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What are the best shoes for orthotics?

What are the best shoes for orthotics?

For some of us, our orthotics have become a part of our daily lives. They provide great relief from the aches, cramps and twinges we experience during our daily activities, typically as a result of our faulty foot biomechanics or external strain/forces. Yet, after finally attaining those custom-made insoles, the process of finding the correct shoes to fit them in, then becomes quite tedious. There are definitely a few limitations in regard to footwear choice, but sneakers DON’T have to be your only go to, several sandals will work just as well.

Here are a few shoe features that we recommend you look for when purchasing shoes for your orthotics. Also remember to take your orthotics with you when going shopping.

1. Removable insoles – to swap out for your orthotics

2. Heel counter/heel support – so your orthotics don’t’ fall out

3. Deep heel cup – so that the orthotics will fit well in the shoe and your heels won’t lift when walking.

4. Deep and wider toe box – again for good orthotic fit

5. Some form of adjustable fastening – such as laces or velcro

6. Low heels – usually no more than 3 – 4 cm is recommended

Did you know, Podiatrist’s can also make custom made orthotics for narrow/high heeled shoes (cobra orthotics)?

Understandably, these types of orthotics won’t provide the same type of support as regular orthotic molds, but they are worth considering, especially if you’re in high heels all day.

These cobra orthotics are particularly popular with lawyers and those in the corporate field.

Foot Posture and Back Pain

Broadway Burrard ChiropraticBack pain is present in around 18% of the general population and is highly preventable in most cases. You are at more risk of developing back pain, especially lower back pain, if you are: female, getting older, obese, have a lower...

Tinea pedis/Athlete’s foot

Tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot is a skin infection that is caused by a fungal infection. It usually presents as red, macerated, peeling or flaky skin in-between the toes or soles of your feet. The fungal infection typically grows in areas that are warm and...

Tinea pedis/Athlete’s foot

Tinea pedis/Athlete’s foot

Tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot is a skin infection that is caused by a fungal infection. It usually presents as red, macerated, peeling or flaky skin in-between the toes or soles of your feet. The fungal infection typically grows in areas that are warm and humid, so it is more likely to grow if your feet are in enclosed toe shoes for long periods of time. Thus fungal infections have become more common in recent years with more individuals wearing shoes that don’t let your feet to breathe.

What are the causes of Tinea?

Tinea is caused by a number of species of fungi but most commonly a species called Trichophyton rubrum. This species is found in warm and humid environments, including numerous areas in Australia. This fungal species is also contagious and can spread to different individuals when walking barefooted on contaminated surfaces such as shared changing rooms, showers and swimming pool areas. They can also be present in shoes, socks and towels.

What are the symptoms of tinea?

  • Red and flaky skin
  • Skin peeling
  • Itching, stinging or burning
  • Small red blisters
  • Scaly rash covering the entire soles and up the sides of the feet (moccasin tinea).

What are the treatments for tinea infections?

Treatments for tinea infections including topical treatment in the form of antifungal creams, sprays, ointments and powders. These are typically available over the counter. Other treatments including oral tablets, which are usually prescribed by your doctor.

10 tips to avoid tinea infections:

  • Wash your feet thoroughly every day when you come back from work, you can use products with tea-tree oil to help prevent bacterial and/or tinea infection.
  • Make sure to dry in between the toes well.
  • Change socks every day.
  • Wear breathable socks.
  • Let your shoes air dry.
  • Put your shoes in the sun to kill any fungal spores.
  • Use a tea-tree spray for your shoes and on your feet.
  • Alternate your shoes.
  • Wear shoes with a breathable material
  • Wear flip flops in shared environments such as swimming pools and showers.

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foot disorders 5
sports injuries 2
Common Foot Problems 12
foot care tips 12

Foot Posture and Back Pain

Broadway Burrard ChiropraticBack pain is present in around 18% of the general population and is highly preventable in most cases. You are at more risk of developing back pain, especially lower back pain, if you are: female, getting older, obese, have a lower...

What are the best shoes for orthotics?

For some of us, our orthotics have become a part of our daily lives. They provide great relief from the aches, cramps and twinges we experience during our daily activities, typically as a result of our faulty foot biomechanics or external strain/forces. Yet, after...

