Achilles tendon injuries are common in runners and individuals who participate in repetitive jumping sports like basketball, volleyball, and racquet sports. The Achilles tendon is the band of connective tissue that attaches your calf muscle to the heel and is one of the muscles responsible for propelling you upwards and forwards during activity.
Once the Achilles tendon is injured, it is common for everyday activities to become painful or uncomfortable. Custom orthotics can be an effective way to reduce the strain on the injured tissue and allow you to continue with your daily activities while also healing from your Achilles tendon injury.
How do orthotics work to help Achilles pain?
Custom foot orthotics help to improve your foot function, optimize joint movement, and support your foot to allow the tissue to heal. In many cases, reducing the load or strain on the Achilles tendon is crucial to recovery. Current research supports the use of custom foot orthotics to reduce the strain placed on the Achilles tendon by controlling excessive movements that may cause torque (twisting) or excessive load on the tendon itself. Providing proper shock absorption through both a custom foot orthosis and appropriate footwear is also crucial in reducing the stress on the Achilles tendon.
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What shoes are good for Achilles tendonitis?
Appropriate footwear selection is important for day-to-day comfort and depends on your specific mechanics. Generally speaking, shoes with ample cushion and adequate support work well while managing Achilles tendinopathy symptoms. If flexibility is an issue for you, staying away from a shoe that is considered to be within the “minimalist” shoe category may be advised. “Minimalist” shoes generally have a very low heel height, meaning the pitch of the shoe is very flat, which places additional load on the Achilles tendon with every step. Footwear with a slight pitch (higher heel and lower forefoot), can help to reduce the load on the affected tissue.
Orthotics are as unique as the feet they were designed for; therefore, every pair is made with the individual needs, biomechanics, and lifestyle factors in mind. Your SoleScience Pedorthist will carefully weigh all these factors and design your orthotics to meet your specific needs. If your needs change over time, we will work with you to adjust, modify, or overhaul your custom orthotics to keep you doing the things you love in comfort.
Thinking about orthotics? Contact us today to arrange an appointment for a comprehensive assessment by one of our experts!