Arthritis in the joints of the foot can make every walking step painful. While the effects of arthritis vary greatly from person to person, depending upon which joints are affected and how progressed the arthritis has become, many people experience problems fitting into shoes comfortably.
The complications of arthritis include compromised gait, often resulting in poor balance. For many people, swelling adds to the problem of finding footwear that works all day long. And if arthritis wasn't enough, the natural degeneration of the structure of the foot over time presents its own unique challenges to all of us as we age.
The good news is that footwear can often be selected or made to support more comfortable walking. If you've tried lots of shoes and are still experiencing pain, working with a talented pedorthist can provide a much more targeted approach to a complex problem.
Pedorthics IsPedorthics is a non-invasive, conservative modality specialized in therapeutic footwear, which can be applied or discontinued, re-evaluated, and adjusted, at anytime. Selecting from various combinations of shoes useful to accommodate arthritic conditions (ranging from off-the-shelf to custom), custom foot orthotics specifically designed to offload painful arthritic conditions. In some cases, subtle change can be made to existing shoes to assist in smooth walking. Rest assured, today's orthopedic shoes don't necessarily have to be ugly. You may be pleasantly surprised to experience comfort and style for the first time in a long time!
Boston Pedorthic is a by-appointment treatment-oriented pedorthic facility, accredited by the Board for Certification in Pedorthics.
Pedorthic Strategies for Arthritis
Working with each individual by appointment, the process at Boston Pedorthic begins with a questionnaire about the nature of the chief complaint, followed by a detailed pedorthic assessment of the patient's overall medical condition, history and footwear.
The simplest place to start is by selecting a shoe that accommodates painful areas and provides adequate support. In some cases, orthopedic modifications to an off-the-shelf shoe such as a rocker sole precisely placed can help support the mechanics of gait.
The patient may be a candidate for custom foot orthotics to help relieve painful pressures on the bottom of the foot. In this case, digital imaging of the foot in three dimensions is prepared. This process consists of a scan of the foot and making a thermal plastic mold.
In the most difficult cases, a custom shoe is indicated. For such cases, a plaster mold of the foot is made, from which a shoe last is prepared that matches the shape of the foot leading to manufacture of a custom shoe.
For all custom work, a second, short visit is scheduled to fit and dispense the footwear. Adjustments can be made at this time for maximum satisfaction.
Some people find that they need to have slight adjustments made periodically. Our patients report relief that once we understand their issue, we have the tools and the know-how to achieve the best result.
Relief from Arthritis
Some patients respond to pedorthic therapy immediately, seeing substantial improvement with reduction of pain and a resumption of tolerating their desired activities. For those with progressed arthritis present in multiple joints, the pain may seem to "move". Adjustments in footwear can have a positive effect in one area, to the detriment of another area, and must be handled skillfully.
Other circumstances require a phased approach to managing the discomfort by applying strategies one at a time and then allowing time to monitor the results be their satisfaction or not, requiring further adjustment to the pedorthic treatment plan.
Most people naturally experience more foot pain as they age. The foot is a complex mechanism, designed to bear weight, while propelling us in walking gait. Conditions such as flat feet, high arches, excessive hyper mobile pronation or supination contribute to the challenge of finding comfortable footwear that improves quality of life on your feet. The optimal strategy to provide early support for these problems reduces the complications in treating arthritis in the foot when they arise.
In our clinical experience at Boston Pedorthic, we have witnessed many cases of arthritis resolve to the satisfaction of the patient suffering from chronic daily arthritis pain.
Boston Pedorthic's Advanced Manufacturing
Your custom foot orthotic is designed in a computer aided design environment by the same pedorthist who sees you. The device is milled using CNC milling and ground by hand to fit perfectly in the shoe (or shoes), and covered with a cushioning top cover. It starts with true, 3D optical imaging of the foot, and precision is maintained throughout the process. The material is EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate), a cushioning foam, used in shoe manufacturing that is more generally tolerable than rigid plastic.
The result is superior support of healthy joint alignment, superior capabilities to offload painful pressures, thorough coverage of the weight-bearing surface of the individual feet, and full integration of shoes for a complete therapeutic result.
The advantage to you is more comfort and stability so that you can enjoy a more active life with your family, your friends, and your colleagues -- at work and at play.
Let us know how we can put pedorthics to work for you and start reversing plantar fasciitis today.
Boston Pedorthic is conveniently located on Commonwealth Avenue, just north of Cleveland Circle in Brighton, Massachusetts.
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