Addressing the problem of generalized foot pain can be a complex problem for a podiatrist. The most logical place when tackling the problem of generalized foot pain usually resides in the use of improper shoe gear or improper use of orthotics. Most people don’t realize that shoe gear typically needs to be replaced every 500 miles which it only about 8 months of use on average. Regularly walking around or even just standing in place on a worn out shoe can cause major long term problems to the foot and leg. It is common for those experiencing foot pain to automatically go to the local drug store and pick out a nice padded orthotic to place in their shoe with the hope that extra padding will ease the pain they are having in the foot. The truth of the matter is that a padded orthotic device can help in some cases, but in most cases the individual could greatly benefit from a full biomechanical exam from a podiatrist to help determine what type of orthotic the patient should be using.
You might be wondering- what would a biomechanical exam do to help chronic pain in the foot or leg? During a biomechanical exam, the podiatrist will carefully exam your walking pattern. By recognizing small nuances in the patient’s gait, a podiatrist can customize an orthotic device solely for the way that your foot comes in contact with the ground. Think of people you have known in your life that might have a “funny walk”, or next time you are in a public place simply observe the many different styles and patterns of how people move while they do something as simple as walking. Because there is such wide variation on the way that we as humans move as we walk, it is no surprise that putting a cushioned pad on the bottom of your shoe will not alleviate most of the symptoms associated with foot pain. The need for a full biomechanical evaluation with the ability to create and prescribe customized orthotics for the patient would be the best place to start for anyone who has been experiencing foot pain. This biomechanics evaluation can be beneficial for a wide range of people, from the competitive runner who exercises daily, to an elderly individual who isn’t able to do much walking. If you or any of your family members could benefit from a biomechanical evaluation, it would be well worth your time to call one of our podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Center located in Howell New Jersey.
By Hal Ornstein