The best course of action for preventing foot and ankle problems in the first place is to use the proper footwear, stretch before exercise, and perform regular foot inspections and cleanings. In addition, the use of orthotic shoe inserts and devices can provide more support and treat abnormalities in foot structure that cause many foot and ankle ailments.
Different types of orthotics include:
- Generic—A wide variety of arch supports, pads, insoles, and cushions are available at pharmacies and general stores.
- Ankle/foot balance braces—These help stabilize the foot, increasing balance and preventing falls.
- Custom orthotics—These are uniquely molded to your foot shape and take into account your gait mechanics.
Some of the advantages of custom orthotics include:
- Pain and pressure relief—Added cushioning provides comfort for maladies like corns, calluses, warts, and peroneal tendonitis.
- Arch and foot structure support—Proper arch support is essential to overall foot function. Custom orthotics follow the natural contour of your foot and help treat and prevent conditions like bunions and hammertoes.
- Ankle Stabilization—can help with weak ankles and poor balance that are two of the main causes of debilitating falls and fractures.
- Avoiding injuries and infections—By supporting feet that are weakened by diabetic peripheral neuropathy, custom orthotics can help prevent injuries and dangerous infections.
- Avoiding surgery—Custom orthotics treat a wide variety of foot problems without the need for surgery.
Having a foot care specialist examine the structure and movement of your feet is essential to realizing all the advantages of orthotic devices. A perfectly fitted orthotic will provide instant relief and help prevent future problems.
At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.