Official Blog of Dr. Peter F. Gregory and his Foot Health Team
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You've seen them at the grocery store and at the mall. You've probably even seen them on TV and online. Shoe inserts are any kind of non-prescription foot support designed to be worn inside a shoe. Pre-packaged arch supports are shoe inserts. So are the “custom-made” insoles and foot supports that you can order online or at retail stores. Unless the device has been prescribed by a doctor and crafted for your specific foot, it's a shoe insert, not a custom orthotic device—despite what the ads might say.
Shoe inserts can be very helpful for a variety of foot ailments, including flat arches and foot and leg pain. They can cushion your feet, provide comfort, and support your arches, but they can't correct biomechanical foot problems or cure long-standing foot issues. For professionally made orthotics contact the foot health team of Dr. Peter F. Gregory, D.P.M.
The most common types of shoe inserts are:
- Arch supports: Some people have high arches. Others have low arches or flat feet. Arch supports generally have a “bumped-up” appearance and are designed to support the foot's natural arch.
- Insoles: Insoles slip into your shoe to provide extra cushioning and support. Insoles are often made of gel, foam, or plastic.
- Heel liners: Heel liners, sometimes called heel pads or heel cups, provide extra cushioning in the heel region. They may be especially useful for patients who have foot pain caused by age-related thinning of the heels' natural fat pads.
- Foot cushions: Do your shoes rub against your heel or your toes? Foot cushions come in many different shapes and sizes and can be used as a barrier between you and your shoe.
Choosing an Over-the-Counter Shoe Insert
Selecting a shoe insert from the wide variety of devices on the market can be overwhelming. Here are some podiatrist-tested tips to help you find the insert that best meets your needs:
- Consider your health. Do you have diabetes? Problems with circulation? An over-the-counter insert may not be your best bet. Diabetes and poor circulation increase your risk of foot ulcers and infections, so schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. He or she can help you select a solution that won't cause additional health problems.
- Think about the purpose. Are you planning to run a marathon, or do you just need a little arch support in your work shoes? Look for a product that fits your planned level of activity.
- Bring your shoes. For the insert to be effective, it has to fit into your shoes. So bring your sneakers, dress shoes, or work boots—whatever you plan to wear with your insert. Look for an insert that will fit the contours of your shoe.
- Try them on. If all possible, slip the insert into your shoe and try it out. Walk around a little. How does it feel? Don't assume that feelings of pressure will go away with continued wear. (If you can't try the inserts at the store, ask about the store's return policy and hold on to your receipt.)
What are Prescription Custom Orthotics?
Custom orthotics are specially-made devices designed to support and comfort your feet. Prescription orthotics are crafted for you and no one else. They match the contours of your feet precisely and are designed for the way you move. Orthotics are only manufactured after a podiatrist has conducted a complete evaluation of your feet, ankles, and legs, so the orthotic can accommodate your unique foot structure and pathology.
Prescription orthotics are divided into two categories:
- Functional orthotics are designed to control abnormal motion. They may be used to treat foot pain caused by abnormal motion; they can also be used to treat injuries such as shin splints or tendinitis. Functional orthotics are usually crafted of a semi-rigid material such as plastic or graphite.
- Accommodative orthotics are softer and meant to provide additional cushioning and support. They can be used to treat diabetic foot ulcers, painful calluses on the bottom of the foot, and other uncomfortable conditions.
Podiatrists use orthotics to treat foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, bursitis, tendinitis, diabetic foot ulcers, and foot, ankle, and heel pain. Clinical research studies have shown that podiatrist-prescribed foot orthotics decrease foot pain and improve function.
Orthotics typically cost more than shoe inserts purchased in a retail store, but the additional cost is usually well worth it. Unlike shoe inserts, orthotics are molded to fit each individual foot, so you can be sure that your orthotics fit and do what they're supposed to do. Prescription orthotics are also made of top-notch materials and last many years when cared for properly. Insurance often helps pay for prescription orthotics. Contact the Foot Health Team of Dr. Peter F. Gregory, D.P.M. for any further questions or to be evaluated for the possible prescription of custom molded orthotics. Our Livonia office can be reached at 734-522-7676.
If you’re over 65 years old, it’s essential you take the right steps to treat your feet right. Senior citizens who take care of their feet prevent injuries, falls, and complications from diseases like diabetes. Follow these tips put together by The Foot Health Team of Dr. Peter F. Gregory, D.P.M. to properly care for your feet:
Step out in the right shoes. Proper footwear helps prevent falls by helping keep you balanced. Always wear the shoe around the store for a bit to ensure proper fit. Shoes that are too tight, rub on the heels, or slide around can cause blisters and painful sores – especially avoid improperly fitting shoes if you have diabetes or neuropathy.
Show your feet some attention. As you age, your muscle tissues thin and your nerves might not work as effectively, often leading to loss of feeling in your feet, known as neuropathy. Check the soles of your feet and between your toes daily for cuts, blisters, sores, or any noticeable change. It’s especially important to be diligent if you have diabetes.
Trim your toenails right. Trim your toenails straight across and no shorter than the tip of your toe to prevent ingrown toenails. If you have trouble trimming your own toes, schedule a visit with your podiatrist for a medical pedicure or nail trimming.
