Tuesday, 12 October 2021 00:00

When Walking Normally Is No Easy Feat

Walking may not seem to be a complex activity, however, several body functions, structures, and systems need to work together seamlessly to allow a person to walk normally. A person’s gait (way of walking) can be affected by genetic factors, injuries, physical abnormalities or conditions affecting the feet and legs, illnesses, inner ear problems, and age. These abnormal gait patterns may be temporary or permanent, usually falling into one of five categories. When someone drags their feet, or looks stiff while walking, this can indicate a spastic gait. When legs bend inwardly or hit each other during walking, this is known as a scissors gait. If a person’s toes scrape against or point towards the ground, they may have a steppage gait. Moving from side-to-side with short steps is indicative of a waddling gait. A propulsive gait is walking with a stooping, stiff posture, with the head and neck pushed forward. Using state-of-the-art technology, a podiatrist can perform a biomechanical assessment and gait analysis. Custom orthotics and other methods can be used to help improve feet function and ease any associated pain—including treating any underlying foot condition.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact one of our podiatrists from Palm Beach Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Loxahatchee, and West Palm Beach, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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