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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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Expert Tips for Faster Recovery From Foot Injuries
Foot painExpert Tips for Faster Recovery From Foot InjuriesThere's a lot of waiting involved, and we know that can be frustrating. Use these golden tips from our expert podiatrists to rehabilitate your feet and keep them healthy! Tip 1. Alternate Hot & Cold Compresses If your foot is swollen or painful, alternating between icing and warming can help reduce swelling, numb pain, and keep away inflammation. Just be careful not to overdo it, as that could lead to frostbites or burns. To cool down, you can use an icepack, some ice cubes in a ziplock bag wrapped in a towel, or that bag of frozen baby carrots from the back of your freezer. To warm up, use a warm water bottle, a heating pad, or a microwavable pillow. Tip 2. Do (The Right Kind Of) Exercise Therapeutic exercises can help you with all sorts of foot and ankle injuries. There are a lot of exercises online, but if they're not suitable for your specific injury, they may actually induce more damage. Consult your doctor or physical therapist to find the most up-to-date methods for rehabilitating your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Tip 3. Get Support When your doctor says it's OK to start walking regularly again, wear supportive shoes to ensure your foot is stable and prevent repeated injuries. Athletic footwear is a great option - it's designed to hold feet steady and absorb shock. If sneakers aren't your thing, go for flat-soled shoes that feel snug (but not tight), have a thick enough sole, and don't wobble. Ready to try these tips & tricks? Tell us how it went!
Which Athletes Can Benefit From Wearing Orthotics?
OrthoticsWhich Athletes Can Benefit From Wearing Orthotics?Exercises consist of different levels of impact, which places varying degrees of stress on your feet that force your foot to function in different ways. As such, some athletes benefit more from orthotics than others, making the use of custom-made orthotics extremely essential in athletes playing certain types of sports. Athletes have a higher demand physically due to the nature of their sport and hence are more prone to injuries of the foot, legs, and other body parts. This is why it is highly beneficial for certain athletes like soccer players, runners, basketball players, football players, and power-walkers to wear orthotics to have the proper support and foot biomechanics as a preventative measure. » Which orthotics should athletes wear? Upstep offers a variety of custom orthotics, including multi-sports custom orthotics and running custom orthotics Which Types of Exercise Require Which Orthotics? Since the demand for different exercises is different, the type of orthotics to be worn needs to vary in order to fit and meet the stress of a particular sport on your body. The benefits of foot orthoses for athletes, while different, can be found to improve sports performance in every sport. Exercises involving running and jogging need orthotics specifically designed for shock absorption when the heel contacts the ground, thus making it ready for the next phase of running, which is the forefoot push-off. Soft orthotics are generally used for the same. Whereas sprinters need to wear orthotics that help control the function of their forefoot, such as a rigid orthotic composed of a firm material. They can also use sprint insoles specially designed for sprinters. The same is true for golfers and weight-lifters, who experience prolonged stress on their feet without too much shock. High impact activities such as jumping involved in basketball players can benefit from the use of shock-absorbing orthotics. Football players use inner soles in their shoes/boots that offer shock absorption, help the boots fit better, turn the shock into energy, and cushion the foot from the impact of contact with a hard surface. » Still unsure whether custom orthotics are for you? Read the running custom orthotics review Should All Athletes Get Orthotics? After all this, you might be wondering: "Should I wear orthotics while exercising." The fact of the matter is that there is no harm in having a custom-made orthotic insole for your daily use and sporting activities, especially if you are suffering from pain or any other dysfunction of the feet. It is also important to note that custom orthotics are better than over-the-counter (OTC) insoles as they can be molded to the specifications of your foot, whereas generic ones are certain to have inaccuracies that can hurt your performance. Instead, custom orthotics will help deal with the currently altered foot biomechanics, giving added support to your arches, taking pressure off the feet, and aiding in preventing any future injuries that may happen. It can potentially be harmful to run without orthotics if you are predisposed to foot conditions. Running without support could have adverse effects and wear and tear on your feet, making orthotics beneficial in most physical activities, especially for athletes and people suffering from malalignment of the feet. What About Exercises That Do Not Require Footwear and Orthotics? Exercises that do not require putting any pressure on the feet, like open kinetic chain exercises, can be safely performed without orthotics or even barefoot. Yoga can also be performed safely while barefoot and without orthotics. Although, when it comes to closed