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Do Orthotics Help Foot PainFoot pain can happen anywhere on the foot, but it is especially common in the ball of the foot, along the arch and at the heel. The ball of the foot incurs a lot of force when you take a step, jump or run. Your heels also experience a lot of force when you walk or stand on your feet for extended periods of time. The arches may develop pain because the soft tissues become stretched, inflamed or swollen. Orthotics that are custom-made for you by your podiatrist are designed to relieve specific types of foot pain.

How Orthotics Work

To answer the question of "Do orthotics help foot pain?", it is important to understand how the devices work and what they are. There are two main categories of orthotic devices. One type is available over-the-counter. These products consist of flexible foam or gel-filled inserts that you place inside of your shoe. They are designed to supplement the cushioning of the insole that is already in your shoe. The second category is custom orthotic devices made just for you by the podiatrist. To make the customized inserts, the podiatrist makes a mold of your foot. The customized orthotic device is made from plastic with layers of leather and foam for durability, protection and comfort. They slide into your shoe and fit underneath of your foot while you stand or walk.

Why Orthotic Inserts Help With Painful Feet

The second part of the answer to "Do orthotics help foot pain?" is about the mechanics of taking a step. The forces on the different parts of your foot cause minor traumas, such as tissue swelling, irritation of a nerve or tiny stress fractures. The arch support of the hard plastic part of the orthotic device helps to align your foot properly within the shoe. It keeps the bones of your feet aligned so that the forces of walking or running are distributed properly instead of focused on one area. The cushioning parts of the orthotic devices absorb some of the impact of taking a step, reducing the amount of force that is transmitted to your bones and soft tissues. The combination of support and cushioning is what reduces your foot pain.

Painful Foot Conditions Helped By Orthotic Devices

There are many types of painful foot conditions that could benefit from the use of customized orthotic inserts. Some foot problems are often successfully treated with the use of orthotic shoe inserts. These conditions include:
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Prominent big toe joints
  • Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • High arches
  • Flat feet
  • Over-pronation
  • Heel spurs
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Sesamoiditis
  • Sesamoid fractures

When you meet with the podiatrist, it is a good idea to share which activities tend to aggravate your pain. This could affect the types of materials that are used in the creation of your orthotic device. The mechanics of running are different than the mechanics of walking.
December 28, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: calluses  

How do podiatrists remove calluses?How do podiatrists remove calluses?

Many people develop one or more calluses on their feet. Calluses are thickened layers of skin. These thick areas serve to protect the inner parts of the foot from impacts each time a person runs, jumps or takes a step. People with diabetes, neuromuscular disorders or circulatory system disorders may need to visit a podiatrist to have their calluses evaluated and professionally removed. Athletes and other people may also wish to have calluses removed, especially if they become uncomfortable.

Which Calluses Should Be Removed

An important part of considering how do podiatrists remove calluses is related to which calluses should be removed by a podiatry specialist. A small callus might be reversible by replacing worn-out shoes or switching to shoes that have better heel and ball of foot support. A callus that is larger than a dime, causing pain or ulcerated should be removed. Podiatrists will also attend to a callus on an athlete or a person with diabetes or other chronic conditions that affect the foot.

Callus Removal With a Surgical Blade

The primary method of how do podiatrists remove calluses is with a sterile surgical blade. The podiatrist may use a blade that is attached to a handle or one that is held in their hand. Slowly and methodically, the podiatrist moves the blade across the callused area. One layer of dead skin is removed with each passing of the surgical blade. Once the dead layers of skin have been removed and live skin is uncovered, the podiatrist will stop. The edges of the callous will be smoothed with a pumice stone in order to enhance patient comfort.

Trimming a Callus With an Electric Tool

Some podiatrists use an electric tool that looks like an electric razor. This type of a tool has multiple thin and flexible blades that glide across the skin. The podiatrist might select this tool for a callus that is on the side of a toe or that wraps around the back of a heel.

Callus Removal With a Scalpel

When a callus is cracked open or has started to ulcerate, the podiatrist might need to remove the infection underneath the dead skin. In this situation, the podiatrist numbs the area with an injection of a local anesthetic. A surgical scalpel is used to remove the callus and the infected tissue. This technique may be required in people with diabetes who did not notice that the callus was cracked open. It may also be necessary when removing a callus between the toes. A cortisone injection may be given to reduce inflammation and pain in the affected area.

Callus Surgery

A person with advanced diabetes or circulatory disorders may need surgical callus removal. A deep infection or a large, deep callus may need to be removed in this way. Podiatrists usually do this as an outpatient procedure. Regular check-ups with the podiatrists are key to ensuring proper healing of the foot and prevention of future calluses and infections.

common foot probles when runningIf you’re a runner, you know that the biggest challenge is caring for your feet. From getting the right running shoes to after care when your feet are tired and sore. That’s just one of the reasons runners begrudgingly don’t like running. Of course, the benefits of running far outway the negatives.

