, if left untreated, can lead to complications like hammertoes, calluses, metatarsalgia, bursitis, and more. Thankfully, bunions can be easily treated using either a surgical or non-surgical approach, with the first line of treatment being conservative. Surgery must only be treated as a last option if the natural treatment proves ineffective. However, if addressed early, you can prevent bunions from getting worse. To start with, you can use ice and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve any immediate pain and limit inflammation. Additionally, taping, shoe adjustments, and orthotics can help combat bunions. Taping your foot in a normal position reduces pressure on the affected area. Also with padded shoes, there is more room to move your toes. Tailor's bunion insoles can also be used to bring comfort and relieve pressure on the foot. Orthotics for Treating Bunions Orthotics are especially good in treating bunions. While there are over-the-counter orthotics, custom orthotics are preferable for the treatment of bunions. Custom orthotics, such as the ones provided by Upstep, are custom-built and designed to fit your foot specifications. When used, they provide comfort and support while improving your balance and alignment, ensuring weight and pressure are distributed appropriately. » Want to invest in orthotics? Browse Upstep's custom orthotics range to get started When Is Surgery Required to Treat Bunions? Against popular belief, not all bunions will require surgery. If conservative treatment can bring pain relief and prevent complications, then it should be pursued. However, if the conservative treatment does not begin at the early stages of the condition, the prognosis worsens and it becomes more likely that surgery may be needed. If, after trying conservative management for a few months, the conditions get more severe or pain worsens, surgery may be considered as a last option. However, being the last resort does not mean it isn’t a good option as it can bring a permanent solution. The surgical approach could include osteotomy, exostectomy, arthrodesis, and resection arthroplasty, depending on the severity of the condition at the time of presentation. Apart from reducing your symptoms, bunion surgery will also restore the shape of your foot. No matter how mild the symptoms in your foot are, do not just assume they will disappear. Rather, the best thing is to see your doctor or a podiatrist as they will examine your foot and diagnose if it is a bunion, whether it is worsening or improving, and what you can do about it.
Treatment Guide for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitisTreatment Guide for Plantar FasciitisThe plantar fascia is a thin casing of connective tissue below the skin, surrounding and covering the sole muscles. It extends from the origin of the heel of the foot to the base of the toes. It plays a vital role in the normal biomechanics of the foot, supporting the arch, and providing shock absorption. What Is Plantar Fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis happens due to the degeneration of collagen of the plantar fascia at its origin, the calcaneal tuberosity of the heel, and the surrounding structures. This is why the pain is located primarily at the heel, which is commonly worse in the morning or after long periods of walking and standing. This is due to the tenderness at the anteromedial heel. A limp may be evident with toe walking to take pressure off the heel. Causes of Plantar Fasciitis The cause of plantar fasciitis is mainly due to overuse and falls under the umbrella of "overuse injuries." In simple terms, this is due to repetitive strain on the foot leading to micro-tears of the plantar fascia. However, it can also be due to trauma or other causes such as: ObesityUse of the wrong shoesImpactful sporting activities like running, soccer, etc. that place stress on the foot with overuseOccupation involving long hours of standing and walking without rest A sudden increase in activity levels is also the cause just before the onset of symptoms. What Aggravates Plantar Fasciitis? There are several aggravating factors like: Overactivity without adequate rest.Tight calf muscles that limit ankle mobility.Long periods of standing, walking, or running.Wearing high heels regularly as they put excessive strain on the foot and compromise its normal biomechanics.Flat feet or high arches accompanied by incorrect footwear.Excessive pronation (foot rolling inward while walking).Walking barefoot on a hard surface. Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis There are various treatments for plantar fasciitis. Post consultation with your healthcare practitioner, a home exercise program can be carried out. With your general practitioner and physiotherapist, make sure the diagnosis is correct depending on the history, clinical examination, and assessments to rule out any other differential diagnosis. Patient education is the most critical aspect of any rehabilitation and injury management, following the do’s and don'ts, the right way to carry out the exercise program, and wearing soft orthotics specifically designed for plantar fasciitis. Most cases (around 90%) of plantar fasciitis are successfully managed and treated conservatively. The Rest and Ice Method Probably the most common treatment for plantar fasciitis, the rest and ice method can be performed by: Resting in between your daily activities and avoiding any aggravating activity of daily living that might increase the current pain levels.Icing the painful area for 7-10mins, three times a day, right from the initiation of pain in the acute phase. Ice massages can also be done by freezing a bottle of water and rolling it under your feet. Deep Massage Massaging the sole deeply also helps in releasing the tension and relaxing the fascia. Myofascial release from a qualified physiotherapist in the clinic also contributes to the recovery. Stretching and Exercise Exercises for the foot and lower limb are essential in recovering from plantar fasciitis. Mobility exercises for the ankle that include stretching and strengthening, along with electrotherapeutic modalities