Posts for: February, 2017
Think there's nothing you can do about your aching feet? Orthotics, shoe inserts custom-designed by a podiatrist, can help relieve your painful symptoms. Dr. Peter Siroka, your Stamford, CT, podiatrist, explains how you can benefit from orthotics.
What are orthotics?
Orthotics fit inside your shoes and are designed to support your feet and address structural problems and weaknesses. Although over-the-counter shoe inserts can help if your feet hurt, they often don't offer enough support to be effective. In some cases, drugstore products can actually worsen your problem.
Orthotics don't just support your arches but also ensure that your feet are positioned correctly in your shoes. Correct foot position is the key to aligning your foot and ankle and improving the stability of your joints. In fact, pain in your hip, knee or back may actually occur due to problems with your feet.
Too much pressure on the feet can worsen the symptoms of several conditions or diseases, such as plantar fasciitis, diabetic ulcers or tarsal tunnel syndrome. Orthotics reduce pressure by realigning and repositioning your feet.
Are orthotics right for me?
Orthotics may be a good choice if you have:
- Frequent foot, ankle, knee, hip or back pain
- Flat feet
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel pain
- Diabetic ulcers
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- A previous leg or foot injury
- A structural issue or imbalance in your foot
Orthotics are also recommended for people who spend hours on their feet every day or who participate in high-impact sports.
How do I get orthotics from my Stamford podiatrist?
Orthotics are available from your foot doctor. Before prescribing them, he will examine your foot and ask you to walk or run across the room to observe if there are any problems with your gait. If your podiatrist feels that you can benefit from orthotics, he'll take some measurements and create 3-D images of your feet that will be used to design your orthotics. In a week or two, you'll receive your new orthotics. You'll begin wearing them for short periods of time initially to allow ample time for your feet to adjust.
End your foot pain with orthotics. Call Dr. Siroka, your Stamford, CT, podiatrist, at (203) 614-8185 to schedule your appointment.
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that can develop in various parts of your body. In the foot, the most common occurring neuroma develops at the base of the third and fourth toes. This condition is referred to as Morton's neuroma.
There are typically no physical signs of Morton's neuroma, such as a lump or a knot. Instead, symptoms may include:
- A sharp, achy or burning pain in the ball of your foot
- Numbness, tingling, or cramping in the toes or forefoot
- Feeling as if you're standing on a pebble in your shoe
While the exact cause of Morton's neuroma is unknown, the growth of the neuroma seems to occur in response to injury, pressure or irritation to one of the nerves that lead to the toes. People with foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes and flat feet are at higher risk for developing a neuroma. Women are also more likely to develop this condition, as wearing high-heels or narrow-toed shoes can increase pressure on the toes. Other potential causes are activities that involve repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running.
Morton's neuroma can make walking and performing normal activities difficult and painful. Treatment options vary with severity, and identifying the neuroma in its earliest stage of development is important to avoid more invasive treatments or surgical correction. Left untreated, neuromas tend to worsen, so it's always best to visit our office at the first sign of pain.
Early treatments aim to relieve or reduce pressure on the area around the affected toes. Depending on the severity of your neuroma, a podiatrist may recommend:
- Modifications to footwear. Wide-toed shoes relieve pressure on the neuroma.
- Shoe inserts or padding to provide support for the arch of the foot, which removes pressure from the nerve.
- Anti-inflammatory medications can help ease any pain and inflammation. Ask your doctor first.
- Icing to reduce inflammation.
- Rest to lessen repetitive pressure on the neuroma.
In the most severe cases, surgery may be recommended for patients who do not respond to conservative treatments. We can help you determine the best approach for your specific condition.