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.
TeleHealth and Tele-Visits in the time of COVID-19
Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic, PC has initiated a TeleHealth Service during the COVID-19 Pandemic for a number of reasons:
1.) Our top priority has always been, and continues to be, Patient, Employee, Community Health and Safety.
2.) With the primary goal of triaging, or prioritizing what's urgent and what's not, Dr. Barnes seeks to help patients with the foot concerns over the phone or computer. Caring for patients in this way, and arranging for visits in clinic if necessary (infections, ulcerations, injuries) and in a controlled environment, she hopes to do her part in allowing to the Urgent Cares and Emergencies Rooms help those with needs related to the virus.
3.) Although Dr. Barnes obviously cannot physicially treat you or other patients over the phone or computer, she can hopefully see if your concern would be best treated physically, and arrange for this to be done. If she can help give you direction and advice over the computer or phone, she will do so. This particularly applies to you if you have foot pain, as many treatment options can be relayed in this way (stretches, shoe recommendations, orthotic recommendations).
4.) During this time of anxiety, stress, and uncertainty, Dr. Barnes wants to do her part in helping you do the things you need to do (caring for a loved one, running outside for stress relief, or walking on a treadmill at home, for example) without foot pain interfering. She does't want you to have to wait months or an indefinite period of time for you to get back on your feet! "CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A TELEVISIT."