The Benefits of Arch Supports

November 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Ask The Experts

Benefits of Arch Supports

Many persons that suffer from chronic conditions of the feet or persistent pain can benefit from the use of arch supports. They help to artificially and temporarily “build up” the arches. This support helps to lessen pain and make walking much more comfortable. Because we as human beings walk so much, even in the transportation age, we often have problems with our feet. Two such issues that can be alleviated from arch supports are Plantar Fasciitis and flat feet.. Below, we will take a look at a few of the benefits that using arch supports provide.

Arch Supports:

a. Lessen or prevent pain: Arch supports can help lessen foot pain. Pain in the feet can not only cause discomfort but make it difficult to be mobile. Subsequently, individuals may have trouble going about their daily routines and handling important duties. In cases, where it is still possible, it may still be quite painful. Individuals who have flat feet or other conditions which may require the usage of arch supports might be able to decrease their pain and thus regain their mobility or at least have the ability to get through their days with minimal pain.

b. Provide support: Some people will require specialized support. Their foot ailments may demand that they use artificial supports. These can help to alleviate pain and/or prevent further damage. This might be especially beneficial for persons who suffer from planter fasciitis and flat feet.

c. Create a good foundation: Many times, a person may experience pain because they have a crummy foundation. If their shoes do not offer much support, this may cause a number of conditions, all of them either painful or uncomfortable. This may be remedied by simply using arch supports. They slip right into the shoes, allowing individuals to adjust the fit and comfort and helping to alleviate foot pain and problems associated with it.

d. Provide balance and support: Arch supports can provide balance and support for individuals who use them. They can help improve a person’s posture because they will be more balanced. This can help lessen foot pain and problems related to imbalance and a lack of proper support.

Arch supports can be quite beneficial for those who suffer with foot problems. Because our feet are so important to our quality of life, it is paramount that individuals do whatever is necessary to ensure that they are as pain free as possible. One very easy and affordable way to do this is to purchase and then use arch supports. This is a very non-invasive approach to dealing with common foot ailments such as flat feet and plantar fasciitis.

Often times, it is not necessary to have surgery or to purchase expensive shoes, though at times this might be needed. Instead, buying inexpensive arch supports will do enough to improve an individual’s pain so that they are able to get by without suffering too much. Sometimes, nothing else needs to be done. In cases where more help may be warranted, arch supports can help individuals get by until they have the money and/or time to visit their doctor or podiatrist and come up with an alternative plan, one which may be more invasive and expensive.

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IMPACT GEL INSOLES – Billy Mays Pitchmen and IMPACT GEL INSOLES

April 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Impact Gel Insoles, Press Releases

IMPACT GEL INSOLES – Billy Mays Pitchmen and IMPACT GEL INSOLE
ARCH SUPPORTS

So now that we have all seen Pitchmen on The Discovery Channel and watched Billy Mays and the impact guys smash and squash the impact gel insoles with a hammer and an automobile, what’s your take on Pitchmen?


We were quite sure the impact gel insole material would hold up to any test the Pitchmen carnival barkers could throw at it, but we don’t want anyone out there to think that just because a couple of stooges like the Pitchmen put impact gel insoles on an info-reality show means the product is not legitimate.

The impact gel insoles were featured on Pitchmen because they needed a great product that people would want to buy and our medical professionals are here to tell you exactly why the impact gel insoles are worth every penny.

The Impact Gel material is also utilized by our medical experts when prescribing and designing custom functional and accommodative foot orthotics for their own patients.

The Impact Gel material’s amazing ability to redistribute energy is perfect for incorporating the material into areas of the custom device whereby the foot requires specific and /or additional accommodation.  This can include padding for problems such as Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, AchillesTendoniitis, Shin Splints or Metatarsal relief.

Impact Gel Insoles
can also be used to help reduce the shock at heel strike that may cause knee, hip, and backpain.  The outcomes have been extremely positive.

Foot Care is the most important thing to us here but Television runs a close second. Well that’s not really true. We are fitness buffs, but when a hot new show like PitchMen is premiering on the Discovery Channel and one of our products is featured, we suddenly become interested.

