If you have foot pain or a physical abnormality that affects your gait, you can develop pain in your back, hips, knees, or feet. The solution to this problem is to visit a podiatrist to have your gait assessed so the doctor can recommend shoe inserts or orthopedic shoes to compensate for the way you walk. By bringing your body back into alignment when you walk, you can often eliminate chronic pain and foot soreness. Here are a few ways your podiatrist can examine your gait and body alignment.
A Physical Examination
The podiatrist will watch you walk and stand to assess your posture and the way you hold your weight on your feet. Some things he or she may look for are level shoulders, level hips, and turning in or out of the feet. In addition, the podiatrist will take a full medical history to find out about the type of pain you're experiencing as this could be a clue to an abnormal gait. Your feet will be closely examined because callouses show where you bear excess weight and toe problems indicate you're wearing shoes that don't fit correctly.
Your podiatrist may take a video of you while you walk. For the best results, your doctor may ask you to wear or bring shorts to your office visit so your legs are visible from the knees down. You may have videos taken from different angles such as the sides, front, and back so the podiatrist can study your gait from all sides. You may walk for a short distance in the hallway or walk for a longer time on a treadmill. One thing the podiatrist will watch for is whether your feet tend to roll to the outside or the inside when you walk. These conditions can often be managed by wearing orthopedic shoes that offer strong support.
Pressure testing is useful in diagnosing your condition because it allows your podiatrist to see what parts of your feet bear the most pressure as you walk. This test can diagnose fallen arches and other foot problems. It lets the doctor know if you favor one foot over the other or if you have adjusted your gait to compensate for pain in your toes or heels. With this information, your podiatrist can fit your shoes with the right kind of inserts that provide arch support or padding for the areas that bear the most pressure. You may need heel pads or an elevating insert in one shoe to compensate for a slightly shorter leg on one side.
These comprehensive tests allow the podiatrist to custom fit the orthotics or shoes to your individual condition. This ensures you'll have much better results than buying shoe inserts over the counter at a drug store. Chronic back or hip pain can be caused by something as simple as wearing shoes that don't support your feet or your gait. An evaluation and treatment by a podiatrist won't cure all types of back pain, but when the problem is caused by a gait abnormality, then it could be a natural and easy way to end your pain. To learn more, contact a company like Advanced Foot Clinic.