Pedorthic Association Australia - FAQ's
Answer: Yes we do. Many of our members have special training in this area of Pedorthics and manage such conditions as flat feet, club foot, severs syndrome and cerebral palsy.
Answer: Symptoms can manifest in many different ways. The associated conditions depend on the individual lifestyle of each patient. Here is a list of some of the conditions associated with Excess Pronation:
- Arch Pain
- Knee Pain
- Flat Feet
- Hallux Abducto Valgus (bunions)
- Hallux Rigidus (stiff 1st toe)
- Heel Pain (plantar Facsitus)
- Metatarsalgia (ball of the foot pain)
- Ankle Sprains
- Shin Splints
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Corns & Calluses
- Hammer Toes
A pedorthist is an individual who is trained in the assessment, design, manufacture, fit and modification of foot appliances and footwear for the purposes of alleviating painful or debilitating conditions and providing assistance for abnormalities or limited actions of the lower limb. A pedorthist provides devices and footwear to assist in:
- Accommodation of foot deformities
- Re-alignment of anatomical structures
- Redistribution of external and internal forces
- Improvement of balance
- Control of biomechanical function
- Accommodation of circulatory special requirements
- Enhancement of the actions of limbs compromised as a result of accident, congenital deformity, neural condition, or disease
Orthotics are any device used to support and align a part of the body. Custom-made foot orthoses are precision medical devices, worn inside shoes, that are custom-made to correct your specific imbalance. They are used to relieve pain, improve skeletal alignment or improve the function of your foot and lower limbs.
- Metatarsalgia – pain in the ball of the foot
- Plantar Fasciitis – pain in the heel or arch area of the foot
- Numbness or Tingling in the toes
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Tibialis Posterior Tendinitis – shin splints
- Arthritis – pain and swelling in the first toe joint and ankle
- Diabetes – loss of sensation/decreased blood flow
- Knee Pain
- Hip Pain
- Low Back Pain
- Leg Length Difference
These conditions are treated and can be alleviated by the re-alignment of anatomical structures and the redistribution of external and internal forces in the foot through the use of orthotics. Orthotics can also help to accommodate foot deformities and improve balance.
Anti-Pronation Orthotic Insoles provide a unique foot support system that aligns the lower body. The major cause of foot and leg pain is over pronation (rolling over of the feet) which causes excessive pressure on the muscles, ligaments and bones of the lower body. These orthotic insole treat the underlying cause of over pronation and prevent future occurrences of the associated foot or leg condition. Patients have reported relief of symptoms within 30 days of using orthotic insoles.
- Footwear with high, wide toe box (high and wide space in the toe area)
- Removable insoles for fitting flexibility and the option to insert orthotics if necessary.
- Rocker Soles designed to facilitate ambulating (walking) and to reduce callus build-up at the ball and other areas of the foot.
- Custom moulded Orthotic insoles designed to provide comfort, support and extra cushioning are also recommended. Orthotics made with the material Plastazote are often recommended because they mould to your feet to provide customized comfort. The proper footwear and orthotics will reduce pressure on a callus to provide a comfortable and healthy environment for the foot.
Excessive stretching of the plantar fascia that leads to the inflammation and discomfort can be caused by the following:
- Over-pronation resulting in the arch collapsing upon weight bearing and pulling on the plantar fascia.
- A sudden increase in physical activity.
- Excessive weight on the foot, from activity and repetitive stress, obesity, or pregnancy
- Improperly fitting footwear, especially footwear too short or too flat.
- Over-pronation is the leading cause of plantar fasciitis. Over-pronation occurs in the walking process, when a person’s arch collapses upon weight bearing, causing the plantar fascia to be stretched away from the heel bone.
- With Plantar Fasciitis, the bottom of your foot usually hurts near the inside of the foot where the heel and arch meet. The pain is often acute either first thing in the morning or after a long rest, because while resting the plantar fascia contracts back to its original shape. There is a lack of active blood flow and when the blood rushes in it is painful. As the day progresses and the plantar fascia continues to be stretched the pain often subsides.
- Pain may not always be at heel strike. Pain can be at heel-lift as the “Windlass Mechanism” in the gait cycle (during propulsion) shortens the plantar fascia as the heel lifts off the ground, and thus pulls at the heel bone, as well as at the metatarsal heads in supination.
