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Posts for category: Orthotics

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
February 07, 2018
Category: Orthotics
Tags: Orthotics  

When patients come to us at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care with foot pain, our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will conduct a complete foot and ankle examination and take your medical history. There are many treatment options available that will bring relief to foot problems but in some cases, particularly when the problem is biomechanical or due to a deformity, an ongoing solution is necessary—that’s when custom orthotics can come into play.

Orthotics can protect a vulnerable or inflamed part of the foot. They can also realign or reposition the foot to compensate for faulty foot function and shift weight to take stress off of a specific area. Orthotics can be worn daily to greatly reduce or eliminate foot pain.

Orthotic Designs

Orthotics come in many shapes and sizes and are made of a variety of materials depending on their purpose. There are three distinct types of orthotics:

Rigid—as the name implies, these are made of a firm material such as carbon fiber or plastic. A plaster or digital mold is the template for the orthotic which will control motion in the two-foot joints that lie directly below the ankle joint. Patients who use rigid orthotics will see a great reduction in aches and strain in legs, thighs and lower backs.

Semi-rigid—layers of soft material reinforced with rigid materials help improve balance. Children with flat feet and in- or out-toeing can also be helped by semi-rigid orthotics. Added arch support can relieve heel pain caused by flat feet as well.

Soft—cushioning is the main purpose of this type of orthotic. Also made from a custom mold, these are worn up against the sole of the foot and act as a shock absorber for the foot reducing pressure on sore spots and increasing balance. These can be very helpful for patients with diabetes, arthritis and certain deformities.

If you are experiencing ongoing aches or pain in your feet, contact our New Jersey offices in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment by calling 732-662-3050 and find out if orthotics can help you.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
October 06, 2016
Category: Orthotics
Tags: Untagged

The simplest definition of orthotics is any device that gets inserted into your shoe. Orthotics may provide support, shift the position of your foot or help correct a defect or functional problem. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care orthotics can be part of the treatment plan for a number of different conditions including: plantar fasciitis, arthritis, hammertoe, sesamoiditis and many others.

Types of Orthotics

Although there are over-the-counter orthotics people try for minor foot issues, custom orthotics that are made to fit your individual foot can greatly reduce pain and increase ease of walking and participating in activities you enjoy. Orthotics can be used to protect painful or injured areas, increase foot function or both. 

There are three kinds of orthotics:

  1. Rigid: Made of firm materials like carbon fiber or plastic, rigid orthotics are used mostly in walking or dress shoes to control mechanical function of the foot. They usually are used to control the motion of the two large foot joints below the ankle and can eliminate back pain and aches and strains in the legs and thighs as well. Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will make a mold from a cast or image to produce a rigid orthotic device.
  2. Soft: This type of orthotic device is mostly used to increase comfort by taking the pressure off a painful spot or absorbing shock. As the name implies, they are made of soft, cushiony material, also from a cast or other image of your foot. They are helpful for patients with diabetes and foot deformities.
  3. Semi-Rigid: Often used by serious athletes to prevent overuse injury and pain, semi-rigid orthotics are made of alternating layers of soft and rigid materials. They are also prescribed for children dealing with flatfeet, and in- or out-toeing conditions.

If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your toes, feet or ankles, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment. Non-invasive treatments, such as orthotics, are available to help get you back to your normal level of activity.

By Varun Gujral
August 27, 2014
Category: Orthotics

The leaves are changing color, the weather is getting cooler, and the days are getting shorter. This could mean only one thing...football season is here! This is the time of year where families get together every Sunday, put on their favorite team sweatshirt, and watch their team play. This is the time of year where family rivalries really come to surface. This is also the time of year, though, in which most of the sports-related injuries occur.

Three-time Pro-Bowler, John Beason, of the New York Giants sustained a ligament tear and fracture to his right big toe joint and is currently working with team physicians to get him back to where he needs to be for opening day. He is in the process of being fit for orthoses and proper cleats. Having the proper shoe gear and orthoses after a fracture is imperative, especially for professional athletes and even more so for football players. With that said, however, orthoses can be made for practically any purpose deemed necessary. Your local podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care located in Monroe and Edison, NJ prescribe many different types of orthoses for many different types of conditions from minor calluses and stiff toes to severe bunion deformities and flat feet. Although there are many conditions in which orthoses are prescribed, there are other factors that the clinician needs to consider prior to casting your foot. Age, weight, and activity level are of the most common that need to be considered before making the proper orthoses. They can be made to help your feet function better, to accommodate a painful neuroma or heel spur, and even aid in relieving pain from plantar fasciitis.

Orthoses are very beneficial and when made properly can relieve pain almost instantly although this may not always be the case. Making them is an art and may take a few modifications for the device to work/fit properly. But don’t let that deter you from wearing them because properly functioning; pain free feet are what we strive for. “You don’t realize how important your feet are...But it’s really everything, right?” These are the words of one of the Giants’ most prominent and important players, John Beason. I couldn’t agree with him more!

 By Varun Gujral

 

Even though it has been rainy the past few weeks here in New Jersey, springtime weather will be here before we know it! Memories of spring remind us of blooming flowers, farmers’ markets, and… you guessed it! New shoes! Ok, so it might not have been the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s true. We replace our heavier, warmer winter shoes for lighter springtime sneakers. As the weather transitions, so does what we put on our feet! While it is certainly exciting to be wearing those new heels, we can’t forget that what we put on our feet’s main job isn’t just to look stylish, but to provide the necessary support as well.

Too often, our shoes simply cannot support our feet. This is where a podiatrist can help. Custom orthotics in your new springtime shoes will help you keep the spring in your step this spring. Many common foot problems can be alleviated with the help of a custom fit orthotic. Some examples of where an orthotic can help are: plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, diabetic foot ulcers, bursitis, or many different types of foot, ankle, and heel pain!

Frequently, we wear shoes that don’t provide the support that our feet desperately need to function painlessly. It’s easy to be tempted to buy the cheap shoe inserts we see at the drugstore. The problem is that everyone’s feet are different and these shoe inserts do not properly address your foot’s specific needs.  Your podiatrist can determine if custom orthotics are right for you before you waste your money buying cheap shoe-inserts at the big-box store. Here at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care, we examine your feet and the way that you walk thoroughly to insure you are made the perfect orthotic to fit your needs. We talk to you about your unique needs to design a custom orthotic that is perfect for you. So, keep the spring in your step this spring, and make an appointment with your local podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Edison and Monroe NJ today!

Nrupa Shah