like ultrasound and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), also play a significant role in healing plantar fasciitis. Using Custom Orthotics to Treat Plantar Fasciitis Orthopedic shoe inserts or orthotics (molded insoles for your shoes) are another form of assistive device prescribed in conjunction with the above conservative treatments to speed up the recovery process. Custom-made orthotics, like Upstep's Plantar Fasciitis Custom Orthotics are highly beneficial in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. They help with pain and improving function by reducing the pressure and strain on the plantar fascia during standing, walking, and other activities of daily living. These orthotics also targets issues with the arches like flat feet, high arches, and pronation. As every individual is different with different body biomechanics, it is imperative to have custom-made orthotics to assist and contribute to the speedy rehabilitation from plantar fasciitis in the right way. It is ideally best to remove the shoe insole while wearing your custom-made orthotics and not to place custom-made orthotics on top of the shoe insoles as they work best when they rest securely on the shoe's interior. » Ready to get started? Order a pair of Custom Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis today. How Often Should You Wear Custom Orthotics? Your body needs to get adjusted and used to wearing an external assistive device like foot orthotics; hence it is necessary to start by wearing for 4 to 6 hours a day, moving to 8 hours a day. It usually takes around 3 to 4 weeks to get used to the orthotics before you can start wearing them all day. It is important to stop wearing orthotics entirely at the right time and not earlier before reaping the full benefits as weaning them off too early can further damage the feet, leading to serious health issues. Hence, wearing orthotics for at least 3 to 6 months is recommended before weaning them off completely post consultation with your healthcare practitioner. Should You Wear Custom Orthotics Forever? Wearing your custom made foot inserts forever or not depends upon the level of dysfunction and faulty biomechanics of the foot posture. In cases of severe flat feet, high arches, and pronated feet that frequently lead to recurrent injuries, aches, and pains with functional limitations, there may be a need to use custom orthotics forever. This is not only a treatment for plantar fasciitis but also a preventative measure for future injuries and pain. It is vital to wear good custom made orthotics, like Upstep, along with other conservative treatments of physical therapy and home exercise programs for plantar fasciitis to assist in a complete rehabilitation and preventative measure. » Still not convinced? Read more about the benefits of using custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis. Custom Made Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis Improves the Quality of Your Life Custom orthotics will make life with plantar fasciitis easier. Upstep creates plantar fasciitis custom orthotics that give you long-term pain relief for everyday activities, from work to sports. These orthotics cost 60% less than any other custom orthotic brand and are risk-free to try for 120 days.
Plantar Fasciitis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and More
Plantar fasciitisPlantar Fasciitis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and MoreThe latest research is showing that plantar fasciitis consists of small micro-tears and thickening in the plantar fascia itself (the band of soft tissue that makes up the arch of the foot) and is most commonly caused by your feet being overloaded. The most common causes of this overload are poor foot mechanics (collapsed arches, flat, and high-arched feet) combined with too much standing and inappropriate shoes. Sport and exercise are also often implicated again due to the foot being overloaded and not getting a chance to heal itself. The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain that increases after exercise, long periods of sitting, or when you first wake up in the morning. However, plantar fasciitis can cause more problems if left untreated. » Can orthotics relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms? Upstep's plantar fasciitis custom orthotics can easily fit into your lifestyle and provide the necessary support for your feet What Can You Do About Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain? Correct the foot mechanics with custom-made orthotics This is particularly important if you have had plantar fasciitis for over 3 months. Strengthen the muscles of your hips, legs, and feet Perform exercises designed to make them work better when standing and walking. Simple foot exercises are simply not enough. Change your shoes Shoes with good support and a small heel lift are essential. A good pair of running shoes or walking boots are good, flat and soft sneakers are not! What’s So Special About the Upstep Custom Orthotic Solution? Our orthotics are custom made to your own foot shape. This means that they will give the maximum support to your feet to reduce the underlying forces responsible. All of our orthotics come with a comprehensive range of exercises designed by a specialist - our in-house Podiatrist, Philip Wells. These work with your orthotics to give the fastest and most comprehensive rehabilitation program possible. » Still not convinced custom orthotics are for you? Read the plantar fasciitis custom orthotics review More Tips for Reducing Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain Combining orthotics, good footwear, and exercises always give the best long-term success.Be patient. It takes, on average, 6 months to fully recover from a really bad case of plantar fasciitis. Everyone is different and this is never truer than when dealing with plantar fasciitis. This means that there is no magic bullet for everyone. However, the general rule of thumb is that in 99% of cases it is the overload of the foot that is to blame and this has to be removed.

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