So make sure you tune to PicthMen Sunday morning at 11am and watch Billy Mays put our Impact Gel Insoles to the test. He actually loves the product and has taken his act to the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and was literally a smash.

PitchMen is a show that promises to put all the claims of “As Seen on TV” products to the test and most won’t fare to well. However, Impact Gel Insoles are a great product used by the leading Podiatrists and Podorthists around the world. In fact, at FootcareExpress we are one of the few companies that feature the same material in our custom foot orthotics as well having a full range of the Inpact Gel Insoles you will in action on The Discovery Channel Tonight.

It’s not our fault that Television has discovered how great Impact Gel Insoles are, and please believe us when we tell you that this is no Inside The Egg Scrambler.

shoe-insoles

Impact Gel Insoles… Clinically Proven, Podiatric Tested! Designed to utilize the full impact absorbing power of Impact Gel providing ultimate cushioning. Antimicrobial foot bed construction helps eliminate odor-causing bacteria and reduces friction. Available in Men’s and Women’s sizes S-XL

Tender, sensitive feet can hurt when you walk, especially under the heels and balls of your feet where bone spurs and foot imbalances can create painful pressure points. In addition, with every step you take, a jarring shock wave pulsates upwards through your body, creating pain in your knees, legs and lower back. Impact Gel has created an incredible insole that absorbs eliminates the pressure that causes sore, aching feet.

  • Redistributes weight under sensitive pressure points.
  • Provides maximum foot protection where it is needed most.
  • Guaranteed cushioning comfort and durability
  • Advanced antimicrobial fabric provides exceptional odor control.
  • Helps you stay on your feet longer
VERY LIMITED SPECIAL OFFER: Only $24.99

Gel Insoles

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Choosing the Right Orthotic

April 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Ask The Experts, Foot Care Articles

How to Choose the Right Prefabricated Orthotic

shoe-insoles

There are many different types prefabricated arch supports and inserts to choose from in today’s marketplace. Each of these over-the-counter products promises to be “band-aids” and relieve pain and discomfort for foot, knee, leg, hip and back pain. The balancing act here is the middle of the road individual who requires cushioning but some support. In these instances, fit and feel is always the best litmus test. This is the trial and error of the prefabricated arch supports and insoles. A person must know how they feel the most accommodated, whether it is a high arch they need or a low arch or whether they feel more comfortable with lots of cushion or hardly any at all. And then there are the multiple combinations of all of the above that are commonly found in stores and available to consumers.

Therefore, it is important to know your foot type when choosing the correct prefabricated arch support or insert. Some of these products are firm or rigid where others are soft or flexible. Individuals who have flat and flexible type feet are generally more comfortable with products that provide some type of arch support. Flat feet normally tend to be due to overpronation, which may be a case where the foot is absorbing too much shock and lacking support. The pronated foot is one in which the heel bone angles inward and the arch tends to collapse. A “knock-kneed” person has overly pronated feet. This flattens the arch as the foot strikes the ground in order to absorb shock when the heel hits the ground, and to assist in balance during mid-stance. If habits develop, this action can lead to foot pain as well as knee pain, shin splints, achilles tendinitis, posterior tibial tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis. Prefabricated arch supports and insoles for these types of persons are usually designed with some firmness in the arch area of the foot to provide some support and stability in the arch area of the foot.

In contrast, Individuals who have high arch and inflexible feet are more comfortable with products that provide mostly cushion. These types of feet are generally more rigid and tend to be more supinated. Supination (or underpronation) is the insufficient inward roll of the foot after landing. This places extra stress on the foot and can result in iliotibial band syndrome of the knee, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis. Usually, a person who has a very high arch foot lacks that ability to absorb shock, therefore, they are more comfortable with products that are much softer and provide more cushioning.

The above should be used as a guide. Prefabricated arch supports and insole use with different footwear can also be a factor. It is always best to consult with an expert for the most appropriate product for the best results.

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Custom Arch Supports

January 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Press Releases

Ortho Express Arch Supports!

Arch Supports

Ortho Express Arch Supports (Full Length or 3/4 Length)

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Gel Insoles

January 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured

Gel Insole Arch Supports

gel insoles

shoe-insoles

Impact Gel Insoles… Clinically Proven, Podiatric Tested!