kinetic chain exercises where your feet are in contact with the ground while exercising, they may get added pressure during the movements. As such, they should always be performed while wearing the necessary good fit shoes and custom-made orthotics. However, suppose one doesn’t have any pain or discomfort in the feet while performing workouts in the gym or walking. In that case, they do not necessarily require shoes with additional custom-made orthotics. However, they can still be worn for additional support to the arch and cushioning or prevent any possible future injuries, aches, and pains. It is essential to change the orthotics after a period depending upon the wear and tear they have undergone, especially if you experience pain after wearing orthotics. Custom-made orthotics generally last for about 2 - 3 years. However, some may need a replacement after one year, depending upon the condition of the orthotic. Hence, it is essential to consult your physiotherapist or podiatrist before using the existing orthotic in your exercise shoes. How to Know if You Need Orthotics When Exercising As mentioned above, you might not necessarily need orthotics in every scenario, especially if you have no foot abnormalities and don't experience any pain. Although you might not need them, you might still experience some benefit from using orthotics, even more so if you use them during strenuous exercise. However, if you experience any consistent pain of any kind as a result of training, it is advised that you consult a podiatrist and try and purchase a pair of custom orthotics.
Can Orthotic Insoles Help Treat Achilles Tendonitis?
OrthoticsCan Orthotic Insoles Help Treat Achilles Tendonitis?Achilles tendonitis is a condition caused by overuse, where the Achilles tendon - the tendon which connects the calf muscle to the heel - is injured. Common symptoms include pain at the back of the ankle and heel, stiffness of the ankle joint, tenderness to the touch, and swelling. Although there are many potential treatments for this condition, such as physiotherapy, you may also find some relief from custom orthotics. Do You Need Orthotics for Achilles Tendonitis? In short, definitely. There are different types of Achilles tendonitis, and all can benefit somewhat from the use of custom orthotics. Insertional Achilles Tendonitis This condition affects the lower part of the tendon, where the tendon attaches to the heel bone. Pain caused by insertional Achilles tendonitis can be eased with custom orthotics and shoe insoles. Noninsertional Achilles Tendonitis This condition affects the muscle fibers in the middle portion of the tendon. It generally affects the younger population, who are more physically active. It is essential to keep a close eye on your feet's pain levels, swelling, and movement restrictions. It is necessary to see your healthcare practitioner when there is excruciating pain, excessive swelling and redness, or extreme movement restriction. What Aggravates Achilles Tendonitis? Repetitive movements.Not resting the feet enough.Wearing improper shoes.Ignoring the pain in the initial days and not giving it the required care, thus making it worse and requiring a longer recovery time. Which Orthotics Are the Best for Relieving Achilles Tendon Pain? Orthotics help relieve Achilles tendon pain by reducing the tendon's strain and irritation and improving your foot mechanics. Various foot supports and types of orthotic insoles help in Achilles tendonitis. Silicone Achilles sleeves help in reducing the irritation that is caused from the back of the shoes. Whereas in case of pain from insertional Achilles tendonitis, you can use a heel lift to move the heel away from the back of the shoes to prevent excessive friction. Upstep is one of the best companies known to produce great custom-made orthotics and foot insoles. Upstep custom orthotic insoles for Achilles tendon pain are designed to reduce the stress from altered foot mechanics by improving your overall foot function, not just the arches of your feet. They are essential in making sure you can get back to walking pain-free. Podiatrists recommend specific types of shoes to take the tension off the Achilles tendon and reduce irritation. Deep heel cup shoes that hold the food stable and comfortable, and a slight heel raise in the 8-12mm range. Orthopedic supportive sandals are also highly recommended to use in Achilles tendonitis. Additionally, ankle braces specifically for Achilles tendonitis do help by reducing pain and swelling. They also assist in regaining and improving mobility while the tendon heals. Are Upstep Orthotics Worth It? It is essential to include orthotic insoles in treating Achilles tendonitis in addition to the other conservative management like physiotherapy, as they will all assist in a complete recovery by addressing the individual concerns of one's feet. Upset is a company with core values and a vision to help customers deal with their altered foot mechanics to make their daily lives better and pain-free. Their orthotics are custom-made with different types of comfortable and breathable material by the expert team of podiatrists. The best part is that they are affordable and won’t burn a hole in your pocket. They use research-based medicine as their approach to foot care and orthotic design. Comprising their medical panel are clinicians with years of experience diagnosing and treating feet conditions. Hence, Upstep orthotics are totally worth becoming a partner in your foot care journey.
