Just as an orthodontist applies braces to change the position of a person's teeth, a podiatrist, or foot doctor, may suggest orthotics to patients who have physical problems with their feet. At Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic in Kalispell, MT, Dr. Esther Barnes has many patients who see the benefits of orthotics.
What are orthotics?
In short, orthotics are supports for your feet. They can be as simple as a cushion purchased at a pharmacy and worn inside the shoe, or your Kalispell podiatrist may recommend a custom-made shoe insert or ankle brace. Sometimes the orthotic is built into a specialized shoe. Regardless of their complexity, orthotics are used to change the way your foot bears weight and modify its movement, giving you a more comfortable, natural gait.
Why are orthotics important?
First and foremost, your Kalispell podiatrist recommends orthotics to patients to relieve ongoing foot pain, which may stem from arthritis, fallen arches, or problems with the plantar fascia ligament at the bottom of the foot. The way the foot is positioned when it makes contact with the ground also has an effect on the rest of the lower body - the ankles, knees, hips, and spine. By wearing an orthotic that changes the position of your foot, you may notice a change in the way moving and standing feels. This is especially beneficial for people who have jobs that require extended periods of standing. Finally, an orthotic can provide stability for older patients, who may be at risk for a falling injury otherwise.
Keeping your feet healthy has a positive impact on the rest of your life! Seeing a podiatrist like Dr. Barnes in Kalispell, MT, will determine if orthotics could help you. Contact our office today for an appointment!
UPDATE 3/23/20: In attempt to maintain the safety of our patients, employees, and the community, the office is physically closed, other than for the care of patients with urgent concerns / emergenices only. Attempts will be made to return phone calls Monday through Thursday from 9AM to 1PM. Please use the "Request an Appointment" resource above to request an appointment. If an established patient, we encourage you to log into the Patient Portal and send a message to Dr. Barnes or the office with any questions or concerns. Thank you.