Custom Orthotics Can Help Avoid Heel Pain

Custom Orthotics foot pain, animas foot and ankle

Heel pain is a common medical complaint among both women and men, and while it can affect people of all ages, it tends to become a lot more common with age. People who participate in physical activities that involve a lot of foot-related impact, like running, dancing, or jumping, are also more likely to experience heel pain symptoms. Without prompt medical attention, heel symptoms can quickly progress, eventually making even routine daily activities uncomfortable.

Lots of factors can cause heel pain, and while a few causes may require surgical intervention, most people who have painful symptoms in their heels or the surrounding areas can find relief with custom orthotics. At Animas Foot and Ankle, we offer custom-made orthotics specifically designed to relieve the symptoms of heel pain. If you have pain in or around your heels, here’s what you should know about how custom orthotics could help you.

What’s causing your heel pain?

Lots of factors can cause or contribute to heel pain, including lifestyle factors, the way you walk (also called your gait), your anatomy, and underlying medical issues.

Lifestyle and habits

In addition to specific physical activities that involve repetitive impacts to your feet and ankles, wearing high-heeled shoes, shoes that don’t fit well, or shoes with poor arch support may also cause heel pain. If you roll your foot inward when you walk (a gait style known as pronation), the excess strain on the ligaments and tendons surrounding your heels can cause irritation and inflammation, resulting in pain in your heels and sometimes in other areas of your foot and legs as well. Pronation can even cause pain in your knees, hips, and lower back. If your Achilles tendon — the strong tendon at the back of your heel — is unusually short, it can also place excess strain on your heel, resulting in chronic pain and tenderness around your heel and sometimes extending into your entire foot. Unusual foot shapes can also increase pressure, strain, and discomfort in the heel area.

Medical-related causes

Many people who have heel pain have bone spurs, which are hard growths of calcium that appear at the edges of a bone, like your heel bone. These spurs press into muscles and tendons, causing irritation and inflammation, especially when you flex your foot or put pressure on it. Arthritis is another common cause of heel pain, especially in athletes and older men and women. Traumatic injury to your heel can cause what’s known as a “bone bruise,” a tender area that develops when the tissues covering your heel bone become inflamed. In some instances, tiny sacs of fluid (called bursa) near your heel can become irritated and inflamed, resulting in pain when you move your heel. This condition, called bursitis, can also lead to a deformity of the heel bone called Haglund’s deformity, an enlargement of the heel bone where it attaches to the Achilles tendon.

How custom orthotics can help

Whether your heel pain is caused by your lifestyle, your foot anatomy, or a medical problem, custom orthotics can help. Orthotics are inserts that are placed inside your shoes to help rebalance your gait and provide support for your feet, whether you’re walking or standing still. At Animas Foot and Ankle, we perform a series of very precise measurements to make sure your orthotics are designed not only for your specific anatomy but also to address the problem that’s causing your heel pain in the first place. Our orthotics are made of comfortable, durable materials, and they can be designed to fit in just about any type of footwear, including athletic shoes and dress shoes for both women and men.

Orthotics don't just relieve excessive or uneven stress on your heel and the surrounding tissues. By normalizing the forces exerted on your heel and the rest of your foot when you walk, run, or perform other activities, your custom orthotics may even relieve discomfort or fatigue in other areas of your body, like your knees, hips, and back. Plus, because every orthotic we provide is custom-made, they're a lot more comfortable, a lot more durable, and a lot more effective than any product you can buy at a drugstore. All in all, custom orthotics are a smart investment in your overall health and well-being.

If you're having heel pain, custom orthotics could be just what you need to find long-lasting, meaningful relief for your symptoms. To learn more about the orthotics we offer at Animas Foot and Ankle or to learn what's causing your symptoms, book an appointment online today.

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