As a runner, there are some more serious conditions than sore feet that should be paid attention to. A foot, while carrying us through life, can also be quite delicate. It’s a series of bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles that are all connected have to work together. If one these goes out of order, the foot is out of commission until it’s fixed.

Fortunately, most foot ailments can be handled. These below are the most common foot ailments are runner can run into.


The Foot and the Runner


The first and most common condition is Plantar Fasciitis. The plantar fascia tendon is the one that runs the length of the bottom of the foot. This condition is characterized by a sharp, stabbing pain at the bottom of your foot. This is a tendonitis issue. Generally, it’s caused by overuse, not stretching, or wearing the wrong shoes.

The second common condition is a Stress Fracture. This is where the bone issue, where a small fracture can occur in any of the bones that comprise the foot. The most common area for stress fractures, however, is the metatarsals. These fractures they take time to build. Then, suddenly, the point comes where you feel a sharp pain in an area of your foot. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes hard to distinguish between general foot pain and a stress fracture, and x-rays are not always reliable as these fractures are quite small. The common way to find out if you have a stress fracture, is the tuning fork method and the vibrations will end up rattling your bones. Your podiatrist will advise on the best treatments.

The last condition that runners currently find themselves in is Extensor Tendonitis. These are the tendons that go across the top of the foot and go down from the muscles in front of the shin. These are the tendons that straighten each toe and generally help work them. Just like any tendon, it can become inflamed and overused. The pain can be similar to a stress fracture, but the main difference is that with extensor tendonitis, you’ll have trouble raising your toes.

While these conditions are painful and can momentarily stop you from running, letting them go unchecked or untreated, will only worsen the condition for the future. Make sure to visit a podiatrist who will advise the best treatment to get you back on your feet and hitting the streets.

Family Foot Center is always ready to help runners during any time of need. If you’re experiencing any of the above, feel free to schedule an appointment.

What to do about painful hammer-toes?What to do about painful hammer-toes?

Many of us have heard the term hammer-toe, but what is the medical definition of this condition? Hammer-toes are defined as an imbalance in the ligament and muscle at the base of the toe joint. This can cause the middle joint to become bent out of shape, which can be aesthetically unpleasing. This also leads to irritation in the bent toe and difficulty with walking and wearing certain footwear.

What kinds of hammer-toes are there?

There is a couple of different variations which can appear on the feet.  Fortunately, both can easily be treated if diagnosed in a timely fashion.  First, there are flexible hammer-toes which can be moved at the joint.  These usually develop in the early stages of development and are easier to treat.

Rigid hammer-toes are different, as they press the joint out of it’s natural alignment.  The toe is not mobile at this stage and surgery is likely required to correct the issue and return full mobility.

What Causes Hammer-toes?

Each of our toe muscles work together in pairs.  When the balance of the muscles shifts, a hammer-toe can develop.  There is a large amount of pressure which is put on the toe joints each and every day, especially for those of us who walk or run more than usual.  Additionally, those who wear high-heeled shoes or narrow footwear can suffer from hammer-toe development, due to the change in the arch of the foot.  Genetics play a large role as well, as this condition could be passed over in the family, and patients are likely to develop the condition in their adult life.  Those who have suffered from injuries to the foot or arthritis are most at risk.

If you suffer from pain in the feet, corn formation, swelling, dislocation or have gone through an injury, it is best to contact a podiatrist for a thorough evaluation.  Early detection is the key to a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Call Dr. Hickey today at 516-735-4545 for your evaluation today!

Can shoes help my foot painWhen we think of footwear, we often think about aesthetics of how a high heel may make us look.  We think about how these shoes will make us feel taller, more confident and how they will dress us up. However, we often neglect to think about how they will make the bones, joints, ligaments and tendons in our feet react.  Putting an unnatural arch or pressure on our toes and the soles of our feet may not sound as appealing in those stilletos!

Starting From The Bottom

Studies show that nearly all American adults suffer from joint or muscle pain.  Some of the most common pain is Sciatica (or lower back pain shooting down the leg) as well as hip and cervical spine (neck) discomfort.  Very few patients realize that this pain can actually originate from the shoes which they choose. The natural arch in the foot must be preserved, and most shoes (from sneakers to flip flops) available in stores today do not offer this necessary support.

Ask The Doc Before You Shop!

Before going to the mall or your local boutique in search of a new pair of shoes for work or a special event, consult the expert: your podiatrist!

They will evaluate the condition of your feet and will advise you of the best options. The curvature of your feet will be
precisely measured, as well as the structure of the inner structures of the toes. Shoes which tend to "pinch" the toes or elevate the foot beyond it's natural range of motion can cause detrimental pain later down the road.

Call today to schedule your footwear consultation. Our doctor and experienced, professional staff will have you feeling stylish in comfort!

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