Metatarsalgia: Diagnosis, Pain Relief, and Best Orthotics
Foot painMetatarsalgia: Diagnosis, Pain Relief, and Best OrthoticsThe metatarsals are the five long bones situated below each of the five toes and extending to your ankle. They make up the middle portion of the foot. The metatarsophalangeal joint is the attachment of the metatarsal bones to the phalanges (toes). What Is Metatarsalgia? Metatarsalgia is the pain in the first half of your foot, known as the ball of the foot or the forefoot. Can Metatarsalgia Go Away on Its Own? Metatarsalgia is a condition that needs to be treated as it is not self-healing. As such, it won't go away on its own without any conservative management. Common causes of metatarsalgia include: InflammationAge-related degenerative changesHigh impact activitiesUse of improper footwearUse of improper orthotics in playing certain sportsShort Achilles tendonOvertraining, leading to overuse injuriesHigh foot archesExcessive foot pronation (ankles rolling inward with medial arch drop)Stress fracturesProminent metatarsal head Aggravating factors for metatarsalgia can be any of the following: Inadequate balance between rest and activityAdded load on the metatarsophalangeal jointsIgnoring the initial pain levelsOverdoing certain activitiesNot following a healthcare practitioner's advice Suspending weight-bearing activities until pain subsides is essential in the recovery to avoid further increases in inflammation and pain. It generally takes about 6 to 8 weeks to improve post undergoing proper conservative treatment with physical therapy and orthotics. Best Treatments for Metatarsalgia Some of the best and most popular treatments for metatarsalgia include: Conservative treatment with physiotherapy This can include stretching and strengthening exercises to relax the muscles and lower the chance of reoccurrences. Electrotherapeutic modalities These can be ultrasounds or interferential therapy that can reduce pain in the acute stages. Icing and elevating the feet Doing so on the painful areas for 7- 10 mins three times a day in the initial stages could reduce pain and swelling. Self-massage This can be performed by gently moving the pad of your thumb in a circular motion on the painful areas for 5-7 minutes. Or, as an alternative, an ice massage can be utilized by rolling a frozen water bottle under your feet to help reduce pain and relax the intrinsic foot muscles. Using metatarsal orthotics Metatarsal pads are made from different materials such as rubber, silicone, or polyurethane. They help reduce the pressure under the painful metatarsal heads by spreading it to a larger area and improving the foot's function. As for the best metatarsal shoe inserts, Upstep insoles for metatarsalgia are highly recommended and beneficial in helping to reduce discomfort from metatarsalgia. Every case of metatarsalgia is unique due to the different underlying causes and individual foot biomechanics. Hence, Upstep's custom orthotics are specifically designed to meet your particular need and reduce the destructive forces that are the reason for the problem. They help support the treatment of metatarsalgia by assisting in a long-term solution to improve and maintain day-to-day activities of living, from work to sports, in a healthy manner. Should You Get Insoles for Metatarsalgia? It is essential to get yourself a custom-made orthotic insole to completely heal from metatarsalgia and prevent it from reoccurring. They are designed to help your body maintain its ideal position, taking away the tension from the joints, allowing freedom of movement, increasing the foot's range of motion, reducing fatigue, and preventing any future injuries that may happen. At the end of the day, there's no reason you shouldn't get custom insoles for metatarsalgia.
