What Are Orthopedic Shoes & What Are They Used For?
Posted on February 26, 2016
Orthopedic medicine pertains to the correction and prevention of skeletal or muscular conditions, injuries, or illnesses. This specialty solution also deals with ligaments, joints, and the pain the coincides with all of the above. Over 70% of people wear shoes that don’t fit them properly, so managing pain can be difficult if when you’re not addressing the problem. But, what are orthopedic shoes and what are they used for? Here, we expand on this tactical approach.
Orthotics are corrective devices that provide alleviation for injuries or pain points in order to effectively function. Orthopedic shoes are specifically designed as pain relieving support for patients dealing with foot, ankle, or leg pain. They serve as customized orthotics that fit your foot based on 3D images taken by a foot and ankle specialist. Designed for functionality and not appearance, orthopedic shoes can be worn by anyone experiencing lower body discomfort or a foot condition that hinders their mobility.
Orthopedic shoes typically include extensive cushion padding in addition to increased volume. The extra space gives a patient room to add multiple insoles as well as heel, toe, ball, or arch padding. Although the heels aren’t as high, they tend to be very firm with a wide base. The seamless interior design creates less room for wear while helping to eliminate pinching in the toes. With help from a podiatrist, many of the orthotic features can be found in most shoes in the retail environment. The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) actually accepts specific brands by giving them a seal of approval.
What is the Purpose of Orthopedic Shoes?
The main purpose of foot orthotics is to provide diagnosed patients with a custom option that addresses and decreases their pain. Although these orthopedic shoes encompass your feet, they can also impact other areas of your body like your lower back, hips, and knees. Aside from relief and in contract with “regular” shoes,” orthopedic shoes also provide extensive support for injury prevention.
Orthopedic shoes are prescribed or referred just like any other type of treatment plan. Some clinicians will suggest a specific brand off of the shelf while others will reiterate the benefits of a strategic orthotic. When considering this option, keep in mind that there are numerous foot conditions, and it’s important that you address the cause of your pain instead of creating additional problems. Orthotic shoes focus on addressing the following conditions:
- Diabetes or Arthritis.
- Plantar Fasciitis, or Ankle Varus/Valgus.
- Hammertoes, Bunions, or Metatarsalgia.
- Fallen Arches, Pes Planus, or Pes Cavus.
How to Obtain Orthopedic Shoes
Receiving foot orthotics begins with a prescriptions from your clinician or podiatrist. Once you’ve determined this is your best option, it’s time to visit your qualified foot specialist for customization. Our providers and medical assistants do a great job analyzing your medical history, current symptoms, and lifestyle to determine the best healthcare solutions for you. Aside from your normal footwear, your clinician also considers the wear patterns of your current shoes, your posture, and the strength and positioning of your legs. By assessing the motion of your lower body, they’re able to develop a treatment plan that aids you in improving your quality of life.