4 Painful Foot Conditions And How Custom Orthotics Can Help

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Foot pain is a common, yet still debilitating condition. It can be caused by anything from plantar fasciitis to Morton’s neuroma (more on that later).

The good news is there are a number of different treatment options available for foot pain. One way to help manage the discomfort and decrease your risk of injury in the future, is with custom orthotics. Here are some painful foot conditions and how custom orthotics can help:

Plantar Fascia

The plantar fascia is a strong band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from the heel to the toes. This band can become inflamed or irritated, causing chronic pain along the bottom of the foot or around the heel. Plantar fasciitis becomes more common with age, and it is also common in athletes whose feet are subjected to a lot of pounding.

Heel spurs

Heel spurs are bony growths that form along the heel bone’s edge. These hard growths can cause significant pain and inflammation when they press on soft tissues or tendons.


Neuromas are benign nerve tumors that form when a nerve becomes irritated and inflamed. Neuromas can cause numbness and tingling in addition to pain. Morton’s neuroma is a type of neuroma that commonly develops in or near the ball of your foot.


Your feet contain numerous tendons, any of which can become inflamed. The posterior tendon, which runs from the inside of the ankle to the middle of your foot, is one of the most common types of tendinitis. This tendon aids in the support of your arch. This tendon can be irritated and stressed by high-impact activities or even long periods of standing.

Types of Custom Orthotics

A podiatrist will prescribe orthotics based on a patient’s medical problems or pain. The podiatrist will also observe how a patient moves (known as gait analysis) and take into account other factors such as the patient’s level and type of activity, foot type, and ankle, knee, and hip movement. X-rays may also be required by the doctor.

Orthotics are especially effective in alleviating foot fatigue and discomfort in older adults who may have developed arthritis in their feet. Orthotics may also be recommended for children with foot deformities.

Types of orthotics vary, but there are three broad categories: those that are meant to change how the foot functions, those that protect the foot to reduce pain or discomfort, and those that combine both aspects.

  • Rigid custom orthotics

Rigid custom orthotics are made of a firm material such as plastic or carbon fiber and are designed to control foot function. These orthotics are primarily intended to control motion in two major foot joints located directly beneath the ankle joint. This type of orthotic is frequently used to alleviate or eliminate pain in the legs, thighs, and lower back caused by abnormal foot function.

  • Soft orthotic devices

Soft orthotic devices help to absorb shock, improve balance, and relieve pressure on painful or sore areas. They are typically constructed of soft, compressible materials. This type of orthotic is useful for arthritis or deformities where protective fatty tissue on the side of the foot has been lost. They are also beneficial to diabetics.

  • Semi Rigid orthotics

Semi Rigid orthotics are frequently used by athletes. They allow for dynamic foot balance while running or participating in sports. It allows the muscles and tendons to perform more efficiently by guiding the foot through proper functions. It is made up of layers of soft materials that are reinforced with more rigid materials.

Remember, The 3 Arches of Your Feet Still Need Support!

Maybe you have already felt the first symptoms of balance disorders or you want to prevent them from appearing in the first place. Consider getting a foot orthotic device or simply take care of your feet. Start by washing them thoroughly with a gentle soap whenever you take a shower. Being a very complex support system, your feet are your first line of defense against balance-related issues, since their arches provide you with the stability you need in your daily life. It’s time to put your foot down and push back against balance issues. With both feet on the ground, dedicate yourself to keeping them comfortable and healthy. Give us a call and we will scan your feet to make you custom orthotic inserts.

The Shoe Doctor has specialized in providing custom orthotics for 20 years. The right orthotic insoles can greatly reduce foot, knee and hip pain while increasing performance and comfort. Russell at The Shoe Doctor will help educate and assist you in finding the perfect solution for your particular situation. We will create a 3D map of your feet and make custom orthotics for your hiking boots, everyday shoes, and everything else in between. These orthotics, along with our expert advice, will get you using orthotics like a pro, and have you performing at the peak of your abilities in no time!  If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, give The Shoe Doctor a call to get the best custom orthotics in the area! We are here to assist you, schedule your free consultation here!


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Russell Pate

Russell Pate

Russell has been a Certified Pedorthist for over 28 years.

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