Do Orthotic Insoles Work for Heel Pain?
OrthoticsDo Orthotic Insoles Work for Heel Pain?Heel pain is the common complaint of individuals affected by most foot conditions. There are various causes of heel pain, such as: Calcaneum heel spursPlantar fasciitisOveruse injuriesAchilles tendonitisSprains and strainsFracturesBursitisArthritisAnkylosis spondylitis.Altered foot biomechanics from occupation or incorrect footwear use It is important to get yourself diagnosed by a healthcare practitioner like your physical therapist to know the exact cause of the heel pain and accordingly seek the right treatment. Can Heel Pain Be Prevented? Prevention is always better than cure, and heel pain can be prevented by taking the necessary care. Firstly, it‘s important to have a good lifestyle and include a good amount of physical activity in your routine as a preventative measure from heel pain or any other impairments. It is essential to have a good balance between activity and rest. Making sure none of your daily life routines are overdone. Simple physical activity, such as walking, can help prevent heel pain and maintain the current health of your feet. Although, it is important that while walking, you use the correct footwear as poorly designed footwear can lead to imbalances in your foot biomechanics and arch support, doing more harm than if you were barefoot. Can Heel Pain Be Treated? Heel pain can be very well treated conservatively post consultation with your healthcare practitioner. I wouldn’t suggest going directly for home remedies without knowing the exact cause of your heel pain. That being said, you can perform some home remedies immediately after the pain begins and once you know the reason for it. Some of the easiest home remedies include: Resting your feet.Avoiding any activities that aggravate your pain.Use of ice.Wearing the correct footwear. Heel pain decreases and completely heals depending upon the cause. In the case of plantar fasciitis, the most common cause of heel pain, it takes about 6 to 18 months. Other conditions, such as a strain, take a few days to a few weeks to heal. It is essential to see your doctor if your pain doesn’t subside after carrying out the home remedies or suffering from excruciating pain; inability to move, stand, and walk; swelling of the ankle; redness; and warmth at the ankle and heel. What Are the Best Insoles for Heel Pain? Arch support is often needed in cases of heel pain as altered foot biomechanics and increased, or decreased, arch of the foot are among the most common contributing factors causing discomfort. There are different types of insoles available in the market. As for custom orthotics vs. insoles, it is important to get one custom-made to cater to your individual need and foot posture, instead of going for the over-the-counter insoles that are generic and, in most cases, do not help as much as they promise. There are gel-based and memory foam insoles available. Both have their pros and cons; however, both are good at catering to different needs. Memory foam insoles are light insoles generally used for daily activities like walking, whereas gel-based insoles are used for shock absorption during high-intensity activities such as various sports. Are Custom Orthotics Worth It for Heel Pain? Custom orthotics for heel pain relief can aid in the recovery process from the majority of foot conditions along with your physical therapy treatments since the biomechanics of feet are interdependent with most foot conditions and pain. Hence, custom orthotics will help improve the ideal foot mechanics and give your body a chance to heal itself.
Can Orthotic Insoles Treat Posterior Tibial Tendonitis?
