Methods that Podiatrists can use to Offload the Foot
There are a lot of reasons that a podiatrist or other health care professional may wish to offload the feet or an area of the foot. Offloading refers to getting the stress off the foot. This is often recommended if the higher load or strain is causing the foot condition. This may be as common as a corn or it might be as critical as an ulcer in an individual with diabetes. It could be a bone and joint condition that really needs some time where there is no load on it that can help it improve. One of the big complications with dealing with foot conditions is the fact that we still will need to walk on the feet so you can get around and undertake our day to day activities. If it was, for instance, a sore elbow, it really is much simpler to avoid making use of it. This makes the dealing with of foot problems more challenging and the need to apply different offloading strategies.
There are lots of different ways to offload the foot. The most common and most well-known is possibly the using podiatry felt. This is generally self adhesive which is cut to contour so that it fits around the area of the high pressure and not over it. This way the strain is removed from the region. Commonly, tape is usually useful to help to keep the padding in the proper place. The feet ought to be kept dry and if required the felt can be swapped out every few days. Podiatry felt can be comparatively affordable when compared with other methods. The podiatry felt is frequently useful for smaller parts that require offloading such as a corn, an ulcer or something like a sesamoiditis that is a painful disorder with the small bones under the big toe joint.
One more popular approach to offloading will be the usage of foot orthotics. A foot orthotic that is manufactured to the contour of the foot, spreads the load out uniformly on the whole foot, therefore can aid in reducing the load on an region that has a lot of and spread it to other regions of the foot. In some circumstances, cavities or divots may be cut in the foot supports to help off load a painful region. The foot supports may either be tailor made or of the pre-made kind which may be modified to match the foot more specifically.
With the more severe instances, the best way to offload a foot which has an ulcer is to use a total contact cast or one of the equivalent premade walking boots. If the concern is a bone and joint one, then a moon boot or walking brace can be employed. These types of items are quite effective at offloading and are widely used by podiatric physicians as well as other health care professionals that deal with the foot and lower limb disorders. They do make walking a bit more challenging, but if that can motivate the user to walk much less then that is a positive thing. In some cases that limp that the splint leads to can result in other problems in the hip and back and there can also be a higher probability for falls, so that it must be managed cautiously.