How to Avoid Heel Pain With Custom Orthotics


Your feet and ankles are complex structures that consist of more than 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons, 26 bones, and 33 joints. The average adult walks between 4,000 and 6,000 steps each day, and for every mile you walk, your feet bear the brunt of 60 tons of stress.

It’s no wonder that  75% of Americans experience a problem with their feet at some point in their lifetime.

One of the most common foot problems is heel pain, a condition that our board-certified podiatrists, David Gelbmann, DPM, and Ramsha Tanwir, DPM, at Gelbmann Podiatry specialize in. Here they discuss some of the causes of heel pain and how you can prevent and treat it with custom orthotics.

Common causes of heel pain

Heel pain most often occurs behind or under the heel, where your heel bone and Achilles tendon connect. There are a variety of causes of heel pain, among them:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Bone spurs
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Heel spurs
  • Bursitis
  • Gout
  • Arthritis
  • Peripheral neuropathy

Sprains, strains, and fractures are also top reasons you may be feeling pain in your heel.

Treatment options for heel pain

Depending on the reason for your heel pain, we write a custom plan to treat it. Some of the ways we recommend treating heel pain are:

  • Rest
  • Physical therapy
  • Ice
  • Taping
  • Compression
  • Orthotics

Orthotics are custom shoe inserts that we often prescribe to help you avoid and treat heel pain.

How orthotics work

We take careful measurements of your foot using 3D digital scans to craft orthotics that are tailor-made to address your specific foot problems. It’s designed to provide support in the exact places where you need it.

Once your orthotics are ready and you start wearing them in your regular footwear, they go to work. And unlike store-bought shoe inserts, our custom-make orthotics are designed specifically for your feet.

Proper foot support relieves the stress on your ligaments and supports your arches to stave off tension and prevent damage or further damage. Because orthotics correct misalignments, you notice improved mobility, increased endurance, and a significant decrease in pain over time.

Depending on the material that your orthotic is made of and the severity of your heel condition, your orthotics should last many years. It’s well worth the investment since orthotics usually prevent the need for invasive measures, such as surgery.

To learn more about how orthotics can help you get back on your feet again and enjoy your life, call one of our offices in the West Town and Near Southside areas in Chicago, Illinois, or book an appointment online.

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Gelbmann Podiatry

Wednesday: 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Saturday: 7:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Monday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday: 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

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S. Michigan Avenue W. Chicago Avenue