Treating Heel Pain with Custom Orthotics

Heel pain is one of the most common reasons why patients seek help from podiatrists. Of the many causes for heel pain, improperly supported feet are often the primary culprit. One way podiatrists can help patients achieve heel pain relief is through creating custom orthotics to place inside footwear.

There are 2 types of custom orthotics available based on need:

  1. Functional orthotics, which are typically made from a rigid material and provide improvements in foot mechanics to correct abnormal foot motion.
  2. Accommodative orthotics, which are made from softer materials to provide extra support and cushioning for conditions such as diabetic foot ulcers and neuromas.

A custom orthotic can:

  • Correct improper foot mechanics due to structural abnormalities such as flat arches, bunions, and hammertoes
  • Provide more support and shock absorption
  • Control motion of the foot to improve your gait
  • Protect and prevent feet from injuries
  • Alleviate pain
  • Decrease muscle fatigue
  • Reduce need to for more drastic treatments like surgeries

In many cases, the use of custom orthotics alone is sufficient to decrease heel pain and discomfort associated with conditions such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. Because custom orthotics are made specifically for your individual feet, they can improve foot and ankle function significantly more than using a generic shoe insert. However, having proper fitting shoes are especially important to maximize the effectiveness of the orthotics. Look for footwear that provides ample room for your toes, fits securely around your heel, and is made from a breathable material. Also, getting your shoes fitted at the end of the day can help account for natural swelling that occurs.

At Your Next Step, a podiatry practice serving the greater Philadelphia area, board-certified podiatrists Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen use advanced technologies and their expertise to provide compassionate, individualized care to all of their patients. Patients who suffer from chronic pain associated with plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis can often benefit from combining their use of custom orthotics with the innovative Tenex Health TX, which gently breaks down damaged tissue to improve healing and decrease inflammation.

Your Next Step is committed to providing podiatric care for a wide range of foot and ankle conditions such as nail fungus, diabetic foot problems, arthritis, toe deformities, ankle sprains and fractures, corns, calluses, neuromas and ingrown toenails. For more information or an appointment at any of our locations in Ardmore, Paoli, or Downingtown, PA, please contact us!

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