Common Foot-Related Ailments
We offer a wide range of information about various conditions and symptoms that may benefit from the wearing of Step Forward Orthotics. This information is of a general nature and not necessarily applicable in any particular situation. The information may have errors and omissions.
Heel Pain, Plantar Fasciitis & Spurs
The plantar fascia is the muscle group that runs along the bottom of the foot from heel to ball of foot. It is our “suspension system”. It works really well on sand, grass, gravel and dirt, but it gets insufficient use when we walk on hard floors and in shoes, thus becoming stiff and tight. For some of us, when it is knocked or bumped, it cannot stretch enough so it starts to tear (usually away from the heel) causing a painful inflammation (plantar fasciitis) that is most painful for the minute or two when getting out of bed, up from the couch or out of the car after a long drive. It often goes back and forth between the two feet as we carry more weight on the good foot. The body will try to strengthen the tear by depositing calcium at the site. This becomes the heel spur.
To correct the problem, you need to get the muscles strong and stretchy again. Either spend the rest of your life on the beach (never come inside again) or wear a flexing orthotic (such as Step Forward Orthotics) which will exercise the ligaments and muscles. Most other treatments are merely addressing the symptoms, not the cause. Once the fascia heals, then the body will gradually reabsorb the spur.
Bunions are not from your high-heeled pointy shoes. Bunions come from standing and walking the same as your mother, grandmother or father. Like them, you have pressure on the front outside edge of your big toe. This has pushed your toe towards the other toes, opening the joint, leading to calcification (the bunion lump). Our orthotics take the pressure away from the big toe, so it now wants to come back straight, but the calcium prevents this happening. Break down the calcium with an exercise and it will gradually absorb back into the body, allowing the toe to straighten progressively. After 12 to 18 months many people have achieved a straighter toe with a diminished lump.
The bunion exercise is done every day for 60 seconds, on each foot. Hold the big toe of the left foot with your right hand as you pull the toe away from the 2nd toe, towards straight. At the same time, with the left hand hold the foot firmly just below the big toe joint. You must use pressure OUT on the toe and IN on the joint. Then rotate the big toe around the straight axis, clockwise 30 seconds, then anti-clockwise 30 seconds. This should be a gentle and comfortable exercise. You can do this yourself, with your foot on the other knee, but it works better if you have someone do it for you.
Visit our website to see a video of this exercise.
The following video is in German. Sorry about that! However, as they say, a picture tells a thousand words.
Hammer toes nearly always coincide with dropped 2nd, 3rd or 4th metatarsal heads. Our orthotics reform the transverse arch and your hammer toes will want to straighten out, but the years of tendon imbalance will make this difficult. It can be accelerated slightly by exercising the toes, but you will still have hammer toes years from now, slowly improving rather than slowly worsening.
Reach down while standing and take hold of each toe to straighten them out. Use your fingers to actually stretch the toe muscles and tendons that have shortened. Another exercise is to place the heel of one foot over the hammer toes of the other foot. Push the toes downward. Maintain the pressure for 30 seconds. Repeat several times and on the other foot. This is a comfortable exercise to do while eating breakfast.
Also known as Morton’s neuroma, metatarsalgia or neuropathy it is a feeling of burning, numbness or pain in the forefoot, frequently starting between the 3rd and 4th toes. It develops when the nerve between two metatarsal heads is pinched and bruised. It is frequently associated with a dropped transverse arch, tight shoes or repeated jolts to the forefoot. Our orthotics raise this arch, eliminate the pinching and can alleviate the condition.
Ankles & Knees
Knees and ankles are hinge joints. If the foot pronates (tilts inward) or supinates (rolls out) as you walk, your ankles and knees are going to suffer undue wear and tear. Correct support of the medial and lateral arches can bring immediate relief to these joints. Most orthotics have medial arch support, but very few have significant lateral arch support. Step Forward supports all three arches.
Lumbar pain is very common, and much of it is a direct result of poor posture. With correct posture a single vertical line will intersect the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and ears. The moment you stand on Step Forward Orthotics you will immediately feel your posture improve.
This is generally felt as a pain down the outside of the legs. People who have both a lower back condition and who hyperpronate are more likely to develop sciatica.
Pelvic Alignment: A wide range of problems can result if the pelvis is tilted or rotated. Examples include apparent leg length difference, scoliosis or pain in the lower back, hips or thighs. Many therapists have reported good results in correction of these problems simply by the use of Step Forward Orthotics.
Arthritis is an umbrella term for more than 100 medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, specifically joints where two or more bones meet (source: Arthritis Australia 2019). To read up on them visit Arthritis Australia here. Arthritis Australia does not accept advertising on its website. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease. It affects the whole joint including bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles. By realigning those joints (eg ankle and knee) and/or reducing the weight on those joints (eg big toe joint, ball of foot) the wearer of Step Forward orthotics may experience less pain.
Calluses and Corns
Calluses (usually under the ball of the foot or under the heel) are the result of too much pressure. Corns are more localised hard lumps (usually around the toes) due to pressure and rubbing. Both conditions can be expected to improve when wearing Step Forward Orthotics.
Over the years (since 1974) we’ve had testimonials from customers and doctors about an incredibly long list of conditions. You are welcome to ask about conditions not mentioned here.
Symptoms can be due to a wide range of causes. Only a qualified medical practitioner can diagnose your condition. This website, our brochure and other materials explain how Step Forward Orthotics can be helpful in many situations, but must not be taken as medical advice. If pain persists see your medical professional.