Ankle-foot Orthosis (AFO)

Ankle-foot Orthosis (AFO)

Photo credit: AliMed

Solid AFOs

Ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) are braces for the lower leg and foot that are often prescribed to patients with gait abnormalities. They are lightweight plastic braces composed of a plastic material that can be secured to the calf with the use of a strap; this strap also runs along and under the foot. The foot itself sits in a comfortable, accommodative shoe, AFOs possess a characteristic L-shape, which in effect assists by holding the foot and ankle in the appropriate position when performing certain tasks. Individuals suffering from disorders that severely affect muscular function, i.e. stroke, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and polio patients have a greater need for such devices in order to remedy irregularities that may occur in movement, especially during gait. AFOs can work in two ways: either correctly positioning a limb with contracted musculature in the normal position or supporting wasting or weak limbs.

Articulated/hinged AFOs

Articulated or hinged AFOs are made up of two separate components that are not continuous with each other but instead “articulate” with one another with a hinge mechanism. While the components themselves are composed of plastic, the joints/hinge are usually made with metal or other composite materials. The hinged moment present in these AFOs allows unrestricted and free movement of the ankle joint. These AFOs are often prescribed to reduce the rigidity in movement so that patients can perform daily tasks (e.g. walking up the stairs or rising from a chair).

Richie braces

A Richie brace is a custom ankle brace that is made after taking a cast of the patient’s ankle and foot. This type of brace is used to treat chronic conditions of the foot and ankle where the muscles are not working effectively or there are structural problems. It can be used for a number of conditions including drop-foot, ankle injuries, severe flat foot, and tendon damage. It is a lightweight design that is preferred by patients who are very active. It comes with leg uprights for maximum support, and as it is custom-made it perfectly fits the ankle joint axis of the patient’s foot. Moreover, it has an orthotic base that is also specifically moulded to your foot. As with all AFOs they do need to have good quality shoes that they can fit into – shoes with an adjustable strap, wide heel cup, and stable back and base are preferred. This brace provides a wonderful non-surgical option to complex pathologies of the leg, foot, and ankle.

Overall, the ankle foot orthosis is an efficient therapy for weakness in the lower extremity musculature and can effectively help weak muscle groups in the leg. A thorough assessment is necessary to ensure that the AFO chosen successfully remedies the given condition. Our team at the Perth Foot & Ankle Clinic are experienced in the use of AFOs and Richie braces. 

Köhler’s Disease

Köhler’s Disease

Photo credit: Fixmyfeet.co.za

Köhler’s disease is a condition that impacts a bone on the inner arch of the foot. This bone is called the navicular.

This relatively rare disorder of the foot typically affects males more than females and occurs between the ages of 2 and 10 years of age with a peak occurs during the ages of 3 to 7 years.

It is not fully understood why this condition occurs. Some researchers suggest that it is caused by excessive strain on the navicular bone, while others believe that it is caused by injury/trauma to the area. As a result of this, the blood supply to the bone get compromised as the child is growing. This leads to loss of blood flow (ischaemia) to navicular resulting in progressive degeneration of the bone. If not treated promptly, the bone can become permanently deformed.

The signs and symptoms of Köhler’s disease can differ, but they generally include:

  • Redness around the inside of the foot, near your arch
  • A swollen foot
  • Tenderness/pain along the inside of the arch
  • Pain worse if putting pressure on the affected foot

This is an uncommon condition that warrants proper diagnosis, care and management. Generally, it does resolve on its own. It is important not to aggravate the condition as it can lead to complications later on in life. If the condition is very severe (as determined by X-ray/CT scans) then a fibreglass cast or moon boot may be required in addition to other treatment options. See our Podiatrists here for more information regarding this condition.

What to Do If You Have Suffered a Sporting Injury

Types of Foot Sporting Injuries and How We Can Help You Recover From Them Sporting injury is a blanket term for anything concerning injuries that are experienced during or after playing any sport or exercise. They can occur at any time, whether running a marathon,...

Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle

Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle

Arthritis is term to describe a range of conditions that affect the joint in your body. Arthritis can occur in one joint or it can occur in many joints. Moreover, it can affect the big joints of the body such as the knee or it can affect the small joints such as in the foot. Arthritis is often classified into two basic categories, which are inflammatory and non-inflammatory arthritis. As arthritis can affect the foot and ankle, it can often lead to difficulty walking and conducting various activities overall reducing your quality of life.

Types of Arthritis

 

  Osteoarthritis Rheumatoid Post-traumatic Gout
Pathology
  • Degenerative wear and tear.
  • Usually affects 1 joint initially.
  • Damages the cartillage causing bone rubbing on bone.
  • Autoimmune disease where our antibodies attack the synovium (thin lining around the joints).
  • Cause damage to the bone, cartillage, ligaments and tendons.
  • Arthritis occuring following injury to the area. Such as dislocation and fractures.
  • Wear and tear of the cartilage over time.
    • Deposition of monosodium urate crystals due breakdown of a substance called Purine, which is naturally found in the body.