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Flat Fleet

January 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Foot Conditions

Flat Feet

Flat Feet is more or less a condition of fallen arches. The instep, or arch, collapses and becomes flat against the ground. Hence the term flat foot. Flat feet are not always a result of a collapse, some arches never develop properly. When we are babies, our feet are flat and the arch normally over time. As long as there is no ball of foot pain or any other difficulties resulting from the condition there is no real need to seek treatment.

If you suspect you have flat feet, just take a look. In general flat feet do have a flat look to them and unusual wear of shoe soles can also indicate flat feet. If you suffer from lower leg pain, pain from the ankle into the instep of the of the foot or foot pain in general, this may be a result of flat feet.Flat Feet

If you suspect you have, and are suffering foot care issues you may wish to see a podiatrist for treatment.  Treatments are available and your podiatrist will prescribe them based on the cause of a particular case of flat feet. These treatments may include but are not limited to shoe inserts, arch supports, custom orthotics, braces, surgery or just anti inflammatory medication.

Living with minor pain from flat feet without treatment might seem normal but if the condition worsens it could lead to complications. Besides the expected swelling an pain in the soles of the feet, shin splints, stress fractures, Achilles tendinitis and bunions can develop. Seek the advice of a podiatrist or a foot specialist who can help with preventative measures.

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Big Toe Joint Pain

December 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Foot Conditions

Big Toe Joint Pain

As funny as Big Toe Joint Pain may sound it is actually a very painful condition for anyone who suffers from it. In fact, arthritis in the foot is most commonly found in the metatarsophalangeal joint which happens to be at the base of the Big Toe. The pain is most often associated with stiffness and as a result walking can become very difficult.

As with any joint, bones are covered with smooth cartilage. The cartilage can be disrupted through injury, excessive wear, or trauma. The result is often a rubbing of the bones and may cause bone spurs or other types of scar tissue to develop. The scar tissue can inhibit the Big Toe from bending naturally during walking and may even keep it from bending at all.

This condition is called Hallux rigidus and is common in adults as they enter middle age. No matter the cause, over time the results are much the same. The articular cartilage is damaged to the point that stress on the joint itself becomes a physical problem.

Those suffering from Big Toe Joint Paint may experience pain while active, while pushing off on the toes during walking, swelling, hard growths on the top of the foot, and complete stiffness in the Big Toe.

When caught early, the treatment for Hallux rigidus is quite easy. In its early stages sufferers may notice they are walking on the outside of the foot as they experience pain near the big toe. This alleviates the discomfort but is a sign there may be trouble ahead. A trip to the podiatrist is advised because if the joint pain and inflexibility continue to the point that a bone spur may develop on the top of the foot, the treatment can be more risky and the recovery painful and slow.

Podiatrists will perform a thorough exam of the the foot and look for signs of Hallux rigidus. X-rays are often used to try and locate the position and/or size of possible bone spurs and the amount of wear and tear in the joint itself. As a result a podiatrist can prescribe treatment.

In most cases, the usual anti-inflammatory medicines will reduce the swelling and help with the pain. Using ice and common sports remedies are also useful but cannot halt the progression of this condition. As with any foot condition wearing properly fitted shoes will drastically reduce the symptoms. The use of custom foot orthotics or arch supports will help support the foot and bring the entire foot into proper alignment therefore reducing excess pressure on the joint.

In severe cases of Hallux rigidus surgical treatment may be necessary and should be discussed with your physician. Regardless of the treatment options you seek, keep in mind that paying attention to complete foot health can stop many painful foot conditions from developing in the first place.

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Ball of Foot Pain

December 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Foot Conditions

Ball of Foot Pain

When people complain or suffer from pain of the ball of the foot, they are most likely suffering from a condition known as Metatarsalgia. Any pain in the region just under the toes to the arch area is known as ball of foot pain. It is a very common condition affecting millions of people.

