Heel pain is, without a doubt, one of the most common problems we see here at Las Vegas Footcare.
You might think that, because it’s so common, we’d have some kind of automated system for treating it that wouldn’t require much deeper analysis—but you’d be wrong about that! Heel pain is one of those problems where one fairly common set of symptoms could have one (or more) of dozens of possible explanations, and finding the specific underlying causes is a key first step toward prescribing the correct treatment.
That said, there is one particular set of tool that we recommend quite frequently for heel pain sufferers—especially those whose pain has become chronic or recurrent: Orthotics.
What makes orthotics so useful for so many people with heel pain? Simply put, it’s about realigning or accommodating the fundamental, foundational problem so it doesn’t keep happening over and over again.
In many cases of chronic heel pain, the underlying issue is more than simply wearing the wrong pair of shoes, or being a little too gung-ho with your training. Quite often, the fundamental structure and biomechanical function of your feet and ankles are conspiring against you.
For example, say you have flat arches and/or your feet overpronate when you walk or run. Probably you were born that way—it’s quite common. Unfortunately, even fairly normal or minor deviations in foot shape or motion can increase the stress loads your heels have to deal with, just from walking or standing around (and even more so from running and jumping).
There’s no doubt—this is frustrating! You didn’t do anything to deserve this. Fortunately, orthotics give us a non-invasive, long-term solution that is highly effective for many patients.
Let’s make an analogy.
By some estimates, around 3 in 4 American adults wear glasses or contacts. Clearly, for a lot of us, our eyes really don’t work as well as they should, whether we’re nearsighted, farsighted, or have other issues.
But put on your glasses, and you can see just as well as a person with perfect vision. That’s because, when light passes through the lens of your glasses, it bends in just the right way so that, by the time it hits your retina, it’s perfectly focused.
Orthotics are kinda like that, except for your feet.
Just like glasses, orthotics have prescript
ions based on what your heels need. Maybe that means extra cushioning to absorb more of the impact force of your steps. Maybe it means effective arch support to stop a flat foot from “tugging” on the heel bone, or stability control to keep your foot from pronating so excessively.
Wearing your orthotics won’t “fix” your feet on a structural level but, like glasses, they allow your feet to operate as intended when you wear them, despite whatever flaws they may have.
That means long-term relief from chronic heel pain, as well as other conditions that may arise as a consequence of those underlying structural and biomechanical flaws. All without any kind of invasive surgical reconstruction!
Now, one mistake that a lot of people make is assuming they can go buy a set of “cushioned insoles” from a rack or kiosk at their local pharmacy, and all their heel pain will magically disappear.
Not so fast.
That’d sort of be like putting on someone else’s glasses and expecting them to fix your vision. If you’re really lucky, it might work. But it’s far more likely that the benefit will be minor, or may even make things worse.
If you really want to end the cycle of heel pain in your life, make an appointment to see us at Las Vegas Footcare. We’ll take a close look at your feet and talk with you about your symptoms. We’ll also want to closely watch how your feet move and operate as you walk. This is called a gait analysis.
Once we have a really good idea of what your feet truly need, we’ll either select an appropriate set of prefabricated arch supports or fit your feet for custom orthotics. This means taking molds of your feet in our office so that orthotics can be fashioned to your exact specifications.
Custom orthotics really are the real deal, especially in cases where pain is more moderate to severe and persistent. Dr. Kelly can back that up with experience—she wears them herself! (Ask her to show you sometime.)
Heel pain may be complex, with many possible contributing causes. But that doesn’t mean it’s unsolvable.
On the contrary: with professional care, more than 90 percent of heel pain sufferers are able to significantly reduce (if not eliminate) their symptoms without surgery. You just need an expert like Dr. Kelly in your corner!
Whether you need arch supports, custom orthotics, or any other treatments for your heel pain, we’ll make sure you get exactly the treatment you need. Contact us online to request an appointment, or call the office directly at 702-605-6220.