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Posts for category: Foot Care

By Ankle and Foot Institute
August 07, 2020
Category: Foot Care

If you’re dealing with regular bouts of heel pain, then you may want to read this.

It’s normal for most of us to deal with heel pain at some point during our lifetime. After all, we’re on our feet most of the day, putting them through the abuse of high heels, long pavement-pounding runs, and worn-out, unsupportive shoes. So, if you find yourself prone to plantar fasciitis, our St. Louis MO and Fenton MO podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock can offer up some useful tips to help you prevent heel pain in the future. Here’s how.

Shed Excess Weight

Being overweight or obese can put a lot of added pressure on your feet when standing, walking, or running. Over time, this can lead to issues like chronic plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and bunions. This is why it’s a good idea to maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). Even just losing 10-15 pounds can significantly improve how your feet function.

Choose the Footwear

If you work out regularly, it’s important that you are not only wearing the appropriate shoes for the activities you perform but that you also replace your tennis shoes regularly. It takes about 45-60 hours before the soles of the shoes start to wear, so based on the level of activity you participate in each week this could equate to replacing tennis shoes as often as every 3-4 months or at least once a year. When you are choosing footwear have a shoe specialist measure your feet first to make sure you get shoes that fit perfectly from the get-go.

Consider Custom Orthotics

Another way that our St. Louis MO podiatrist can help you prevent plantar fasciitis in the future is by providing you with custom-made shoe inserts. These inserts can provide your feet with additional support and cushioning when playing sports or even when standing on your feet for long periods. Orthotics can cushion the heels and arches of your feet and even redistribute weight evenly throughout your feet.

Add in Low-Impact Exercises

While a longer run may boost endorphins and make you feel happy, doing runs every day can put quite a toll on your body. If you find yourself dealing with heel pain regularly then you may want to cut back on the intensity or duration of your runs and add in other low-impact activities such as swimming or biking. You can still get a great workout in, but the exercises will be kinder to your feet and joints.

Dealing with recurring or severe heel pain? Since plantar fasciitis can turn chronic, you must have a podiatrist here in St. Louis and Fenton MO that can provide you with immediate and effective care. Call Ankle and Foot Institute at (636) 717-1100 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Richard Wittock.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
April 23, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Orthotics  

Long days of standing can do a number on your feet, and if you are suffering from foot problems such as bunions or hammertoes, the pain can be even greater.

If foot discomfort has you reaching for the nearest chair and putting off walks or exercise, it's time to consider custom orthotics from Dr. Richard Wittock of the Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton/St. Louis.

Unlike the cookie-cutter insoles or liners that you find at the drugstore, orthotics from our Fenton/St. Louis office are tailored to meet your specific needs, giving you long-lasting comfort so that you can go through your day pain-free.

How do I know if orthotics can help me?

If foot pain has become a constant issue and you aren't finding relief from over-the-counter remedies, orthotics can likely work for you. Orthotics from our Fenton/St. Louis office can be especially helpful if you have foot deformities, plantar fasciitis, bunions, bursitis, shin splints, back pain, high arches, flat feet, arthritis, diabetes, or hammertoes.

How are orthotics different from store-bought shoe liners?

Orthotics work by keeping your feet properly aligned so that they don't become irritated or sore. Whereas pre-made shoe inserts or liners are often flimsy and need to be hand-cut to size, orthotics from our Fenton/St. Louis office are designed for your specific feet, with customized materials and sizing.

At our Fenton/St. Louis office, we create only the best orthotics, made to be durable, comfortable, and effective. Our orthotics provide cushioning and support so you can exercise, walk or even just stand without your feet feeling restricted.

We offer orthotics in three styles: rigid, soft, and semi-rigid, each designed with a specific purpose, from absorbing shock to providing balance, in mind.

If you could use a little spring in your step, call the Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis at 636-717-1100 to see what orthotics can do for you!

By Ankle and Foot Institute
July 19, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Orthotics  

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 orthoticsprevent 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.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
May 24, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Orthotics  

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 bonesFoot Doctor 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
  • Neuromas
  • Arch pain
  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Metatarsalgia
  • 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!

By Ankle and Foot Institute
February 12, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Orthotics  

Orthotics may offer a simple solution if you suffer from back pain, a foot condition or experience discomfort after spending hours on your orthoticsfeet. 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.