Custom orthotics are removable shoe inserts that provide greater arch support and stability to the feet and ankles. There are different types of orthotics available depending on the issue and level of support that is needed. Basic orthotics are sold over the counter, but a custom pair designed specifically for your foot will provide optimal support and comfort.
When are Custom Orthotics Necessary?
Podiatrists typically recommend custom orthotics for people with flat feet, or very high arches. One of the most common signs that you may benefit from a pair of orthotics is heel pain (although you may also experience pain and swelling in other parts of the foot). You may also experience pain and swelling after normal and relatively low impact activities like standing or walking.
A good way to figure out if you are having pronation issues is to examine the soles of your shoes and sneakers. If the soles and insoles tend to become visibly more worn on one side, it may be a sign that your alignment is off and you are over or under pronating. A podiatrist may ask you to walk in your bare feet to observe your stride and gait (known as a gait analysis). If you experience persistent pain, swelling, or stiffness, especially after exercise or after long periods of rest, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.
Types of Custom Orthotics
There are a few different types of custom orthotics designs available depending on your needs.
Functional (also known as rigid) orthotics are made of harder materials and are usually prescribed for pronation problems or joint issues like arthritis.
Accommodative orthotics are designed to provide more cushioning and support and are typically prescribed for problems like plantar fasciitis and bunions.
In addition to improving your gait and foot and ankle alignment, custom orthotics can help to prevent related strains and injuries and relieve back, joint, and knee pain if it is caused by issues with your arches and pronation.
Ankle sprains are fairly common and can happen while playing a sport like basketball or while out on a run, or even during every day activities like twisting your ankle while getting out of a car or walking down the sidewalk. Dr. Humaira Syed, a podiatrist serving Fort Lee, Clifton, and Wayne, NJ, offers both non-invasive and surgical treatment for a number of foot and ankle injuries.
Ankle Sprain Treatment in Fort Lee, Clifton, and Wayne, NJ
Ankle sprains can range from mild to severe depending on the force applied when you twist your ankle and whether there are any resulting tears to any of the bands of tissue that stabilize and attach to the ankle. The most common signs and symptoms of an ankle sprain include:
- Pain and tenderness when you touch or apply pressure to the injured ankle
- A popping or cracking sound at the time of the injury
- Ankle instability
- Bruising and swelling
- Limited range of motion/difficulty rotating the ankle
There are a few risk factors that can increase your risk of spraining your ankle during exercise or physical activity:
- Play sports that involve jumping, running and stopping or changing direction frequently, or playing on an uneven surface. Ankle sprains are most common in tennis, basketball, baseball, football, and soccer
- Weak ankles or previous ankle injuries
- Wearing shoes with insufficient support to the feet and ankles or don't fit (speak to your podiatrist about orthotics if you have flat feet or low arches)
- Excessive weight or lack of strength training and toning
In most cases, mild to moderate ankle sprains can be treated conservatively with a combination of rest, ice, physical therapy, medication and compression depending on the severity and symptoms. If an ankle sprain is severe and results in torn tissue or bone fracture, surgery may be an option to stabilize the ankle and ensure that it heals properly.
Find a Podiatrist in Fort Lee, Clifton, and Wayne, NJ
For more information about your treatment options for ankle sprains and other foot and ankle injuries and conditions, contact REDS Ankle & Foot Associates by calling (973) 692-1111 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Syed today.
Arthritis is a joint condition that affects roughly 54 million American adults according to the Arthritis Foundation. It can show up in joints all around the body, including the feet and toes. When the joints of the feet are affected by inflammation, it affects a patient’s ability to move their toes, bend their feet up or down, and turn on a dime when participating in athletic activities. Learn the steps that you can take to care for arthritic feet and improve your overall foot health.
Arthritis in the Feet
Arthritic joint pain, which is usually caused by an inflammatory reaction, is most commonly felt in the big toe, ankle, and the middle part of the foot. There are many different types of arthritis conditions that could affect the feet, including psoriatic, reactive, and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form—it is caused by the bones rubbing together, making the joints feel stiff and painful. Patients who are overweight are more likely to struggle with arthritic feet, as are seniors. Some people have had arthritis since childhood (juvenile arthritis or JA), making them more likely to develop foot deformities like bunions and struggle with swollen joints.
Though arthritis isn’t a curable condition, the symptoms can be eased with treatment so that you can continue to walk, jog, exercise, and work without debilitating pain. These are some of the ways your podiatrist may treat arthritis in the feet:
- An X-ray or other imaging test to examine the condition of the joints.
- Physical therapy exercises to make the joints more flexible.
- Orthotic device or shoe for better foot support.
- Joint injections (corticosteroids).
- NSAID drugs (anti-inflammatories).
