There are many reasons that a podiatric physician or any other healthcare professional might want to offload the foot or part of the foot. Offloading refers to having the stress off the foot. This can be required if the higher load or strain is contributing to the foot condition. This might be as common as a corn or it might be as significant as an ulcer in somebody with all forms of diabetes. Maybe it's a orthopedic condition that needs some time where there is no force on it to help it recuperate. One of the big complications with managing foot conditions is the fact that we still have to walk on the feet so you can get around and accomplish our daily activities. If it was, for instance, a sore elbow, it really is much simpler to stop using it. This makes the treating of foot problems more challenging and the need to use various offloading interventions.
There are numerous ways to offload the foot. The commonest and oldest is probably the using podiatry felt. This is mostly self adhesive which is cut to shape so that it fits round the area of the high pressure rather than over it. That way the pressure is removed from the region. Typically, strapping is usually helpful to help in keeping the felt padding in the right area. The foot should be kept dry and when needed the felt may be replaced every couple of days. Podiatry felt is also reasonably inexpensive compared to other approaches. The felt is usually used for smaller parts that require offloading like a corn, an ulcer or something like a sesamoiditis which is a painful disorder with the little bones beneath the great toe joint.
Another frequent way of offloading will be the usage of foot supports. A foot orthotic that is created to the contour of the feet, distributes the load away uniformly over the whole foot, and so can reduce the stress upon an spot which has an excessive amount of and distribute it to other regions of the feet. In some circumstances, hollows or openings may be cut in the foot supports to further off load a painful location. The foot orthotic may either be made to order or of the pre-made sort which could be adjusted to suit the foot more specifically.
With the more serious conditions, the best way to offload a foot that has a diabetic ulcer is to use a total contact cast or one of the similar prefabricated walking splints. In the event the concern is a musculoskeletal one, then a moon boot or walking splint can be employed. These kinds of devices are extremely effective at offloading and so are widely used by podiatric physicians and other health professionals that take care of the foot and lower limb problems. They do make walking a little more problematic, but if that does motivate the user to walk a smaller amount then that's a positive thing. From time to time that limp that this splint brings about may bring about other problems in the hip and lower back and there also can be an elevated risk for falls, so that it should be handled cautiously.