Metatarsalgia is usually caused by unnatural pressure on the area over time. This pressure can lead to inflammation in the metatarsals and may manifest itself in acute, chronic, or recurrent pain. One of the most prominent contributory factors is actually improperly fitted footwear. This is more common with women because of the many different styles of women’s shoes, but anyone not wearing a properly fitted and supportive shoe is also at risk for Ball of Foot Pain. The main problem occurs when narrow toe shoes force the ball of the foot into a smaller amount of space that it naturally needs. The changes the mechanics of walking and can lead to damage not only in the foot but also in the lower leg.

There are other factors involved in ball of foot pain but none so obvious as improper fitting shoes. Not only narrow toe boxes and high heels play a role in the condition but participating in exercise without proper support from  athletic shoes can do equal or worse damage. When we fit ourselves with the latest athletic shoes we often give ourselves a false sense of security regarding injury. This becomes more of a problem as we age and the layer of fat in the balls of our feet begin to thin out. It is very important to investigate the use of custom orthotics or arch supports if you experience any symptoms of Metatarsalgia.

However, the treatments for this pain will vary depending on the actual source of the discomfort. So the first thing to do when suffering symptoms is to properly identify them. If there is any swelling, pain, or discomfort in the ball of the foot switching shoes to something which allows a wider space for the foot to occupy should relieve the pressure on the foot itself. This might rid you of your foot pain entirely if it is an isolated event. Over the counter anti-inflammatory medication is also helpful but if any symptoms recur or remain, it is a good idea to see a podiatrist instead of self diagnosing your own foot problems.

There are many products available in drugstores claiming to ease foot pain and if you choose the wrong approach you may risk further injury. There is no substitute for a true custom foot orthotic or arch support and your podiatrist can prescribe or recommend how you might benefit from orthoses.

Orthotic devices are designed to not only relieve the pressure on the ball of the foot but to actually bring the entire foot into proper alignment to allow a normal gait and correct any maladies from the foot up through to the lower back. However, regardless of any advertisements you might see, there is no custom foot orthotic that can be fabricated for your foot without a 3-D mold of your own feet. This is not a complicated process and a foot cast kit can be sent right to your home. The point here is that adding a pre-made insert to your shoe might sound like a great idea but cannot possibly match the shape or condition of your foot with 100% accuracy.

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Athletes Foot

December 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Foot Conditions

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a skin condition resulting from the presence of fungus. Specifically the tinea fungus. It thrives on the feet because of the favorable environment surrounding the foot. Sweaty socks and the dark shaded area inside shoes provide the perfect breeding ground for tinea fungus.

Most people come in contact with the fungus near pools, locker room floors, and damp shower stalls. The fungus is easily transferred to the skin and under the right conditions will thrive and attack the foot.

Symptoms of Athletes Foot

Individuals who suspect they may be suffering from Athlete’s Foot might experience dry skin, scaling, itching, burning, swelling or blisters.  As the infection spreads the symptoms get worse, especially the itching and burning. Not every fungal infection of the foot is athlete’s foot. There are several other possibilities but Athlete’s Foot is easily the most common.

Athlete’s Foot spreads quickly and if not treated can spread to the bottom of the foot, in between toe and in some cases underneath the toenails. The tinea fungus can also attack other parts of the body if the sufferer touches the infected area and proceeds to touch other body parts.

Prevent Athlete’s Foot

Preventing Athlete’s Foot can be a daunting task for active people who are exposed to the damp dark areas near pools, in gyms, and dressing rooms. But, just using some common sense can help the cause. Washing the feet properly every day and drying completely drying them is the first line of the defense. Making sure hosiery and shoes are clean and dry is also a very important preventive measure. Also, make sure any orthotics, inserts or arch supports are thoroughly cleaned and dried often.  To further restrict the presence of moisture, foot powder is an extremely effective product. Any combination of these three methods can dramatically reduce the tinea’s ability to survive.

Treating Athlete’s Foot

Preventing Athlete’s Foot is not fool proof and if you find yourself battling the tinea fungus in the future, or are currently suffering from Athlete’s Foot, effective treatment options are available. Fungicidal sprays and lotions are found in every drugstore or pharmacy, but serious cases may require a visit to a podiatrist. They can determine the exact cause of the foot problem and prescribe treatment. Self diagnosing Athlete’s Foot may lead to prolonged suffering and serious infection. Podiatrists treat the entire foot regardless if the problem is on the surface or structural. A quick visit to the doctor and good hygiene will defeat this menacing fungus.

