What To Expect
During the first few days with your new custom foot orthotics, the devices are attempting to re-align and re-distribute pressure to reduce or eliminate the cause of your pain. The pain should subside as your body adjusts to its new position while the injured tissues are slowly recovering.
Many times throughout my career, I have been asked why someone should be fitted for a pair of custom made foot orthotics when they can just go out and purchase a pair of off-the-shelf orthotics for 1/3 the price. No matter where we look in the retail market, there are a large amount of off-the-shelf orthotics. This pre-fabricated type of support for your feet has turn into an extremely profitable business for companies who supply these generic devices. However, anyone who works in the health care field knows that no two people are the same. This holds true to our own two feet. Each person’s feet function slightly different then another person’s feet.
When it comes to our toes, there seems to always be a focus on our big toe and the pain and deformities associated with it. But did you know that many people suffer from pain and deformities of their lesser toes, the little toes?
At the end of each toe is an attachment site for the ligaments and tendons. These ligaments and tendons, when contracted, flex and curl the toes under. While standing and walking, our toe tendons provide us with extra stability for balance and allow us to properly toe off, thus propelling us forward.
So, what is the difference between claw, hammer and mallet toes?
I love wearing my high heels as much as the next girl. High heels can make a woman feel more confident and attractive as this is what this type of footwear was originally designed for. Wearing this type of footwear for a night out or a special occasion can most definitely complete a woman’s dress attire. However, if worn for a prolonged period of time, high heel shoes can have serious damaging effects on our feet and lower legs.
If you have been following along with the CFL and getting ready to watch the Grey Cup, you will have heard many times now about a few of the athletes unable to play because of a Lisfranc joint strain and not being able to bear much weight on their foot restricting them from playing and being on the injured list. One thing that the reporters are explaining to the viewers is:
What is a Lisfranc joint strain??
One of my roles as a Canadian Certified Pedorthist is to educate clients on proper footwear to make sure they are getting the maximum support they can get depending on the type of foot you have. Typically they are 4 kinds of shoes that fit your foot type and when properly assessed and recommended a shoe type, mild pain experienced may be eliminated.
Foot types are not the only piece of the puzzle. Sometime there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration. I had a client come into see me that was experiencing foot pain. He mentioned that he has foot pain from standing for long periods of time at work and cannot find a shoe that will last longer then 6 months for him. His problem was that he was a very heavy man and because he was bearing so much weight on his feet, over the course of the 6 months his shoes are completely worn out from rolling on the outside of the shoes. Now, at this time you would think that he has a neutral to high arched foot but when he removed his shoes and socks, he had a flat foot type - pes planus.
So why would he roll out of his shoes?
Many people are blown away when they find out that a pair of custom made foot orthotics are so expensive when it looks like there is nothing to it. But what is not realized is that there are many steps during the fabrication process in the lab to construct these medical devices. All that is seen during the assessment is the casting of the feet using a foam box with both feet in subtalar neutral position followed by scheduling a pick up time. Within the time leading up to the pick up appointment, the lab is working to make the pair of custom made foot orthotics truly custom to each of my clients feet as they are designed to treat their foot or lower limb ailment.
So what are the step that it takes to make a pair of custom made foot orthotics??
At every stage of our lives we can see foot types and shapes that are individual to each of us and as we age. Our feet do change through the course of our lives but what if we start off in our early years with the dreaded flat foot? This flat foot type or pes planus is known to be a problematic foot type and many are quick to think this is a cause of concern even when no pain is associated with it. Though each foot type - flat, normal or high (pes cavus), all come with their own biomechanical anomalies. Yes, even a normal foot type can be very problematic for many.
So much controversy regarding whether or not a child should be fitted to a pair of custom made foot orthotics, or any type of insert that alters the position of their growing feet. Because the bones in childrens feet have not yet ossified and is still adapting to its environment, my rule of thumb is: if the child is experiencing pain when he/she are active, then orthotics may be considered. If it is the parents worry because the child doesn't look right while they are walking (feet rolling in, knees knocking or bow legged or intoeing gait) but is experiencing no pain, I suggest to monitor their child for the next year or two to see if they start complaining of any pain. Then re-evaluate at that point.
This past summer the Pedorthic Association of Canada has been working diligently on increasing their exposure in social media. Many videos were developed to create awareness and increase education to the public on our roles as Canadian Certified Pedorthist. I had the opportunity to create a video answering the question: What is Metatarsalgia?
Watch to learn more!