Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Research On Effectiveness Of Custom Orthotics

Recent research has been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of custom-made orthotics to relieve foot pain. Eleven studies conducted by Australian researchers concluded that custom-made orthotic devices helped alleviate certain types of foot pain. One such study found that custom orthotics for the shoes eased the foot pain experienced by people who had abnormally high arches.

Custom orthotic devices differ from over-the-counter orthotics and insoles in that custom orthotics are prescribed by a physician. The physician captures a model of the patient’s foot, either with a plaster cast or a scanning device, such as the Xtremityscan. This allows the device to offer the best possible support for that individual.

The effectiveness of custom-made orthotics to ease pain has been studied for plantar fasciitis, high arches, rheumatoid arthritis, and bunions. The ability of orthotics to alleviate pain from plantar fasciitis is considered limited by a recent study. The level of pain relief was found to be better if the use of orthotics for shoes is combined with wearing night splints at night for the treatment of plantar fasciitis.

The research has indicated that custom-made orthotics provide the most effective pain relief from pain caused by high arches. It was noted, however, that not every patient with high arches will receive significant relief from pain with the use of orthotics. Custom-made orthotics has been shown to provide relief of pain due to bunions, though they are not as effective as surgical intervention.

One study indicated that custom-made orthotics ease the foot pain of those afflicted with juvenile idiopathic arthritis which is a form of arthritis that affects children. The study failed to show if custom-made orthotics were more effective than over-the-counter insoles.

Though the effectiveness of custom-made orthotics varied depending on the condition causing the pain, research has shown that the use of orthotics was better than no treatment.


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