What Conditions are Orthopedic Shoes Used to Treat?

The footwear for orthopedics can be broken down into two major categories. These are functional and accommodating orthopaedic shoes. Functional footwear is designed to help provide support for foot biomechanics that are abnormal. Accommodative footwear in turn are used to help relieve pain and to help provide support for some minor foot problems.

But what are some of the conditions that these orthopaedic shoes can be used to treat? There are quite a few and specific items are required for treating some of the conditions.

For example, a cushioned heel is a rubber wedge that goes in the heel of a shoe to help absorb some of the impact when walking. This reduces the movement of the knee to help promote healing and to reduce the occurrence of pain. In turn, a wedge is used to prevent sliding of the ankle and the unnatural inversion or eversion of the heel when walking.

Extended heels are used to treat the medial longitudinal arch to help provide it necessary support while a heel elevation can be used to help add a quarter inch or more to the legs, when they are not the same length.

Orthopaedic shoes can be used to help treat painful ulcers in the foot with a rocket bar to prevent discomfort they cause, while a steel bar can be used to help to reduce the forefoot motion so the foot has the ability to heal. Metatarsal pads are then used to help redistribute uneven amounts of pressure to reduce the impact it has on conditions of the foot.

Other conditions of the foot that can be treated with orthopedics include:

  • Abnormal foot biometrics
  • Bunions
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Chronic pain
  • Congenital hip dislocation
  • Flat feet
  • Foot drop
  • Fractures
  • Gait abnormalities
  • Paraplegia
  • Shin splints
  • Varus deviation
  • Valgus deviation
  • Weak knee joint

If you suffer from any of these conditions, or you find that there is some degree of discomfort while walking, it will be a good idea to talk to a podiatrist or other foot specialist. They can inspect your feet and help to determine the best form of treatment for you. In most cases, if you ignore the problem, it will only worsen over time and the corrective steps that may be necessary could become surgery or more, when orthopedics could have corrected the condition early on.

Will Orthotics Help?

There are a lot of people out there who believe that they may need orthotics or orthopedic shoes. They suffer from foot pain and believe that the use of an orthotic may help them, particularly if they work long hours on their feet each day. These people believe that with the over the counter orthotics that provide the perfect support, they will be able to walk better and their legs and feet will be far less troublesome and their pain may even go away. The problem is finding the orthotic that gives that perfect support when you’re not qualified to make that choice.

The fact that orthotics or orthopedic shoes can help you may well be true but that’s usually going to be when those orthopedic shoes or orthotics are prescribed and carefully chosen or even specially constructed by a professional. Meanwhile a vast array of people perceive, wrongly that their over the counter orthotic or the one that they purchase from an unscrupulous salesperson is going to resolve their pain and are amazed when it does not– and in fact sometimes causes further pain.

If you’re interested in orthotics or orthopedic shoes, the best way to find out if you need them and to have them fitted properly is not to buy them over the counter at the local department store without any advice or knowledge. It’s difficult at best to purchase orthotics from over the counter because most consumers don’t know exactly what they do need. If that is the type of orthotic that is best for you, at least get a professional opinion and find out which one that you require to help you to alleviate the pain that you feel when walking or running.

The orthopedic professional that you visit can help you, whether you’d like to select your orthotic from over the counter or have one specially made. Today healthcare professionals known as certified orthotists are available. This is a healthcare discipline that many people don’t know about and could benefit from greatly. The certified orthotist is someone who will be willing to help you to find an OTC orthotic rather than try to sell you a custom made one in many cases.

Before you jump into an orthotic that you’re not qualified to buy and that may or may not help you, at least a single visit to an orthopedic specialist or an orthotist is in order to find out what may and may not assist you in relieving the foot pain from which you are suffering.