- Surgery to remove inflamed tissue around the joints (Arthroscopic debridement) or fuse the bones (arthrodesis).
Caring for Your Feet
Seeing a foot doctor is an important part of caring for arthritic feet. But there are also some actions you can take at home to keep your feet and joints in good condition:
- Get rid of shoes that put too much pressure on your joints, like high heels or sneakers that don’t support the ankles.
- Soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salt and massage your feet when relaxing.
- Commit to doing the toe and foot exercises suggested by your podiatrist.
Treating Arthritic Feet
Arthritic feet shouldn't prevent you from carrying on with normal life and physical activities. Get help from a podiatrist as soon as you start to experience symptoms and take extra steps to care for your feet.
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, roughly 15 percent of foot conditions that must be treated by a podiatrist are caused by plantar fasciitis. If you are familiar with the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, take immediate action to have the problem treated by your Clifton, Fort Lee, and Wayne, NJ, podiatrist. It’s a problem that can get progressively worse with time without necessary therapies.
Plantar Fasciitis Causes
The plantar fascia is a long band of connective tissue that runs below the foot. It attaches the toe bone to the heel bone. It can stretch and become inflamed due to frequent participation in physical activities, like running. Patients who are carrying extra weight are also at a higher risk of plantar fasciitis symptoms. A study published in the Medical Clinics of North America found that obesity plays a role in 70 percent of cases. Some people are born with feet that are poorly structured and prone to plantar fascia injuries.
Plantar Fasciitis Signs and Symptoms
One sign of a potential case of plantar fasciitis is flat feet. There should be an arch at the inside center of each foot. If that arch isn’t there, it may mean that the plantar fascia is stretched out. Other symptoms include:
- Foot or heel pain that reduces your activity level.
- Heel spurs (bony growths under the heel bone).
- Swelling or a throbbing sensation below the heel and beneath the feet.
The plantar fascia ligament can be successfully repaired in many cases with a proper diagnosis and consistent therapy. These are some of the treatments that your Clifton, Fort Lee, and Wayne podiatrist may use to improve the condition of your feet:
- Stretching exercises that help relieve pain.
- Modifications to your shoes and activities.
- Oral medication or injection therapy (corticosteroid injections).
- Night splinting, padding, and custom orthotics.
- A surgical procedure when other non-invasive methods don’t provide results.
The Way to Better Feet
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most diagnosed foot problems in podiatry. If you want to hit the ground running with healthier feet, call (973) 692-1111 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Humaira Syed. She is an experienced podiatrist who is proud to serve patients at Reds Ankle & Foot Associates, with locations in Clifton, Fort Lee, and Wayne, NJ.
Has walking become painful due to a hammertoe? Prompt treatment of this common foot condition will relieve your pain and prevent permanent changes to your toe. Dr. Humaira Syed treats hammertoes and other foot and ankle conditions in her Wayne, Clifton, and Fort Lee, NJ, office.
What are hammertoes?
Hammertoes occur when the first or second joint of your toe bends at a right angle. The condition typically affects the second through fifth toes and is more likely to occur in women. Hammertoes are flexible initially but may become rigid if you don't receive treatment. Once the joint becomes rigid, surgery is the only effective treatment option.
What causes hammertoes?
An imbalance in the muscles and tendons of the foot is the most common cause of hammertoe. Wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes that put pressure on your toes can increase your risk your risk of developing hammertoe. If you ignore the discomfort and continue to wear tight shoes, the tendon in your toe may shorten permanently. You may be more likely to develop hammertoe if you have arthritis in your toe, suffered a toe injury, or if your second toe is longer than your big toe.
What symptoms will I experience if I have a hammertoe?
In addition to a change in the appearance of your toe, you'll probably notice that your toe hurts when you walk or wear shoes. In some cases, the pain can extend to the ball of your foot. Swelling, redness, and a burning sensation may also occur. Corns and calluses often form on the top of the toes, between the toes or on the bottom of the foot due to pressure from footwear.
What can I do to straighten my toe?
It may be possible to straighten a flexible hammertoe by doing a few exercises at home, such as picking up marbles with your toe. Exercises won't be effective if you continue to wear shoes that rub or press against your hammertoe. Choose shoes that offer ample room in the toe box.
When should I see a Wayne, Clifton, or Fort Lee podiatrist?
It's a good idea to schedule an appointment if your flexible hammertoe isn't getting any better after home treatment or your toe has become rigid. Cortisone injections and anti-inflammatory medications can be used to decrease pain, while orthotics and padding and taping your toe may be used to address foot imbalances. If your toe is rigid, surgery will be needed to straighten your toe.
Ease your hammertoe pain with a visit to the foot doctor. Call Dr. Syed at (973) 692-1111 to schedule an appointment in her Wayne, Clifton, or Fort Lee, NJ, office.
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