My Blog

Posts for category: Foot Care

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.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
May 01, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: ankle sprain  

A sprained ankle can cause serious pain, discomfort, and frustration. Though they present some of the same symptoms as a broken bone, sprained anklea sprain affects the soft tissues which surround the bones and joints. If you sprain your ankle, you may not know the first steps to take to ensure a timely and healthy recovery. Find out what to do if you think you have sprained your ankle with Dr. Richard Wittock at the Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO, and serving the St. Louis area. 

Is my ankle sprained or broken? 
Sprains almost always occur after an event or injury, such as tripping or rolling the ankle. A sprain affects the soft tissues, often those which lie above the ankle joint. If your ankle is sprained or broken, you will notice pain, discomfort, and swelling. However, the pain associated with a sprain is concentrated over the ankle’s soft tissues around the joint. A break would be centered on the bone itself. Additionally, if you have a break, chances are that you will not be able to place any pressure on the affected area at all. A sprain may allow you to place some pressure on the area.

When should I see a doctor? 
Your doctor is able to help you determine if your injury is a sprain or a break. If you have severe pain or swelling or you notice an open wound around the affected area, or if you experience the signs of infection, such as a fever or redness, warmth, or tenderness in the area, you should seek immediate medical attention. Schedule a visit with your doctor if you have persistent swelling or pain which lasts more than a few days, or if you still have pain after several weeks. Your doctor will use an imaging technique to definitively determine whether your ankle is broken or sprained.

Treating a Sprained Ankle in Fenton and St. Louis 
Treating a sprained ankle often begins with the RICE method, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This allows the body’s natural healing processes to work uninterrupted. Over-the-counter medications can help with pain and swelling. If these methods fail to produce results, your doctor may suggest more invasive or in-depth techniques like physical therapy or, in rare cases, surgery.

For more information on sprained ankles, please contact Dr. Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO, and the St. Louis area. Call (636) 717-1100 to schedule your appointment today!

By Ankle and Foot Institute
March 19, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Orthotics  

Do your feet, knees, hips or a backache at the end of the day? Orthotics may offer a simple way to relieve your painful symptoms. Our St. orthoticsLouis, MO, podiatrist, Dr. Richard Wittock, explains how you can benefit from orthotics.

Orthotics offer a superior level of comfort and support

If your shoes don't have enough padding or you need a little additional arch support, over-the-counter shoe inserts may do the job, at least for a little while. Unfortunately, one-size-fits-all inserts may not adequately address your foot condition. In some cases, they may even worsen it.

Orthotics are designed to fit you and you alone. They're designed in our St. Louis office after we evaluate your gait and make a digital mold of your foot. Although orthotics cost more than drugstore shoe inserts, they're made of durable materials and will probably last three years or longer before they need to be replaced.

Orthotics help you avoid pain

Poor foot position or mechanical issues, such as overpronation or flat foot, can affect the alignment of your entire body. Eventually, you may begin to notice pain not just in your feet, but also in your ankles, knees, hips, or lower back. Orthotics improve the position of your feet when you wear shoes, restore normal alignment and reduce pressure on your foot.

Depending on your foot condition, we may recommend one of these types of orthotics:

  • Semi-Rigid: Semi-rigid orthotics support your entire foot and are made of a rigid inner core encased by soft, cushioning material. These orthotics relieve foot pain, control movement, improve balance, and reduce pressure on your tendons and muscles when you walk or run.
  • Rigid: Rigid orthotics also support your entire foot, but are constructed of stiff plastic or carbon. They're a good choice if you have back or leg pain, your legs are different lengths, or you overpronate or have an abnormal gait.
  • Soft: Soft orthotics cushion your feet, absorb shock, and decrease pressure. They're a good choice if you have arthritis or diabetes.
  • Heel Cups: Heel cups fit into the heel portion of your shoes and provide extra cushioning. The cups may be recommended if you have plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. Heel cups can also be helpful if your heel pain is caused by thinning of the fat pads under your heels, a problem that can occur as you get older.

Orthotics can help relieve your pain. Call St. Louis, MO, podiatrist, Dr. Wittock, at (636) 717-1100 to schedule your appointment.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
January 08, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: plantar fasciitis  

Your job requires you to be on your feet almost constantly throughout the day. Over the past few months, you've noticed increased pain in plantar fasciitisyour heel and across the arch of your foot. What could be happening? Well, many adults with heel pain suffer from an inflammatory condition called plantar fasciitis. Your foot doctor at the Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Richard Wittock, sees it frequently in adults of all ages, and he successfully treats in many ways for maximum comfort and foot function.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Affecting the wide band of tissue which connects the base of the toes to the calcaneus, or heel bone, plantar fasciitis in St. Louis may come on suddenly. However, Dr. Wittock says this painful condition rarely results from trauma. Rather, overuse typically causes it-- for instance, simply standing for hours on hard surfaces or playing sports such as tennis and running.

Other contributing factors are:

  • Age (the fat pad on the bottom of the foot thins as we get older)
  • Wearing poorly supporting shoes or high heels
  • Overpronation, or excessive flattening of the arch of the foot when walking, running or jumping
  • Obesity

In addition. while some people with heel spurs, small bony projections off the heel bone, have plantar fasciitis, not all people with plantar fasciitis have heel spurs.

How your foot doctor can help

If you're having pain in the heel and/or arch of your foot, please contact your foot doctor so he can perform a complete podiatric examination, including a visual inspection of how you place your feet when you walk. Also, Dr. Wittock may take X-rays to visualize your heel structure.

If Dr. Wittock diagnoses plantar fasciitis, there are several options available which supply substantial relief to most patients. Typical interventions include:

  • Rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Shoes with good arch support
  • Custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts
  • Cortisone injections
  • Stretching exercises and physical therapy

If a patient does not improve significantly over the course of several months, Dr. Wittock may recommend innovative Extracorporal Shock Wave Therapy. Performed right at the Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, ESWT treats plantar fasciitis with short, painless waves of energy. These mini-shock waves reduce inflammation and speed healing.

The Food and Drug Administration reports that 92 percent of patients treated with ESWT experience significant pain relief, and there's no down time. Patients are in and out of the office quickly after their treatments and enjoy better foot and ankle function.

Stop hurting

And, feel better. See Dr. Richard Wittock of the Ankle and Foot Institute of St. Louis, MO, about your heel pain. It could be plantar fasciitis, and it's totally treatable. Contact the office today for an appointment, won't you? Call (636) 717-1100.