OrthoticsCan Orthotic Insoles Treat Posterior Tibial Tendonitis?Posterior tibial tendonitis, also called posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD), is a condition that causes inflammation of the tendons on the inner side or medial part of the ankle (posterior tibial tendon). This article will detail the symptoms and causes of PTTD, how to fix PTTD, and the effectiveness of using orthotic insoles. Symptoms of PTTD The most common symptoms of PTTD are: Pain located on the inner side of the ankle that worsens with activity.Inflamed and swollen posterior tibial tendon.Restriction in ankle joint movements.Balance and stability issues while standing and walking.Unsteady gait patterns. PTTD happens in 4-5 stages depending upon the severity of the condition and the individual case. Higher stages imply a severe condition with either a fixed or a flexible foot deformity. Causes of Posterior Tibial Tendonitis PTTD usually occurs as a result of any or all of the following: Overuse by repetitive activities and inadequate rest.A recent ankle sprain.Being obese or overweight.Laxity of the ligaments supporting the ankle joints.Hypertension. Typically, you are more at risk for PTTD if you: Have flat feet.Are a young athlete playing high-impact sports.Are elderly (especially true for idle women). Additionally, PTTD can be aggravated by several activities, such as walking, running, hiking, and stair climbing. What Is the Best Treatment for Posterior Tibial Tendonitis? The good news is that PTTD can be treated. The treatment option depends on its severity. In most patients, the condition is mild, and symptoms will resolve with conservative and non-surgical management. This includes a mix of rest, ice, pharmacological management, immobilization, orthotics, and physiotherapy. In more severe cases, surgical repair may be necessary. It is important to note that, even with early intervention, pain may last longer than 12 weeks. However, for patients who have developed chronic pain before intervention starts, pain may last for another 6 months before resolving. Here is what each treatment approach entails: Medical Management Your general physician may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help control the pain and inflammation. When taken at least 30 mins before exercise, they make exercise more bearable by limiting inflammation. However, once you've used NSAIDs for up to a month, consider revisiting your physician. Physical Therapy Going under a complete rehabilitation program with your physical therapist is essential to recovering from PTTD. The rehabilitation is done according to the stage of the condition and can be any of the following: Ice Using ice in the acute stage can help control inflammation.Activity modification To give the leg some much-needed rest, it may be necessary to decrease some activities. Total sedentary behavior is usually unachievable for most individuals, and so, at the very least, you should avoid high-impact exercises like jogging and running. For example, biking, elliptical machines, and swimming do not put a large impact load on the foot and can be tolerated by most patients.Implementation of an exercise program Usually, this includes mobility, stretching, and strengthening exercises for the posterior tibial tendon.Immobilization Immobilizing the foot in a walking cast or boot and avoiding weight-bearing activities allows the tendon healing time in the acute stage. This must be used with caution as it can cause muscles of the foot to atrophy. Often, this option is used only if other conservative methods have not yielded results.Massage Gentle self-massage using the pad of your thumb can relieve pain and relax the structures around the medial ankle. Proper Footwear While over-the-counter pain-relief insoles will be enough in someone with a mild change in foot shape, a custom orthotic is necessary where there is a severe deformity. Custom orthotics are specifically designed to improve arch support and foot function for your unique feet. Furthermore, wearing the appropriate shoe is still often underrated as a means of managing PTTD; yet it works. Wearing the right shoes will help maintain proper foot alignment and prevent injury. This invariably helps to improve the symptoms of posterior tibial tendonitis. Surgical Management When conservative management fails to bring pain relief in severe conditions, surgical treatment is the next option for treating fixed or flexible foot deformities. The type of surgery will depend on the location of tendonitis and the severity of the damage. Common procedures include lengthening of the Achilles tendon, tenosynovectomy, tendon transfer, osteotomy, and fusion. How Can Orthotic Insoles Help PTTD? The aim of using orthotic insoles for PTTD is to decrease the patient's pain, speed up activity and function, maintain the foot and ankle in a neutral position, and forestall the development of