Increase blood flow to your feet. Senior citizens might have decreased blood flow to their feet and extremities. You can ensure proper blood flow by adding stretches to your daily activity, wiggling your toes when sitting for extended periods and massaging your feet regularly. If you smoke, quitting now can help your blood circulation as well.
Don’t let your feet dry out. It’s important to keep your feet well-moisturized to prevent them from cracking. Use mild soap when you wash and apply a nice dollop of lotion after you step out of the shower. However, make sure you change your socks regularly and don’t let your feet get too damp before putting on shoes.
Visit your podiatrist. If you need help planning senior footcare give us a call at 734-522-7676.If you’re over 65 years old, it’s essential you take the right steps to treat your feet right. Senior citizens who take care of their feet prevent injuries, falls, and complications from diseases like diabetes. Follow these tips put together by The Foot Health Team of Dr. Peter F. Gregory, D.P.M. to properly care for your feet:
A neuroma is an inflammation of the nerve on the ball of foot just behind the toe. The inflammation can become scar tissue and cause persistent pain.
Severe pain and discomfort that is felt on the ball of the foot may be indicative of a condition that is referred to as Morton’s neuroma. It is often the result of nerves that become inflamed between the third and fourth toes, and is often known as a intermetatarsal neuroma. A major symptom of this condition is pain that is experienced on the bottom of the foot, possibly causing difficulty in walking. Many people may generally feel a tingling sensation in addition to feeling a burning sensitivity in the ball of the foot. A common reason for this condition to occur may be choosing to wear shoes that do not fit properly, and this may possibly cause the nerves in the foot to become irritated and inflamed. Additionally, performing certain activities may play a significant role in the formation of Morton’s neuroma. It’s advised to consult with a podiatrist for proper treatments if you are afflicted with this ailment
Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact The Foot Health Team of Dr. Peter F. Gregory, D.P.M. We will attend to all your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.
Morton’s neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.
What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?
Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities
Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. To figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Seattle, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue and can develop throughout the body. In the foot, the most common neuroma is a Morton’s neuroma; this typically forms between the third and fourth toes. The thickening of the nerve is typically caused by compression and irritation of the nerve; this thickening can in turn cause enlargement and, in some cases, nerve damage.
Neuromas can be caused by anything that causes compression or irritation of the nerve. A common cause is wearing shoes with tapered toe boxes or high heels that force the toes into the toe boxes. Physical activities that involve repeated pressure to the foot, such as running or basketball, can also create neuromas. Those with foot deformities, such as bunions, hammertoes, or flatfeet, are more likely to develop the condition.
Symptoms of Morton’s neuroma include tingling, burning, numbness, pain, and the feeling that either something is inside the ball of the foot or that something in one’s shoe or sock is bunched up. Symptoms typically begin gradually and can even go away temporarily by removing one’s shoes or massaging the foot. An increase in the intensity of symptoms correlates with the increasing growth of the neuroma.
Treatment for Morton’s neuroma can vary between patients and the severity of the condition. For mild to moderate cases, padding, icing, orthotics, activity modifications, shoe modifications, medications, and injection therapy may be suggested or prescribed. Patients who have not responded successfully to less invasive treatments may require surgery to properly treat their condition. The severity of your condition will determine the procedure performed and the length of recovery afterwards. Please contact our Livonia office at 734-522-7676. We can help.
Sever’s disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is an injury of the growth plate in the heel bone that is caused by repetitive trauma to the area. It often affects both heels simultaneously. This condition is most common among children and adolescents between the ages of 9 and 12 as they go through a rapid growth spurt. Sever’s disease occurs more often in males than females. Children who participate in sports that require frequent running and jumping, such as basketball, soccer, track, cross-country, and gymnastics are most at risk. If your child complains of heel pain or is walking with a limp, it is suggested that you take them to see a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat their condition.
Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see the Foot Health Team of Dr. Peter F. Gregory, D.P.M. in Livonia. We can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.
Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain in one or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.
Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.
Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.
Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Livonia, MI. at 734-522-7676.
When the common human papillomavirus (HPV) enters the skin of the foot through a small cut or compromised area and causes keratin to develop, plantar warts occur. These are rough, white, or skin-colored warts that present on the heel, toes, or other weight-bearing points on the sole of the foot. Plantar warts, also known as verrucas, will sometimes have black dots at their core, which are actually clotted blood vessels. Because HPV is contagious, plantar warts can be passed from the skin of one person to another through direct contact, or by indirect exposure to an infected person’s socks, shoes, towels, or surfaces such as public swimming pools or communal changing rooms where the virus may be living. The virus can spread to hands and fingers, but the warts that develop on these parts of the body are known as palmar warts. People with a weakened immune system, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or those who have warts that bleed, change color, cause a loss of sensation in the foot, or are very painful, should seek professional help. A podiatrist has a variety of remedies and procedures that can treat or even remove plantar warts.
Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked contact the Foot Health Team of Dr. Peter F. Gregory, D.P.M. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.
About Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.
While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.
- Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
- Hard or thick callused spots
- Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
- Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing
- Electric tool removal
- Laser Treatment
- Topical Creams (prescription only)
- Over-the-counter medications
To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Livonia office at 734-522-7676. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankles needs.