All Orthotics Are Not Created Equally

Orthotics are prescribed for several painful conditions, but not all orthotics and inserts are created equally. Over-the-counter inserts that can be purchased at most athletic stores and drug stores can be helpful to a degree, but they soon lose their effectiveness or cause other issues. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is discussing some of the differences between store-bought orthotics and those that are prescribed by a podiatrist.

How do you know if you need orthotics?
You may benefit from orthotics if you have:

  • Feet with high arches or flat feet;
  • Painful, aching ankles or feet after standing for long periods of time;
  • Pain in your hips, back or knees;
  • Foot problems like bunions, plantar fasciitis, etc.

What Are Custom Orthotics?

Orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts that are used to treat a wide variety of ankle and foot conditions and increase overall comfort. They help people walk, run, and stand more comfortably.

Prescription orthotics are crafted after being custom-molded to your feet by hand with a plaster casting to produce duplicate shells of the feet. These molds help the podiatrist create your custom-fit orthotics.

While our ankles and feet change over time, custom orthotics seldom change. If you have – or had – custom orthotics, your prescription may need to be changed to fit your changing ankles and feet as you age. They can be altered to fit practically any shoe or activity.

Orthotic insoles are prescribed for people of all ages and activities for any number of conditions. While OTC inserts may be designed for your shoe size, they are not tailored to fit your foot or treat your existing condition.

The reason there is such a difference in price between the two types has to do with the durability and quality of the materials used, together with the customized molding process. They may cost more, but they last longer and are much more effective.

If you suffer from chronic foot, heel, or toe pain that you think may be related to how your feet are supported as you walk and run, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule a consultation. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.

Are Your Shoes Causing Problems With Your Feet?

Properly-fitting footwear should have little or no negative impact on our health. Poorly chosen and incorrectly-fitting footwear can harm our feet. If footwear is incorrect, short-term problems can become long-term and create a reluctance to pursue activities such as walking. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is discussing some issues that may be caused by poorly-fitting shoes.

Corns: Corns are a lump of dead, hard skin that occurs over a bony bump, like a joint. In many cases, they are caused by sustained pressure to the specific area, typically from poorly fitting footwear. Loose shoes can cause your foot to rub and slide and cause corns.

Nail problems: Wearing socks with shoes that don’t fit properly and are too tight puts too much pressure on the sides of the toes and can push the skin into the nail plate, causing an ingrown toenail. Avoid wearing tight footwear and hosiery that can cause damage to the toenail through recurring trauma. This can also create a moist environment in which toenail fungus can occur.

Athlete’s foot: This condition is caused by a fungal species that live on the skin. It causes  inflammation, flaking of the skin, and intense itching. The condition is simultaneously uncomfortable, unsightly, and extremely contagious. Wear light, breathable shoes that won’t lock in moisture or overheat your feet. If possible, try alternating the shoes you wear to give each pair a chance to dry out between uses thoroughly.

Collapsed arches: Fallen arches, more commonly known as flat feet, occurs when a person’s feet have no or low arches and, therefore, they press flat against the ground. This typically happens when there is tightness in the Achilles tendon and the muscles at the back of the leg when walking.

Preventative Steps

The answer to avoiding these problems in both the long and short term is quite simple. Be mindful of the footwear you buy, and how often you wear a particular style. A change in footwear will encourage and enable you to walk farther and for more extended periods, leading to a healthier lifestyle.

If you’re experiencing any issues with your feet, or want to be sure you’re wearing properly-fitting footwear, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule a consultation. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.

It’s Time to Get Your Feet Ready For Fall

Fall has officially begun and now is the time to get your feet back into the fall-season shoes we love. Summer weather can be especially rough on the feet, especially for those who love playing and working in sandals, flip-flops or no shoes at all. For some, this behavior can leave the feet feeling and looking dry and cracked. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing some tips to get your feet back in shape and ready for fall.

Here are a few tips to get rid of the dry, cracked skin and get your feet ready for the fall season. 

  1. Give them a good rub down with lotion. A lot of dry skin can amass over the spring and summer months and massaging your feet with lotion will help moisturize them to get rid of that reptile look.
  2. Women should take a break from polishing their nails. Quite understandably, bare summer feet look attractive when they are well-groomed. But polishing your toenails too much can be unhealthy as it can cause the nails to deteriorate. You could also choose lighter shades of polish, but never pass up a good pedicure.
  3. Exfoliate your feet at least once a week with a foot file or pumice stone. When doing so, make sure you only address areas of dry skin as wet skin is more difficult to exfoliate. Cracks in the skin typically open wider when water weakens the skin tissue.
  4. There is nothing as soothing as a foot bath and warm foot soak. Soaking your feet not only helps to reduce stress – it might even help you feel and look younger over time. A foot massage offers the same wonderful effect.

One of the most important things you can do following your foot care routine is to choose the right fall boots or shoes. Women should not forget that their shoes do not have to be flats – a thicker heel can also work well. Just remember that support matters.

If you’re experiencing any issues with your feet, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule a consultation. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.