- High Arch Feet, which can collapse because of gravity and the fact that we have paved the earth flat (as well as other stresses) are candidates for plantar fasciitis.
The key for the proper treatment of plantar fasciitis is determining what is causing the excessive stretching of the plantar fascia. When the cause is over-pronation, an custom moulded orthotic with rear foot Valgus posting and medial longitudinal arch support is an effective device to reduce the over-pronation and allow the condition to heel. The goal is to get the foot to be in more aligned or “neutral” position of approximately 90 degrees. Over-pronation that stresses the plantar fascia has the foot in more of a Valgus position (foot collapsing inward). Rocker Bottoms are beneficial in the propulsive phase of gait while walking. Rocker Bottoms help do some of the work for the foot and extrinsic muscles during supination so the body can get over the foot with less strain on the plantar fascia. Perth Surgical Shoemakers can add Rockers to any footwear. Medial flares and Medial flares are footwear modifications that Perth Surgical Shoemakers does on premises which modify your pre-existing footwear to offload and support the feet on the medial side (inside). Every time your foot strikes the ground, the plantar fascia is stretched. You can reduce the strain and stress on the plantar fascia by taking precautions. Avoid running on hard or uneven ground, lose any excess weight, and wear shoes and orthotics that support, accommodate, and bio-mechanically offload your arch to prevent over-stretching of the plantar fascia. Cushion the heel, absorb shock and wear proper footwear that will accommodate and comfort the foot. Footwear with higher heel heights will help to offload the stress on the heel – where the plantar fascia inserts. Recommendations for Plantar-Fasciitis:
- Custom moulded Orthotic insoles
- Supportive Footwear like: Drew, Kumfs, Finn, Rockport and New Balance Sneakers
- Shoe Modifications like: Rocker Bottom soles, Medial Wedges and Medial Flares
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation caused by excessive stretching of the plantar fascia (aponeurosis). The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue which runs along the bottom surface of the foot, attaching at the bottom of the heel bone (calcaneous) and extending to the forefoot (metatarsal heads). Plantar Fascia that is excessively stretched can cause plantar fasciitis, which can also lead to heel pain, arch pain, and heel spurs.
- Wear wide fitting shoes, preferably with a leather upper which will allow a stretch
- Avoid high heeled shoes
- Orthotics can help slow the progression of the bunion and also treat the associated symptoms
The most important causative factor is poor fitting footwear. This accounts for an higher incidence among women then men.
- Family history of bunions
- Abnormal foot function, excessive pronation. If a pedorthist or podiatrist uses this term he is referring to excessive rolling in of the foot at the ankle joint while you are walking.
- Rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.
- Genetic and neuromuscular diseases which can result in a muscular imbalance such as Down’s syndrome.
- If one leg is longer then the other, the longer leg is more inclined to develop a bunion.
- If the ligaments in the feet are very weak.
- In some cases, bunions can occur due to trauma or injury to the feet.
Bunions are one of the most common forefoot deformities. A displacement of the bone under the 1st toe occurs. This causes the big toe to move towards the smaller toes. This shifting of the bones causes a bony prominence on the side of the patients foot (the bunion joint). Over a period of time the big toe may come to rest under (occasionally over) the 2nd toe. A bunion is more common in women than men due to women wearing tighter fitting shoes. This condition can cause a variety of different soft tissue and bony complaints which may result in severe pain. Symptoms include redness, swelling and pain which may be present along the inside margin of the foot. The patients feet may become too wide to fit into their normal size shoe and may experience moderate to severe discomfort may occur when the patient is wearing tight shoes. A “hammer toe” may occur at the 2nd toe. This is when the toe contracts and presses on the shoe. Subsequently, this may cause a corn on top of the 2nd toe. Corns and calluses may occur on the soles of the feet, in between toes and on the bunion joint. Stiffness can occur at the big toe due to secondary arthritis, this is known as Hallux Rigidus. Other foot conditions can occur such as in growing toe nails and in severe cases the bunion joint may have a fluid filled sack called a BURSITIS. This can be very painful and can become infected.
Answer: Flat feet cause the leg bones to rotate inwards when you are standing and walking. This will affect your hip and pelvic positions, thereby altering the amount of back curvature and leading to pain. Previous injury, activities, and upper body mechanics will also play a role in lower back pain.