Are you suffering from pain in or above the heel that won’t stop? You’re not alone. Heel pain is one of the most common podiatric complaints—and it can have wide-ranging causes and solutions.
At Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center, our highly skilled Central Maryland podiatrists provide complete care for painful heels. We not only help you get to the bottom of what’s causing your pain, but we also match you with the ideal treatment for your condition and lifestyle.
Custom Orthotics Can Capably Treat Certain Kinds of Heel Pain
Custom orthotics are an advanced, non-surgical intervention we’ve used to help countless patients kick stubborn heel pain to the curb and get back to the activities they enjoy.
Here’s what you should know about heel pain, the benefits of custom orthotics, and how our specialists can help your feet (and ankles) feel their best.
About Custom Orthotics
Custom orthotics are bespoke medical devices that fit inside the shoes to relieve pressure and pain, and provide improved support and cushioning. Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center’s experts typically recommend one of the following types of orthotics:
- Full contact orthotics. These devices are designed to provide support and stability for the entire foot, aiding even weight distribution across the sole and promoting proper foot and ankle alignment.
- Heel inserts. Designed to offer additional support and cushioning, absorb shock, and reduce pressure to the heel, these customized inserts are one of our practice’s most popular heel pain relief solutions.
Additionally, custom orthotics can be categorized as either functional, made of semi-rigid materials and used to improve abnormal foot positioning and movement, or accommodative, made of compression materials and used as a shock absorber to cushion each step and improve comfort.
How Custom Orthotics Relieve Heel Pain
Because custom orthotics are made to each foot’s exact specifications, they’re uniquely effective in treating patients’ precise podiatric complaints. Custom orthotics and inserts can help correct many biomechanical foot issues that cause heel pain. These devices relieve heel pain and discomfort by:
- Supporting and aligning the foot and ankle
- Managing, correcting, or preventing painful foot or ankle deformities
- Helping prevent tendon and ligament fatigue
- Improving lower extremity function
- Preventing future injury or podiatric disease progression
Custom orthotics prescribed by a knowledgeable and experienced podiatrist can be particularly beneficial for recreational and competitive athletes, as well as people who spend all day on their feet.
Types of Heel Pain Custom Orthotics Can Address
By providing support and cushioning precisely where it’s needed, custom orthotics and shoe inserts can help patients overcome heel pain and discomfort caused by various conditions, including:
- Heel spurs. Bony calcium deposits that form on the base of the heel bone, this painful podiatric problem can be caused by poorly-fitting shoes, plantar fasciitis, and other issues.
- Plantar fasciitis. A common overuse injury characterized by inflammation or damage to the plantar fascia—the thick band of tissue that runs the length of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes—plantar fasciitis can cause pain in the heel that’s worst in the morning.
- Flat feet. Structural abnormalities, like having little to no arch on the inner side of the foot, can increase pressure on the heel and other areas, resulting in pain when standing, walking, or running.
- Achilles tendonitis. Inflammation or injury to the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, causes a condition known as Achilles tendonitis. Symptoms include pain and tenderness just above the heel.
How Custom Orthotics Compare to Over-the-Counter Inserts and Prefabricated Insoles
It’s no secret that over-the-counter insoles and inserts are less expensive than their custom counterparts. However, when it comes to successfully relieving heel pain, custom orthotics offer superior results.
The inserts and insoles available in stores and online are mass-produced in a few select sizes designed to fit as many people as possible. Though they may provide some support and cushioning, they can’t provide the precise support, cushioning, and stability needed to effectively correct structural abnormalities and other conditions causing your heel pain.
When to See Our Central Maryland Podiatrists for Heel Pain
When heel pain fails to improve with rest, over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, and footwear changes, a podiatrist can provide answers and solutions for relief. Get world-class care for heel pain at our conveniently located offices in Annapolis, Stevensville, and Glen Burnie.