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Foot Arch Pain

December 9, 2008 by  
Filed under Foot Conditions

Foot Arch Pain

Foot Arch Pain Overview

Each foot contains 24 bones, which form two arches. The longitudinal arch runs the length of the foot, and the transverse arch runs the width. The bones of the arch are primarily held together by the shape with which they fit with each other and by fibrous tissues known as ligaments that serve to hold the bones to each other. The muscles of the foot, along with a tough, sinewy tissue known as the plantar fascia, provide secondary support to the foot. There are also fat pads in the foot to help with weight-bearing and absorbing impact. Arch pain can occur whenever something goes wrong with the function or interaction of any of these structures.

Foot Arch Pain Causes

The arches are the primary structures of the body that absorb and return force to and from the body to the outside world when we are on our feet. When something happens to these structures, pain and injury may result. Foot arch pain is a common problem that many suffer from.

There can be many causes of foot arch pain. Direct force trauma, ligament sprains, muscle strains, poor biomechanical alignment, stress fractures, overuse, or the tightness or lack of tightness of the joints in the foot may all cause pain in the arch.

Injury to the plantar fascia is a common cause of foot arch pain. The plantar fascia is a tough fibrous sheath that extends the length of the bottom of the foot and lends support to the arch. When the plantar fascia is damaged, the resulting inflammatory response may become a source of foot arch pain.

Sprains, strains, bruises, and fractures may be the result of a single stress or a combination of stresses to the foot. A blunt-force injury such as someone stepping on your foot may result not only in a bruise (contusion), but also in damage to the primary and secondary structures of the foot. Many of the muscles of the lower leg and foot attach on or near the arch. Injured or tight muscles may lead to incorrect biomechanics and in turn cause foot arch pain.

Injury to the bones of the foot can be caused by a single blow or twist to the arch or also by repetitive trauma, which can result in a stress fracture. A sprain of the arch occurs when the ligaments which hold the bones together are overstretched and the fibers tear. The muscles of the foot may be strained by overstretching, overuse, overloading, bruising, or being cut by stepping on a sharp object. Arthritis of the arch joints may also occur if the foot is subjected to repetitive movements that stress the arch.

Stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and acute and chronic arthritis are most commonly the result of repetitive micro-trauma injuries. Micro-trauma injuries are caused when the structures of the body are stressed and re-stressed to the point that damage occurs in the tissues. Factors that commonly contribute to this injury can be running on uneven surfaces or surfaces that are too hard or too soft, shoes that have poor force-absorption qualities, or going too hard or too long during repeated exercise bouts.

Foot Arch Pain Symptoms

Foot arch pain and tenderness associated with plantar fascia strains are usually felt on the bottom of the foot and may manifest either as a specific or general area of tenderness. Plantar fascia pain may be increased or decreased by stretching of the arch. Generally, in mild cases of plantar fasciitis, the pain will decrease as the soft tissues of the foot “warm up”; however, pain may increase as use of the foot increases. In more severe cases of plantar fasciitis, pain may increase when the arch is stressed.

A more specific pain (point tenderness) is an indicator that something is wrong in that specific area. Pain with movement of the affected area is also an indicator of the particular body part affected.

Bones and ligaments work together to form joints, and bones are joined together by ligaments. Strains occur in ligaments. In the arch, there are ligaments that are located at the ends of each bone. These ligaments connect the bones to other bones on both ends and on the sides. Point tenderness and looseness of a joint are indicators of a sprain.

Fractures are indicated by point tenderness that may be severe over the area of bone that is affected. There may be a distinguishable lump or gap at the site of the fracture. A rotated toe or forefoot may also be a sign of a fracture.

The groups of muscles that support the arch can be divided into two groups. The muscles on the top of the arch start on the front lower leg and help to lift the arch, and the muscles that help pull the arch on the bottom of the foot are located the on back of the lower leg. Muscle injury may be indicated when pain is felt when the foot is fully extended, flexed, or turned in or out. Foot arch pain may also be felt when working the foot against resistance.