deformity. To achieve this, orthotic insoles are custom-fitted to provide extra cushioning to the arches of feet and the metatarsals. These play important roles in optimal weight distribution and protect the ball of the foot from more damage. In addition, these insoles provide support to the medial arch and the inner aspect of your foot. Consequently, the foot is kept in an optimum position to allow proper functioning. As long as it is functioning correctly, you can expect to feel relief, and your daily activities can return to normal. » Ready to purchase some orthotics? Take a look at our complete collection of Custom Orthotics. How Effective Are Orthotic Insoles for PTTD? Research has found that: Foot orthoses, together with exercise programs, seemed to improve the effect of orthotic treatment. Also, foot orthoses with personalized internal longitudinal arch support were more effective than flat insoles or standard treatments in reducing pain. Additional research surmised that: Orthoses can improve foot and ankle alignment, clinical symptoms, and functional outcomes in PTTD patients, with success rates up to 90%. This means that posterior tibial tendonitis orthotics play a vital role in the treatment of PTTD along with physiotherapy management. They will assist in optimizing foot loading, supporting and maintaining the arch, and improving the foot biomechanics. Proper functioning of human lower limbs is highly dependent on the biomechanics of the feet, which is altered due to a collapse of the medial arch (also called flat feet) and leads to excessive pronation of the feet (ankles that roll inward). Few things are as effective in maintaining the biomechanics of the foot as custom-made insoles. They will help in maintaining and helping the collapsed arch improve with time. The orthotics themselves require very supportive and spacious footwear to both fit in and function at their best. Good quality athletic shoes, hiking boots, or similar are ideal for achieving the best results possible. Are Custom Orthotics Worth It for Posterior Tibial Tendonitis? In conclusion, as illustrated above, custom orthotics are an essential adjunct to achieve a complete recovery from posterior tibial tendonitis. They allow for ultimate support by applying the correct force on the feet, reducing the load placed on the tendons. Essentially, yes, custom orthotics are worth it for posterior tibial tendonitis.
Can Natural Treatments and Custom Insoles Cure Pain From Flat Feet?
Flat feetCan Natural Treatments and Custom Insoles Cure Pain From Flat Feet?Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, is a condition in which the arches of your feet are depressed, and most, if not all, of the sole is in contact with the floor. The condition is further divided into two sub-conditions known as and characterized by: Flexible flat feet (FFF) Patients appear normal when seated or standing tiptoed, but their arches collapse when they stand up and apply weight to the soles of their feet.Rigid flat feet (RFF) Patients have collapsed and flat arches regardless of the position that their feet are in. The experienced symptoms will vary between individuals from mild to severe, though similar treatments are prescribed to those who seek help. This article looks at the efficacy of using custom-made insoles or orthotics to alleviate or potentially cure the pain of flat feet. What Causes Flat Feet? Flexible flat feet are normal in young children as the arches only tend to develop at around age 7. For those who carry the condition into adulthood, they can thank their genetics as this sub-condition is often hereditary. However, if you are predisposed to having flexible flat feet, you may not need to worry as most individuals with this sub-condition will be asymptomatic and live their lives without needing treatment. Rigid flat feet, however, are unusual and dangerous. Often caused by injuries or congenital disorders, RFF manifest in structural issues and misalignments of the tendons and ligaments in either your feet or legs. The progression, or even cause, of this condition can be exacerbated by obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and old age. Why Are Flat Feet Bad? If you have asymptomatic FFF, then you are probably safe in not getting treatment as it's unlikely that it could progress into further issues. If, on the other hand, you experience any pain or other secondary conditions as a result of either FFF or RFF, then it's strongly advised that you seek treatment as soon as possible as this could lead to a number of further complications. Flat Feet Can Cause Overpronation Our feet naturally pronate in order to absorb shock from the impact against the ground, but overpronation is when your ankles roll too far inward to where the soles of your feet are flat against the floor. Since the feet are the foundation for the standing body, alignment problems like this can lead to further conditions