Custom Shoe Orthotics vs. Over the Counter Shoe Inserts

Custom orthotics vs. Over the Counter Shoe Inserts. Which is the best for you?

If you are experiencing heel, arch or toe pain, then you may have heard shoe inserts might be a solution. Your current shoes may not be offering the support that your body needs. Since your feet support your entire body, it is important to recognize that having the extra support can provide comfort and even alleviate symptoms from a variety of foot conditions and even leg and back pain.

However, before you make the final decision, it’s best to understand the difference between custom orthotics and over the counter inserts (OTC). You will want to talk with Dr. Bennett about which options are best for you, and why. You want to make the best decision about your foot health.

Custom Orthotics These type of devices are made from a mold of your foot, not generalized population data about foot size and shape, as OTC devices are. A visit is required to examine your foot and the specific complaints, and a decision about what type of orthotic would be best for your daily life. Then a wet plaster mold is taken of both feet, and removed when dry. This takes about twenty minutes. In my office, the dried plaster impressions are mailed out to a laboratory that manufactures the prescribed devices. They are fabricated and returned to the office, ready to be dispensed within a month. I have had many patients say their orthotics last 3 years and longer.

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Frostbite is a cold-related injury characterized by freezing of tissue. Most cases of frostbite are encountered in soldiers, in persons who work outdoors in the cold, in homeless people, in athletes engaging in sports with seasons extending into the cold months of the year, and in winter outdoor enthusiasts, such as Nordic skiers.

Other risk factors include chronic medical conditions (eg, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, Raynaud phenomena), African American race, vibration-induced white finger (VIWF), previous history of frostbite, and use of certain medications (eg, beta-blockers, sedatives). Mountain frostbite is a variation observed among mountain climbers and others exposed to extremely cold temperatures and strong winds at high altitude. It combines tissue freezing with hypoxia and general body dehydration.

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What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS is a chronic pain condition that affects the limbs (arms, legs, hands or feet) usually after an injury or trauma to that area. It is believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system involves nerve signaling from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. CRPS is characterized by prolonged or excessive pain and mild or dramatic changes in skin color, temperature, and/or swelling in the affected areas.

There are two similar forms, called CRPS-I and CRPS-II, with generally the same symptoms and treatments. CRPS-II (previously referred to as causalgia) is the term used for patients with confirmed nerve injuries. Individuals without confirmed nerve injuries are classified as having CRPS-I (previously called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome). Some research has identified evidence of nerve injury in CRPS-I, so the validity of the two different forms is being investigated.

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Higher amputation, mortality rates seen in diabetic foot syndrome

German researchers found that diabetic foot syndrome patients had the highest amputation rate and length of hospital stay and costs, as well as the lowest cumulative four-year survival and amputation-free survival, compared with those with diabetes and peripheral artery disease or PAD alone. The findings in the Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications, based on data from 40,335 patients hospitalized between 2009 and 2011, found diabetic foot syndrome patients had the lowest revascularization rate.

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