Foot and Ankle Frequently Asked Questions

At Northwest Extremity Specialists, we get a lot of questions! Our online FAQ guide is packed with brief, easy-to-understand answers to some of the most common and important questions we receive. Read on to learn more!

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  • How can I prevent foot pain at work?

    If you have foot pain, just getting to the end of your workday can be a slog. Forget about running errands, cooking dinner, playing with the kids, or going out for an evening walk afterward!

    Fortunately, there are many actions you can take to prevent or reduce foot pain on the job:

    • Wear footwear with solid arch support and cushioning.
    • Take regular breaks to either sit (if you stand at work all day) or walk (if you sit at a desk all day). Change positions and shift your weight.
    • Stretch your legs, rotate your ankles, and wiggle your toes regularly to keep the blood flowing.
    • Cover hard floors at your workstation with a cushioned rubber mat or rug.
    If you still struggle with pain, stop in to see the Northwest Extremity Specialists. We can match you with a pair of custom orthotics to better support your feet while work, along with providing any other treatments you may require!

  • Are custom orthotics really better than regular arch supports?

    In most cases, custom orthotics will perform much better than regular, prefabricated arch supports or insoles that you buy off the shelf.

    Remember that every foot is unique; no two are exactly alike. Regular arch supports are made to approximately match a range of common foot shapes and types, and while they can provide some degree of relief, they will not be able to match custom orthotics built to your exact specifications and prescribed to address a specific problem.

    That said, in some cases a regular arch support—if correctly chosen—can provide adequate relief for more minor sources of foot pain. A trained specialist can help you make that determination and make sure you get the right support for your feet. To schedule an appointment with the Northwest Extremity Specialists, please book an appointment at one of our convenient locations.

  • Do I need surgery for my bunion?

    Surgery is the only bunion treatment that can actually remove the bony deformity and realign your feet into a more normal shape. However, this does not mean that every bunion must be treated with surgery.

    Many bunions respond well to conservative treatments, such as custom orthotics, bracing, taping, physical therapy, and even wearing wider shoes. Although these treatments will not “fix” your bunion or restore your original foot shape, they do have the potential to relieve your pain and slow the rate at which the bunion progresses. If you find that conservative treatments allow you to maintain your desired lifestyle without pain, surgery may not be necessary—at least not right away.

    On the other hand, if your bunion is severe and pain is persistent despite your attempts to manage it conservatively, surgery may be the best choice. To learn more about your options and schedule an appointment, please contact the office of Northwest Extremity Specialists closest to your location.

  • Can shockwave therapy treat my foot pain?

    Extracorporeal shockwave therapy, also known as ESWT or just shockwave therapy, is an excellent treatment option for many forms of foot pain. This treatment uses pressure waves to relieve discomfort and accelerate healing processes within and surrounding an injury. It is particularly effective when used as part of a care plan for chronic tendon, joint, muscle, and other soft tissue conditions, such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.

    Shockwave therapy offers many benefits to injured tissues. It can help:

    • Stimulate production of new connective tissues
    • Boost metabolism and circulation within an injured area
    • Temporarily overstimulate local nerves to reduce pain
    • Reduce inflammation and dissolve calcium deposits (bone spurs)

    Shockwave therapy can be an extremely useful component of a treatment for chronic foot pain, even when other conservative treatments haven’t shown any noticeable results. To see if this advanced treatment can help you, schedule an appointment with the Northwest Extremity Specialists today.