like mild to severe pain in the knees and ankles. If the condition is not treated, it can progress to severe conditions like spinal misalignments and issues in the hips and lower back. Flat Feet Can Cause Plantar Fasciitis Since the tendons in flat feet are not operating correctly, they can overstretch the plantar fascia (the band of tissue that runs under your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes) and lead to plantar fasciitis, which is a painful inflammation. Although people with plantar fasciitis usually heal with time, if the cause of this condition is flat feet, then it might be something you have to deal with for an extended period of time. How Can You Alleviate the Pain of Flat Feet From Home? Before learning about potential conservative and natural treatments for flat feet, it's important to understand that flat feet are not reversible. Although the symptoms can often be managed and alleviated, flat feet will never simply "go away" in the same manner that a cold might. Despite this, there are some things you can do to make the condition easier to live with. It's important to understand that there is no time limit. The more you implement these methods, the more manageable your symptoms will become over time, while if you start to slack and forget to do them, your condition may become worse once more. Is Walking Barefoot Good for Flat Feet? Some people suggest that walking, or even exercise, without shoes on can strengthen the muscles in your arch as they need to overcompensate to make up for the lost support. However, it's important to understand that there are no scientific studies that suggest barefoot exercises can treat flat feet. If you do intend to exercise and suffer from flat feet, you'd have more luck using a pair of sports insoles intended for flat feet instead of doing it barefoot. Exercises for Flat Feet Science has found that since one of the potential causes of flat feet is weakened muscles or tendons, you can perform exercises intended to strengthen them, such as: Supinated arch lifts are performed from a standing position and require you to keep your toes and the outside of your sole on the floor while attempting to lift the inside arch of your feet. Repeat for multiple sets of 10-15 repetitions.Towel curls are specially vetted and are performed in a seated, comfortable position. Place your foot on a flat towel or blanket, then, focusing on keeping the ball of your foot flat against the floor, try and scrunch the towel up with your toes. Repeat for multiple sets of 10-15 repetitions.Achilles Tendon stretches could help as a weak Achilles could be a potential contributing factor to your flat feet. Perform them by standing with one leg extended behind you and your hands supported against a wall. Then lean forward with your spine straight, feeling your leg muscles and Achilles tendon stretch. Perform for 15-30 seconds on each leg.Calf raises can help stretch the muscles in your calves that connect to your feet and are performed by standing with your feet flat, then lifting your heels off the floor as high as you can for multiple sets of 10-15 reps. Massages for Flat Feet You may also find some benefits in various massage techniques. Flexing the toes back and forth with assisted hands can help strengthen the muscles in your arches.Deep, circular motions in the arches, heel, and legs can help reduce inflammation and, therefore, alleviate pain. This technique can also be applied to the Achilles tendon. Can Orthotics Alleviate Pain or Correct Flat Feet? Custom orthotics are among the first conservative treatments recommended for flat feet. There are several studies that advocate for their effectiveness at both alleviating the pain of flat feet, as well as helping to strengthen the weakened muscles and help the feet operate correctly, leading to improved balance and quality of life. Custom-fit arch supports are molded to the specifications of your feet and will have more benefits than generic over-the-counter insoles. It's advised that using orthotics with the purpose of treating flat feet should result in the individual wearing them as often as possible. Arched insoles intended for flat feet work the same way as stretches and exercises, but more passively and over an extended period of time. Should You Purchase Custom Insoles for Flat Feet? As mentioned earlier, there is no ultimate cure for flat feet. However, there are many ways that the symptoms can be treated and lessened without having to go through expensive and painful surgeries. If your flat feet are asymptomatic, then you don't have to worry and go out of your way to purchase a pair of expensive insoles. However, if they are beginning to cause you pain or other conditions, you can rest assured that there is scientific evidence to support the basis of treating flat feet with custom orthotics and at-home exercises.
What Conditions Are Custom Orthotics Prescribed For?