 

Risk Factors
  • Obesity
  • Age
  • Family history
  • Diabetes
  • Genetics
  • Infection
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Trauma, fractures, dislocation
  • Diet
  • Obesity
  • Certain medications (diurectics, low dose aspirin)
  • Family history
  • Trauma
Presentation
  • Painful joints.
  • Slow developing.
  • Stiffness of the joints.
  • Asymetrical joints affected.
  • Restricted motion
  • Painful joints
  • Significant deformity
  • Symmetrical joints affected
  • Heat and swelling present around the joints.
  • Restricted motion.
  • Painful joints
  • Restricted motion
  • Stiffness in the joints
  • Intense pain of the joint
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Restricted motion

Imaging and tests for Arthritis

X-rays can provide information about your bones and the alignment of the bones. If arthritis is present, X-rays may show joint space narrowing, fractures, osteophyte formation and changes in the alignment of the joints.

Blood tests can show any inflammatory markers that can help diagnosis between different types of arthritis.

Other types of medical imaging, such as bone scans, CT scans and MRI imaging can be used to determine more details about bone and joint changes.

Treatment for Arthritis 

Arthritis cannot be cured but there are treatment options to help relieve pain and discomfort, as well as to improve mobility

Conservative treatment for arthritis includes:

  • The use of medications to reduce the inflammation and/or pain in the joints.
  • Medicines that specifically target inflammatory arthritis can slow down or in some cases, halt the progression of the condition.
  • Reducing or modifying activities that aggravate the condition and your discomfort
  • Performing non-weight bearing exercises such as swimming or cycling to increase strength and support your joints, as well as increasing range of motion.
  • Losing weight and maintaining a good diet.
  • Orthotics to assist with the pain, deformity and functional problems related to the joints
  • Other assistive devices such as braces and ankle foot orthoses

Surgical treatment:

If arthritis leads to significant disability then surgical options can be considered. The surgical treatment is dependent on the arthritis and the location of the disability. Your podiatric surgeon can explain your options.

What are the best shoes for orthotics?

For some of us, our orthotics have become a part of our daily lives. They provide great relief from the aches, cramps and twinges we experience during our daily activities, typically as a result of our faulty foot biomechanics or external strain/forces. Yet, after...

Tinea pedis/Athlete’s foot

Tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot is a skin infection that is caused by a fungal infection. It usually presents as red, macerated, peeling or flaky skin in-between the toes or soles of your feet. The fungal infection typically grows in areas that are warm and...

Ankle-foot Orthosis (AFO)

Photo credit: AliMedSolid AFOs Ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) are braces for the lower leg and foot that are often prescribed to patients with gait abnormalities. They are lightweight plastic braces composed of a plastic material that can be secured to the calf with the...

What can I do for a Bunion?

What can I do for a Bunion?

What is a bunion?

Bunions are a lump at the big toe joint, they are a very common problem affecting women more than men. All bunions are different, some bunions can be extremely painful, make footwear difficult to fit and reduce your balance. There is a strong genetic link, so if a family member has a bunion, you may develop one also. How you walk and the footwear you choose may also contribute to the development of a bunion.

What does a bunion look like?

  • A bony bump on the side of your forefoot, at the base of your big toe 
  • Pain at this joint – the discomfort may come and go, it can feel painful, achy, stiff, tingling or burning.
  • Swelling around the joint and redness from footwear rubbing
  • Hard skin on the side of the big toe
  • Overlapping or pushing against the 2nd toe

 

What can I do to treat my bunion?

While you can often live with bunions, they can be painful, uncomfortable and unsightly. If your bunion is affecting your daily activities or sport, then there are conservative treatment options to help manage your bunion.

  • Changing your shoes to something with more room for your toes
  • Padding, taping or splinting your foot
  • Using shoe inserts (orthotics), to relieve the discomfort caused by a bunion.
  • Doing foot exercises and stretches to reduce and relieve pain.
  • Toe wedge to separate your 1st and 2nd toes

 

Do I need bunion surgery?

If you have explored your conservative treatment options then surgery is recommended for correcting the bunion deformity permanently. The operation involves realigning the big toe joint and soft tissue, then securing the bone with a screw/k-wire. You need to be prepared to rest and recuperate, but there is usually minimal discomfort and you can walk straight away in a postoperative shoe. The outcome of the surgery is a functioning big toe joint, with improved stability and appearance.

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