Nagging pain in your feet may be a signal that it is time to switch from five-inch stilettos to something a little more sensible. But did you know that the other symptoms you are likely experiencing may be caused by the way your foot hits the ground? Custom-made, personalized inserts for your heel or foot inside your shoe may be the key to living a happier, healthier pain-free life. These five reasons are why we at Foot Care Specialists, PC think these life-changing devices may be right for you.
1. You are having back or leg pain.
Your foot is a complex system of tendons, muscles and ligaments. Not only is it responsible for helping you maintain your balance, but the arch of your foot is particularly important in your ability to stand and walk for long periods of time. According to WebMD, if this arch is too low, you are at risk for tired, achy feet and back and leg pain. Fortunately, this problem can largely be mitigated by wearing shoes with proper support in the heel and arch, which most people gain with customized orthotics.
2. You are carrying excess weight.
A study published in the Journal of Medical Engineering and Technology found that people with a high body mass index were more likely to have low arches in their feet. The more they stood, the more this population experienced foot, leg or low back problems. But what do you do when you're trying to minimize your body mass index but are still experiencing discomfort? Custom orthotics may be able to support your foot as it distributes your current and future weight. Made from molded plastic that's cast to your foot, custom orthotics can stand up to any excess weight you put on them, offering support as long as you are on your feet.
3. You walk or stand for your job.
We often think of posture originating in our back. In reality, our standing and walking posture starts in our feet. One study published by Tokyo Healthcare University found that foot stability, reinforced by customized orthotics, was directly related to postural stability in older adults. It also contributed to balance as well as lower limb strength as the test subjects walked. If you walk or stand regularly as a part of your job, having custom-fitted orthotics will enhance your balance and help correct postural problems that may lead to injury down the line.
4. You have diabetes.
One of the biggest challenges for people with both Type I and Type II diabetes is maintaining blood flow to the legs and feet. According to the Cleveland Clinic, uncontrolled diabetes can damage the nerves in your hands and feet, making it difficult to feel not only your fingers and toes but also any cuts or bruises that may be affecting your feet. Custom-fitted orthotics help the feet to remain in a good position, preventing blisters, sores and other ulcerations in the feet. They can also help encourage blood flow to and from the feet, making neuropathy and vascular problems less likely.
5. You have numbness or tingling in your toes.
According to Mayo Clinic, most of the time numbness or tingling in your body is a sign of temporary compression of the nerves leading to that body part. For example, you may be sitting with your leg bent at a strange angle and your foot "falls asleep." However, numbness or tingling in your toes when you are sitting or standing may be an indication that there is a compressed nerve along your feet, legs, hips or back that is causing this sensation. Customized orthotics can help realign your feet, bringing your hips and lower back into proper alignment. In many cases, people experiencing numbness or tingling in their toes find relief within a few days of wearing custom-fitted orthotics. Still curious custom-fitted orthotics are right for you? CallFootcare Specialists, PC or request an appointment online for your consultation.