Custom-made shoe inserts called orthotics may ease your foot pain if you suffer from pain due to flatfoot, arthritis, or diabetes, or want to prevent overuse injuries if you're an athlete. Your St. Louis, MO, podiatrist, Dr. Richard Wittock, can help you decide which orthotics type is right for you.
What do orthotics do?
Orthotics cushion and support your feet, keep them properly aligned in your shoes and control joint movement. The inserts not only protect your feet but can reduce pain in your entire body. If your feet aren't properly supported, you may eventually develop pain in your ankles, knees, hips, or backs. Orthotics keep your weight evenly distributed over your feet and may help reduce your risk of developing leg, hip, or back issues.
What's the difference between drugstore shoe inserts and orthotics?
The inserts sold in stores offer a one-size-fits-all solution to foot problems. Although they provide some degree of cushioning and support, they may not do enough to improve your problem or may even make it worse. Orthotics are designed by your St. Louis foot doctor to address your specific foot condition.
What types of orthotics are available?
Depending on your foot problem, you may benefit from one of these common orthotics types:
- Rigid: Rigid orthotics are stiff, full-length inserts made of carbon or plastic. They may be recommended if your feet turn in when you stand and walk, your legs are different lengths, or you have an abnormal gait. They can also help reduce back or leg pain.
- Semi-Rigid: Semi-rigid orthotics are also full-length inserts, but they're composed of a soft, cushioning material placed over a rigid core. They're a particularly good choice for runners and athletes, as they decrease pressure on your tendons and muscles, control foot movement, enhance balance and cushion your foot.
- Soft: Soft orthotics not only offer superior cushioning but also decrease pressure on the foot and improve shock absorption. The full-length inserts are often prescribed for people who have diabetes, arthritis, or age-related changes in the foot.
- Heel Cups: Heel cups only cover the heel area of your shoe and offer additional cushioning. They're a good choice if you have heel pain due to plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, heel spurs, or thinning fat pads under your heels.
Could orthotics help you? Call your St. Louis, MO, podiatrist, Dr. Richard Wittock, at (636) 717-1100 to schedule an appointment.
Find out if your aching feet could benefit from something as simple as shoe inserts.
We’ve all seen shoe inserts in the footcare aisle of our local drugstore. Maybe you’ve tried them before or perhaps you are wondering whether they are right for you now. Did you know that your St. Louis, MO, podiatrist, Dr. Richard Wittock, can create prescription orthotics to handle a wide range of problems that these over-the-counter, one-size-fits-all orthotics just can’t? Read on to learn more!
What is the purpose of prescription orthotics?
These custom-made shoe inserts are carefully crafted at our St. Louis office to cushion and support your foot. They help realign the bones in the foot and ankle, while also distributing weight and force evenly throughout the foot to prevent common problems such as bunions from developing. Orthotics also provide shock absorption and stabilization while taking pressure off of certain sore areas such as the balls of the feet.
Who can benefit from orthotics?
If you are dealing with foot pain or biomechanical issues that affect walking, then the imbalance you are dealing with could be improved with the help of custom orthotics. Athletes, as well as those who stand or walk throughout the day, will find that orthotics will not only lessen pain, swelling, and discomfort, but they also prevent issues from occurring in the first place by counteracting the pressure and stress exerted on the feet.
Are orthotics meant for everyday wear?
Absolutely! No matter whether you are donning your daily work shoes or you are throwing on your tennis shoes to go for your run, orthotics can provide your feet with the TLC they need to function at their best without taking on too much stress along the way.
Are there certain conditions that orthotics can improve?
Orthotics are great for patients dealing with a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries including,
- Heel pain (often caused by plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis)
- Ankle sprains
- Flat feet
- Arch pain
- Knee, leg, or lower back pain
- Structural imbalances in the feet
It’s important to note that while orthotics can improve symptoms brought on by the conditions above, shoe inserts are not designed for those with severe foot deformities, patients with neuropathy, or patients who have foot ulcers. If you aren’t sure whether prescription orthotics are right for you, then it’s time to ask your podiatrist!
Give us a call!
If you want to learn more about custom orthotics and whether they could improve the health and function of your feet, then it’s time to call the Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO, at (636) 717-1100 to learn more!
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, plantar fasciitis is a very common foot problem and one of the most common causes of heel pain. Dr. Richard Wittock, a podiatrist at Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO, and serving the St. Louis area offers diagnostic and treatment options for heel pain, plantar fasciitis, and other foot and ankle conditions and injuries.
Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosis and Treatment in Fenton, MO
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the long tendon that stretches across the bottom of the foot from the ankle to the toes (the plantar fascia). Repetitive stress, strain, and overuse are a common cause of plantar fasciitis. Small tears and repeated pressure on the tendon, which is responsible for absorbing the shocks your feet sustain during motion, result in the inflammation that causes plantar fasciitis. Anyone can develop it, but there are a few factors that can increase the risk:
- Age - it generally becomes more common after age 40
- Being obese or excessively overweight, which puts additional strain and pressure on the feet
- Spending a lot of time on your feet
- High or low arches - if you have an especially high or low arch (also known as flat feet), you may be more prone to plantar fasciitis due to the alignment of your feet and the way your weight is distributed when you walk
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain, usually after long periods of rest, sitting, or sleep. In some cases the pain can make it difficult to walk or put pressure on the heel, causing you to limp and limit physical activities.
Plantar fasciitis can usually be treated conservatively with rest, medication, lifestyle modifications, and supportive foot wear like orthotics. For persistent cases of heel pain, Dr. Wittock offers Extra Corporeal Shockwave Therapy.
Find a Podiatrist in Fenton, MO
For more information about plantar fasciitis and the treatment options for heel pain and other foot and ankle injuries, contact the Foot and Ankle Institute in Fenton, MO and serving the St. Louis area by calling (636) 717-1100 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wittock today.
Orthotics may offer a simple solution if you suffer from back pain, a foot condition or experience discomfort after spending hours on your feet. Dr. Richard Wittock, your St. Louis, MO, foot doctor prescribes the shoe inserts to his patients at the Ankle and Foot Institute.
What are orthotics?
Orthotics support your feet, improve their alignment, add extra cushioning and absorb shock. Depending on your symptoms or condition, your foot doctor may recommend rigid, semi-rigid, or soft orthotics. Unlike drugstore orthotics that favor a one-size-fits-all approach, the inserts provided by your podiatrist are designed to address your particular foot issue. After evaluating your gait and examining your feet, your St. Louis foot doctor makes impressions of your feet, which are then used to create your custom inserts.
How can orthotics help me?
Orthotics offer many benefits, and your podiatrist may recommend them if you have:
- Back, Hip, or Leg Pain: Did you know that pain in your back or legs can actually originate from your feet? Structural issues, arch problems, or overpronation mean that your feet can't properly support your legs, hips, or back. Orthotics not only offer support but also realign and re-position your feet, easing your painful symptoms.
- A Job That Requires Standing: Standing for long periods can increase your risk of several foot conditions, including plantar fasciitis, a condition that occurs when the long band of tissue that connects your toes to your heels at the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed. When you wear your orthotics, you'll also be less likely to experience fatigue and foot pain at the end of a shift.
- Diabetes: Blisters can quickly become infected ulcers that are difficult to treat if you have diabetes. Cushioning inserts redistribute your weight, reducing the pressure that can cause blisters.
- Bunions or Hammertoe: Orthotics can improve your comfort if you have bunions or a hammertoe. Wearing orthotics may even slow the progression of these conditions.
Orthotics can also be helpful if you have flat feet, high arches, arthritis, Achilles tendonitis, retrocalcaneal bursitis, tarsal tendonitis, or uneven foot lengths. If you're an athlete, you can lower your risk of developing tendonitis, bursitis, stone bruises, or other foot conditions by wearing orthotics regularly.
Give us a call!
Could you benefit from orthotics? Phone your St. Louis, MO, podiatrist, Dr. Richard Wittock, at (636) 717-1100 to schedule an appointment.
4 Signs You May Have Plantar Fasciitis
Do you have plantar fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of pain in the bottom of the foot. The condition is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. Podiatrists offer treatments that can provide relief from plantar fasciitis. Dr. Richard Wittock is one of the top podiatrists in Fenton, MO. Here are five signs you may have plantar fasciitis.
1. Foot Pain
Plantar fasciitis causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot near the heel. The pain may develop gradually and become worse over time. The pain is usually the worst after stepping out of bed in the morning, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or rising from sitting. Pain is also usually worse after physical activity, not during it.
Plantar fasciitis can cause stiffness and limited range of motion. Climbing stairs can be difficult due to stiffness in the heel. Physical therapy is a very important part of treatment for plantar fasciitis. It can help you safely stretch your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Physical therapy can also help reduce stiffness, as well as improve range of motion, making you more mobile.
Plantar fasciitis can also cause numbness in the bottom of the foot. If you experience this, you may have no or little sensation. Numbness of the foot can also occur because of injury to the foot, nerve damage, and poor circulation (such as with peripheral vascular disease and diabetes).
Plantar fasciitis is associated with swelling and warmth in the heel area. This inflammation is caused by excessive stretching of the plantar fascia. There may also be tenderness of the bottom of the heel at the plantar fascia's point of attachment.
The key to proper diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is an examination by a podiatrist. Whether your goal is getting back to sports, hobbies, work, or just enjoying life, our podiatrist can help. Don't wait another minute—call Ankle and Foot Institute at (636) 717-1100 right now to schedule an appointment in Fenton, MO. We want you to live your best life!
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