Did you know that for every mile you walk, each foot experiences 60 tons of stress? Your feet are designed to work hard. But pounding the pavement year after year can take its toll on the sensitive tissues that make up your foot.
For many people, this constant pounding results in heel pain, the most common ankle, and foot problems. Although many people try to ignore heel pain hoping it will go away on its own, not treating the problem can make it worse.
At South Sound Foot & Ankle, we understand the frustration heel pain can bring and we’re here to help. Mark Hopkins, DPM, offers effective custom orthotics to patients in the Olympia, Washington area to help ease their pain.
Read on to learn how custom orthotics can help your heel pain!
What causes heel pain?
Your heel is made up of several key components. The major players are the calcaneus, or heel bone, which is the rounded foundation of your foot, the plantar fascia, a large band of tissue that runs from your heel along the base of your foot, and your Achilles tendon, which connects your heel bone to your calf muscles.
When any part of your heel has trouble, you can experience heel pain. Some of the common underlying causes of heel pain include:
- Plantar fasciitis: Inflammation of the plantar fascia
- Achilles tendonitis: Inflammation of the Achilles’ tendon
- Heel spurs: Calcium deposits that form on the base of your heel
- Flat feet: Feel without sufficient arch support
Many times, problems with the way you walk, run, or stand contribute to these conditions and create foot and heel pain.
What are custom orthotics?
Custom orthotics are specialized shoe inserts. They’re designed to restore balance and evenly distribute pressure throughout your foot and ankle. While you can purchase over-the-counter orthotics in drug stores, supermarkets, and shoe stores, custom orthotics are more effective and higher quality.
Dr. Hopkins first evaluates your feet and conducts a physical exam to accurately diagnose your condition. Once he has a clear picture of your foot health, he develops a treatment plan tailored to meet your unique needs.
If custom orthotics can help your symptoms, Dr. Hopkins takes an impression of your foot with a plaster cast, then sends your impressions to a medical lab where the orthotics are developed.
How can custom orthotics help heel pain?
As prescription medical, custom orthotics correct biomechanical foot issues. This includes problems with how you walk, stand, or run, which can cause foot or ankle conditions and lead to chronic heel pain or foot pain.
By gently repositioning and supporting your heel, arch, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and foot bones, custom orthotics help improve the way your feet function and increase your comfort when walking, standing, or running.
Some of the ways custom orthotics help resolve heel pain include:
- Realigning your foot structures
- Preventing bone misalignment
- Preventing ligament and tendon fatigue
- Supporting your arches
In addition, you may benefit from custom foot orthotics if you’re an active person who runs, hikes, or walks a lot. Custom orthotics designed specifically for your feet can help prevent injury and pain before it starts.
If you’re suffering from heel pain, Dr. Hopkins and the team at South Sound Foot & Ankle can help. Contact our Olympia office or book an appointment online now!