OrthoticsWhat Conditions Are Custom Orthotics Prescribed For?If you think of the feet as the foundation of the body, it's clear to see why conditions originating there can impact a number of other places in the body. Something as minor as low arches can lead to serious conditions such as arthritis. Thankfully, the invention of custom insoles that fit into regular shoes and force your feet to operate in a particular way (orthotics) has meant that some of these detrimental conditions can have a better chance of being treated. If you think you might need custom orthotics over generic insoles, read this article to determine the types of conditions that custom orthotics, like Upstep, can be used to treat. Incorrect Arches There are essentially three different types of incorrect arch development that can lead to many different secondary conditions and chronic pain that can be mediated with the use of certain orthotics. High arches put extra stress on the other foot muscles and can lead to knee pain and shin splints.Low arches or flat feet can cause anything from pain in the ankles and heels to total changes in your gait.Arches that roll inward negate the foot's natural cushioning and can lead to excessive pain in the feet and back. Foot Deformities With the feet receiving so much stress throughout the course of any given day, they can be subject to the development of a number of different deformities that can have varying benefits from the use of orthotics. Bunions form at the base of the big toe and can be extremely painful or even lead to further foot deformities, such as hammer toes.Heel Spurs are extra bits of bone that grow at the base of the heel and can cause inflammation. Stress-Induced Foot Conditions Aside from potentially causing external deformities, excessive stress can also lead to a number of inflamed or painful conditions that may benefit from the use of custom orthotics. Injuries are the most commonly treated foot conditions and can vary in severity and healing time, which can be aided to different extents with custom orthotics.Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia (the thick band of tissue that runs under your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes) and causes varying degrees of foot pain. Upstep provides custom orthotics to treat plantar fasciitis. Bursitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that surround your joints and can lead to pain and swelling. » Curious about custom orthotics? Browse Upstep's range of custom orthotics to get started Should You Get Custom Orthotics? If you experience any kind of pain throughout your feet, legs, and back, its cause might be rooted in foot issues. Consulting with a foot doctor (podiatrist) can give you more insight into a diagnosis and treatment plan. At Upstep, the team of podiatrists assist in diagnosing your foot pain and are also available to answer any questions you have - at no additional cost. Although orthotics aren't a universal answer, they can assist in the treatment with regular use. Upstep has excellent reviews of customers who have reduced their foot pain and have noticed other ailments subsided too. » Any questions? Please visit Upstep's website for additional information
How Do Custom and Pre-Made Foot Orthotic Insoles Differ?
OrthoticsHow Do Custom and Pre-Made Foot Orthotic Insoles Differ?Depending on the severity of your foot condition, you may need to invest in a pair of orthotics, but not all people will necessarily need a tailor-made pair of custom ones. If you're thinking about getting a pair, here are some key differences between custom and pre-made orthotics that should help you decide: The One-Size Fits All Approach The most significant disadvantage to pre-made orthotics is the fact that they are designed without any consideration or thought to your specific feet, which is a problem as everyone's feet are different. This doesn't take into account the subtle intricacies that make your foot condition different from someone else with the same condition, which means that they can never be a perfect fit, only a general design for a general purpose. Custom orthotics, on the other hand, are made to an identical mold of your feet to combat a specific set of circumstances. The Cost of Orthotics Although pre-made orthotics aren't necessarily cheap, they are relatively inexpensive in comparison to custom orthotics, which can cost hundreds of dollars. Even though you can still find more expensive pre-made orthotics constructed of high-quality materials, you don't have to pay for the difficult labor involved in designing and manufacturing a unique set of orthotics that would only work for you. Usability With Shoes Since custom orthotics are designed to the exact specifications of your feet, you have more room to use them in multiple pairs of similar shoes. You may have some difficulty doing this with pre-made orthotics as they are designed to cover a wider range of conditions and thus only resemble your foot. Unfortunately, this limits the number of shoes that are compatible per pair. Should You Buy Pre-made or Custom Orthotics? A question like this can only really be answered by a registered podiatrist, but if you have a serious condition that needs maximum support, you will simply never get the same benefit from a pair of pre-made orthotics that you would from a pair of custom ones. However, if all you're requiring is a little extra cushioning or support to ease some mild pain during certain activities, you might be okay saving yourself some extra cash by opting for a set of pre-made ones.

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