- What are the benefits of wearing orthotics?
- Who should Use an Orthotic?
- What is an orthotic?
- Why do my heels hurt?
- Do I have flat feet?
- What is a verruca?
- What is an ingrowing toe nail?
- Why are my toenails discoloured and brittle?
- Are athletes the only people that can suffer from ‘athletes foot’?
- Why are my feet constantly hot?
- What causes sweaty feet?
- Why are my heels so dry and cracked?
- What are corns and callous?
- What is a Podiatrist?
What are the benefits of wearing orthotics?
Almost anyone can achieve some benefit from an orthotic. You may be a candidate for orthotics if you experience any of the following common situations:
- One side of the sole of your shoe wears out faster than the other
- You frequently sprain your ankle
- You have chronic heel, knee or lower back pain
- Your shins hurt
- Your toes are not straight
- Your feet point inward or excessively outward when you walk
- Your feet hurt in general.
Who should Use an Orthotic?
Almost everyone can benefit from using orthotics, because perfect feet are very rare. They can prevent and alleviate many of the common foot complications that cause discomfort in otherwise healthy people. A comparison can be drawn between orthotics and eyeglasses. Both adjust bodily imperfections that inhibit people from functioning at their maximum physical potential. In both cases, a physician will do a complete examination and prescribe the proper amount of correction.Back to Index
What is an orthotic?
Orthotics are orthopedic (medically prescribed) devices designed to treat or adjust various bio-mechanical foot disorders. Orthotics take various forms and are constructed of various materials. All are concerned with improving foot function and minimizing stress forces that could ultimately cause foot deformity, pain and other problems of the lower back, hips and knees. The orthotic is placed in the patient’s shoe keeping the foot in proper alignment. The best orthotics are medically prescribed devices specifically crafted to meet the needs of a particular individual.Back to Index
Why do my heels hurt?
One of the main causes is the presence of a heel spur – a bony overgrowth on the bottom of the calcaneum (heel bone). The heel spur is usually a result of an abnormal pull of the arch ligament (plantar fascia), as it attaches to the calcaneum bone. Constant abnormal pulling of this ligament irritates the heel bone and the body lays down a bone spur as a protective mechanism. Prior to the heel spur, you may experience pain in the arch, due to the pull and subsequent inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament – a condition known as plantar fasciitis. This condition is a constellation of many causes; overweight, ill fitting shoes, bio-mechanical problems (mal-alignment of the body joints).Back to Index
Do I have flat feet?
If you are standing barefooted on the ground and the arch is in contact with the ground, then you have Flat Feet. People with a flat foot or the opposite condition, a highly arched foot that are painful, are certainly in need of treatment. Flat feet and high arches that are associated with ankle, knee or low back pain are also in need of treatment. The causes of flat feet are many, but in the older age group decreased exercise and increased weight add to the mechanical disturbances of the foot. Flat feet can also produce conditions known as heel spurs and/or plantar fascitis. The treatment for flat feet includes exercises and orthotics.Back to Index
What is a verruca?
Verruca is a viral infection, appearing as a raised roughened blemish on the skin. It is “picked up” from floors where lots of people are walking around barefooted. Once infected, the verruca becomes visible after a year. It may have visible black spots, though this is not always the case. It is usually not painful, but if there is lots of dry hard skin covering it, then it will become painful. Usually it is visible only when the foot becomes wet – after a bath, shower etc – and is painful when squeezed side-to-side. In lay-man terms, a verruca is called a in-growing wart. It is treated by either applying acids, freezing, electro-surgery, laser therapy or homeopathy.Back to Index
What is an ingrowing toe nail?
An ingrown toenail (onychocryptosis) is a condition in which the nail is cutting into the flesh. This condition is usually very painful and is usually associated with infection of the toe. A nail is ingrown when one or both corners or sides of the nail grow into the skin of the toe. Irritation, redness, uncomfortable sensation of warmth, as well as swelling, pain and infection can result from an ingrown toenail. If caught early, it is easily treatable with routine conservative treatment, however if left to manifest then an in-growing toenail operation may be required. Most people often think that they have an in-growing toe-nail, whereas they may just have hard skin or corn down the sides of the nail – onychophosis – this condition is easily treatable with conservative treatment.Back to Index
Why are my toenails discoloured and brittle?
This is usually due to a fungal infection of toenails and is a common foot health problem that many people do not recognize. Fungi are simple parasitic plant organisms, such as molds and mildew that do not require sunlight for growth. They easily attack the nail, thriving off keratin, the nail’s protein substance. The nails appear to be discoloured, brittle and have a “musky” odour. This infection is called Onychomycosis, it is treatable by the application of antifungal paints or a course of tablets. Another reason for the discoloured nails is due to trauma – the nail hitting the front of the shoe and the nail becoming thickened and discoloured – condition called onychogryphosisBack to Index
Are athletes the only people that can suffer from ‘athletes foot’?
No. Anyone can suffer with Athelete’s foot. It is usually a fungal infection affecting the skin on the feet and between the toes, but can move anywhere on the foot and can also affect the toenails. Infection of the skin is called Tinea Pedis. It is treatable, with antifungal creams, lotions and tablets. Once assessed, the podiatrist will be able to advise you on the best method of treatment.Back to Index
Why are my feet constantly hot?
Burning or hot feet is a common complaint among many groups of people, most commonly in the older group over 50 years of age. It has a multi-factorial etiology (many different causes for the formation of the symptom of burning feet). This symptom is most prevalent in diabetics who present with a symptom of mixed neuropathy with loss of sensation on the plantar aspect (bottom of the feet).Back to Index
What causes sweaty feet?
The wearing of shoes that have synthetic materials, which most shoes have, especially tennis shoes, and socks that are of man made fabric are contributing factors of the production of excessive perspiration and the bacteria growth that causes this condition. These two conditions set up a condition called athletes foot (tinea pedis). There is also a natural condition called Hyperihidrosis, which is excessively sweaty feet.Back to Index
Why are my heels so dry and cracked?
Dry cracking heels (xeorosis) is a condition of thickening and fissuring (cracking of the bottom part of the heels). In most people this is a nuisance and a cosmetic problem. But when the problem persists, especially in diabetes or people with impaired vascular sufficiency, this can lead to a serious medical problem. The Podiatrist will be able to easily and painlessly remove the hard dry skin around the heels.Back to Index
What are corns and callous?
A corn is a layer of hard skin that is compacted into a “Cone like” shape occurring wherever there is high pressure and friction. The apex (tip) of the corn presses on blood vessels and nerves, thus causing pain. Sheering (frictional) pressures cause calluses (layers of hard skin) . Corns and calluses are the foots defence against friction and pressure thus can occur anywhere on the foot where there is either excessive pressure or friction; or both. These conditions are usually painful but can respond to conservative care.Back to Index
What is a Podiatrist?
Podiatrist is another name for Chiropodist – that is used in English speaking European countries. So there is no difference between a Chiropodist and a Podiatrist.Back to Index