There are 26 bones in each foot, plus 33 joints, 107 ligaments just waiting to become inflamed, and 19 muscles. Each of those tiny pieces of our anatomy has the potential to break, sprain, swell and keep us on the couch with foot pain for what can seem like way too long.
Those many bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles also mean that every foot is different. Some people have high arches, while some people have flat feet. Some people have hammertoes, while others have bunions and hammertoes. Off-the-rack shoes are made in a one-fits-all fashion that makes using orthotic inserts a smart choice, whether you’re currently dealing with foot pain, or just trying to prevent it.
Shoe inserts can be found seemingly almost anywhere – and where you choose to purchase yours should depend upon your current situation and your goals. Are you in pain due to an ailment like metatarsalgia, Morton’s neuroma, plantar fasciitis, or some other condition? You should talk to your healthcare professional about prescription orthotics to help relieve your foot pain.
Otherwise, you may choose to go to a shoe store that specializes in helping people find the correct footwear for their foot shape. It is especially important to get advice from a professional if you spend a lot of time partaking in activities that are hard on your feet – like running on pavement. These specialists are well-versed in proper alignment and can offer expertise that just can’t be found at most big shoe retailers.
If you’re less active and looking for inserts that will help keep your feet pain-free after a day at the office, you may find your needs are met at your local pharmacy or nearby big-box retailers. This route consists of some more self-diagnosis than the other two – but we’re not talking about medical conditions. If you’re already in pain and need medical diagnosis, see your doctor. Otherwise, you’ll want to examine your foot’s features so you can buy the proper insole.
You’ll get to choose:
Foot Cushions or Pads: Many foot orthotic brands make padding from memory foam or a gel that is meant to provide added protection to the underside of the foot. Some people may prefer cushions that target a specific area of the foot – like the ball of the foot. These can help prevent foot pain caused by wearing high heels.
Arch Supports: Every person who has high arches can and should prevent future foot pain by wearing proper arch support. These inserts help you evenly distribute your weight with each step, so you’re not adding wear and tear to not just the feet, but the entire body. By providing you with a proper base, you can stand up tall and correct posture imbalances.
Heel Cups: As we age, the fatty padding that protects our feet can diminish. Heel cups add extra support in these cases and can help relieve heel pain by replacing the lost padding.
Insoles: Insoles are an excellent option for people who want to protect their entire foot. They can be more expensive than the products that target one specific area, like the heel cup, but they offer support and foot pain prevention to the entire foot.
If you’re experiencing foot pain, it’s essential to see a doctor and allow yourself the proper time to rest and heal. Foot orthotics should be used as a preventative, or with the direction of your healthcare professional. Make an appointment with Premier Pain & Spine Chicago to find relief from your foot pain today.