Bruises are the result of a direct-force injury to the body. A bruise can occur to the foot by a variety of causes, such as having your foot stepped on or by stepping on a rock. The tissues that compose the arch do not provide that area of the body much protection. Blows to the foot that result in pain, discoloration, swelling, and changes in how you walk may indicate more serious damage.

Foot Arch pain may have a variety of different causes. Proper evaluation and diagnosis of arch pain is essential in planning treatment. A good general guideline is to compare the injured side to the uninjured side. Injury may present itself as a distinguishable lump, a gap felt at that location, or a “crunchy” feeling on that spot caused by inflammation. The type, causes, and severity of pain are also good indicators of the severity of the injury.

Four grades can be used to describe foot arch pain:

  • Pain during activity only

  • Pain before and after activity, and not affecting performance

  • Pain before, during, and after athletic activity affecting performance

  • Pain so severe that performance is impossible

Exams and Tests

The doctor will take a brief history to determine how the injury occurred. If necessary, a thorough physical exam may be conducted to evaluate for any other injuries. Taking your workout shoes to the exam may also provide valuable information to the medical practitioner.

  • Both feet will be physically and visually examined by the medical practitioner. The foot and arch will be touched and manipulated possibly with a lot of pressure and inspected to identify obvious deformities, tender spots, or any differences in the bones of the foot and arch.

  • The medical practitioner will examine how the muscles of your foot function. These tests may involve holding or moving your foot and ankle against resistance; you may also asked to stand, walk, or even run. Pain caused by movements may indicate the cause of the pain.

  • The nerves in the foot will be tested to make sure no injury has occurred there.

  • An x-ray, MRI, or bone scan of the foot and arch may be taken to determine if there are changes in the makeup of the bone.

Foot Arch Pain Treatment

Self-Care at Home

When you first begin to notice discomfort or pain in the area, you can treat yourself with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Over-the-counter medications may also be used to reduce discomfort and pain.

Rest will allow the tissues to heal themselves by preventing any further stress to the affected area.

Ice should be applied no longer than 20 minutes. The ice may be put in a plastic bag or wrapped in a towel. Commercial ice packs are not recommended because they are usually too cold.

Compression and elevation will help prevent any swelling of the affected tissues.

There are two types of over-the-counter medication that may help with the pain and swelling of arch pain. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) will help with the pain, and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen will help with the pain and battle the inflammatory response. Caution should be taken when using these drugs, and dosage should not exceed the labeled directions. Those who have chronic medical conditions or who are taking other medications should consult with their doctor regarding the most appropriate type of pain and/or anti-inflammatory medications. Arch supports or foot orthotics may also help to ease arch pain.

Medical Treatment

Once the severity and cause of arch and foot pain is determined, a course of corrective and rehabilitative actions can be started.

  • Therapists may use machines and/or manual therapies to reduce pain and increase circulation to the area to promote healing.

  • Maintenance of fitness levels via modification of activity may be prescribed.

    • Substitute activities that may aggravate the pain and soreness with other activities; for instance, running causes the body to have multiple impacts with the ground, but the use of bicycling, elliptical trainers, step machines, swimming, or ski machines eliminates impact and allows you to continue to maintain and improve your fitness levels.

  • Use corrective prophylactic measures.

    • Purchase new shoes or replace the insoles of your current shoes.

    • Athletic shoes lose the elastic properties of the soles through usage and age. A good rule of thumb is to replace your shoes every six months, more often if there is heavier usage. The use of insoles can increase energy absorption and add support to the foot.

    • Corrective foot orthotics may also improve the biomechanics of the foot.

  • Focus on muscle strengthening and flexibility.

    • You may be given exercises to increase the strength and stability of the affected area and to correct muscles that may not be balanced.

    • Exercises to increase flexibility will maintain or improve the length of a muscle. Flexibility helps to make a stronger muscle that is less likely to be injured.

  • Take medications to help reduce foot arch pain and inflammation as prescribed by your doctor.

  • Follow up with your doctor until you are better.

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