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Posts for tag: Orthotics

By Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic, P.C.
March 29, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Orthotics  

Wondering whether your feet could benefit from orthotics?

Most people know the importance of wearing supportive shoes, but did you know that orthotics could provide your feet with additional orthoticssupport and cushioning when standing or moving around? They can even prevent strains and structural imbalances, both of which can lead to further problems if left untreated. Find out if you should talk to our Kalispell, UT, podiatrist, Dr. Esther Barnes, about getting orthotics.

What are orthotics?

Orthotics are custom shoe inserts that are made from different materials to accommodate and support different foot problems. While you can get over-the-counter shoe inserts, these may not provide you with the relief you need since they aren’t tailored to your foot structure and the problems you want to address with orthotics. In some cases, over-the-counter shoe inserts can even make issues worse.

That’s why many people, from athletes to restaurant employees, choose to get custom orthotics from a podiatrist who provides their feet with the custom support they need to feel their best.

Who can benefit from orthotics?

Since many people suffer from pronation, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that most people can benefit from getting custom orthotics from our Kalispell, UT, foot doctor. In fact, people dealing with back pain may experience relief once they finally start wearing custom orthotics.

You could benefit from orthotics if you are dealing with,

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Lower back pain
  • Hip or knee pain
  • Arthritis
  • Bunions
  • Achilles tendonitis

Even if you aren’t dealing with any specific problems but want to prevent strain, pain, and imbalances, orthotics might be right for you. Athletes can find orthotics to be particularly helpful when physically active.

What are the different kinds of orthotics?

There are two types of orthotics: functional and accommodative. Functional orthotics are designed to improve how the foot moves as well as to provide support, cushioning, and shock absorption for it. If you are someone who pronates, as so many of us do, then you very well could benefit from this kind of orthotics.

Contrastly, accommodative orthotics are designed to correct functional problems and control certain abnormal foot movements to reduce pain and other symptoms.

Orthotics can be rigid, semi-rigid, or soft, depending on the type of issues you are facing. For example, those with diabetes may require softer orthotics, while those with strains and back pain caused by foot imbalances may require rigid orthotics.

Interested? Call today!

We believe that you should be able to walk through life without pain and discomfort. If your feet are giving you issues or if you want to find out if custom orthotics could improve how you move, it’s time to call Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic in Kalispell, UT, at (406) 755-2818. Schedule a consultation with us today!

By Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic, P.C.
August 10, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Orthotics  

orthoticsJust 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!

By Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic, P.C.
February 06, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Orthotics  

Find out if getting custom shoe inserts could keep foot problems at bay.orthotics

Have you ever walked by the foot care aisle of a drugstore or supermarket and wondered the purpose behind by those foot-shaped inserts? These inserts, better known as orthotics, offer a variety of benefits for the wearer. Of course, if you have foot problems or want to prevent certain foot issues, then over-the-counter orthotics might do more harm than good. Don’t worry; our Kalispell, MT, podiatrists Dr. Esther Barnes and Dr. Brent Haverstock are here to determine how orthotics could help.

Unfortunately, there aren’t too many people walking around out there that have normal feet. If you have normal feet then you don’t require any special care or attention in order to protect your feet from issues now or down the road. Luckily, custom orthotics are a great way for many people to support the foot’s overall structure to improve function and prevent problems.

So, who specifically can benefit from getting custom orthotics in Kalispell, MT?

Those dealing with foot pain

If you are someone who suffers from foot, knee or even back pain, and you aren’t sure what’s going on or how to relieve it then you should turn to us for a diagnosis. Many issues such as a biomechanical imbalance can bring on foot pain; fortunately, custom orthotics can often correct the imbalance and improve how the feet function to reduce and even eliminate pain.


Whether you are up early pounding the pavement or you love playing team sports, many athletes can benefit from wearing custom shoe inserts. Our Kalispell, MT, foot doctors treat sports-related foot and ankle injuries, and you would be surprised how one wrong turn could lead to injury. Luckily, custom orthotics for athletes can provide support, stability and shock absorption to protect against these issues.


Those with diabetes are often at risk for foot-related complications. In order to prevent serious foot problems, it’s important that you take precautionary measures to keep feet feeling their best. One way to do this is through custom orthotics. Since a lot of people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage, this means that they have little or sometimes no feeling in their feet. This can leave you prone to injury.

To prevent this, make sure that you not only wear shoes each and every day but that you also consider getting custom orthotics to provide additional support and cushioning for your delicate feet.

Most people can benefit from custom orthotics. Could you? If you are interested in getting custom orthotics than call Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic in Kalispell, MT, today to learn more.

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