January 26, 2019
Do I Need To See A Podiatrist For Orthotics
Podiatrists are medical professionals who diagnose and treat a wide range of foot and ankle conditions. These include heel pain, bunions, hammer toes, bone spurs, ingrown toenails, calluses, corns, warts, and nail fungus. These specialists are tested on both the state and national level, and are also licensed by the state where they practice. The need for podiatrists is increasing significantly around the country because the population in the United States is aging rapidly, and so is in Fort Collins.
Podiatrists in Fort Collins are authorized to perform certain diagnostic procedures, including laboratory tests and ultrasound, and they are also prepared to treat infections, fractures, and sprains of the ankle, heel, and foot. In addition, they prescribe various therapies for their patients, including orthotics, in treating their foot problems.
Orthotics, which vary widely from simple felt pads to custom-made devices, are inserted into a shoe to correct irregular or abnormal walking patterns. They enable those who use them to stand and walk more comfortably and efficiently. Although they are available over-the-counter for those who have only minor foot problems, as a rule, they cannot correct the various symptoms that a podiatrist treats with prescription orthotics. That’s because they are custom-tailored to fit the unique structure of the patient’s foot.
These devices, which are made in various sizes, shapes, and materials, fit into three major categories. There are those used to change the function of the foot, those used mainly to protect the foot, and those that are a blend of protection and functional control for patients who need both treatments. So first learn what type of orthotics you need for your issue, consult with your local podiatrist Fort Collins CO to get a diagnose.
Rigid orthotics, which are meant to control function, are mainly used with walking or dress shoes and are generally composed of carbon fiber, plastic, or some other firm material. They are designed from a mold or some other image provided by the foot doctor. Since rigid devices control motion in two major joints in the foot, they help to eliminate or improve aches, foot pain, and strains in the lower back and legs.
Soft orthotics, which are meant to relieve the patient’s pressure points, increase balance, absorb shock, and are used to treat deformed, arthritic, and diabetic feet. Made from soft, cushioned material and worn again the sole, they extend from the heel to the toes. These soft orthotics are also designed from a plaster-cast mold or some other image taken by the podiatrist.
Semi-rigid orthotics provide the balance needed for walking or participation in sports, and they are composed of soft material that is reinforced by more rigid material. They are often used in treating flat feet and out-toeing and in-toeing problems in children. In addition, semi-rigid orthotics are also prescribed for athletes to help ease the foot pain they experience while training for and competing in sports.