The Role of Orthotics in Treating Heel Spurs and Heel Pain

One of the primary resources in the treatment of heel spurs and heel pain is the use of orthotic devices, which help correct faulty mechanical manoeuvres in the lower body that often lead to this type of discomfort. They are an easy, non-invasive way to correct sub-par foot function and treat conditions such as heel spurs and heel pain.

One of the most common causes of heel pain (and spurs) is over-pronation. This occurs when there is excessive inward rolling of the ankles during the gait cycle, and when it is too deep or lasts for too long of a time it begins to alter the biomechanics of the body and place excessive stress on the plantar tendon. When the plantar tendon eventually becomes irritated the entire foot is affected but the heel is particularly negatively impacted by this deterioration.

Unlike basic shoe inserts designed merely for comfort orthotics are used to correct foot alignment and therefore the mechanical functions of the body. Orthotics are rigid and well constructed devices that distribute weight evenly throughout the extremity, which reduces the amount of strain placed on the ball and heel of the foot.

Likewise, when orthotic devices are used to support the arch of the foot this often reduces tension and inflammation of the heel of the foot. Treating plantar fasciitis through the use of orthotic devices is often a primary solution for treating heel spurs and heel pain, as PF is responsible for a majority of cases of heel pain, and heel spurs rarely (if ever) develop independent of plantar fasciitis.

Orthotic devices are often sufficient in controlling over-pronation and providing proper arch support, which in turns reduces tension on the plantar fascia to such a degree that bone spurs will often be reduced in size and severity, especially when the devices are properly fitted and used consistently within a wider treatment program.

Orthotics are generally used as front-line treatment for heel spurs and heel pain because they are highly effective, affordable, easy to use, and much less invasive than surgical intervention. Well made orthotic devices have an above average success rate when used to treat heel pain, including discomfort caused by heel spurs.

There is also the matter of choice; over the years podiatrists and specialists have created several types and makes of orthotic devices in their quest to heal heel pain. There are several choices of heel cups, heel seats, heel pads, arch supports and insoles on the market today, which means that patients have a much greater chance of finding the orthotic device that fits their particular needs. Orthotic shoe inserts may help to provide or augment treatments used to minimize discomfort caused by issues in the heel as well. While orthotic inserts alone are generally insufficient to correct underlying problems they are often effective when used in tandem with other treatment options.

The role that orthotic devices play in the treatment of heel spurs and heel pain is an important one; because these issues are often the result of poor foot mechanics correcting issues such as over-pronation and fallen arches is often enough to satisfactorily treat the problem, particularly when placed in a broader treatment program.

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