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What Are Ankle-Foot-Orthoses?

Tuesday, 19 July 2022 00:00

Ankle-foot-orthoses (AFO) are supportive devices, or braces, that help a person with lower limb, ankle, or foot disability. AFOs function mainly to prevent deformity, increase mobility, reduce pain, and protect and support a healing injury. They can be custom made for children as well as adults to protect the foot, ankle, and leg, finishing at the knee. They can be made hinged to bend at the ankle, or solid with no ankle movement. There are several types of AFOs that are prescribed based on the precise needs of the wearer. Factors include length of time it will be worn, amount of lateral stability needed, and how the device fits into shoes. For more detailed information on ankle-foot-orthoses, please consult a podiatrist, who can help determine which AFO is best for you. 

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Brunswick and Damariscotta, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes
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