There are many reasons that a podiatric physician or other health care worker might want to offload the foot or part of the foot. Offloading means having the stress off the foot. This can be recommended when the increased load or strain is leading to the foot problem. This could be as simple as a corn or it could be as serious as an ulcer in a person with diabetes. Should it be a orthopedic condition that needs a short time where there isn't any weight on it to help it recuperate. One of the big complications with managing foot problems is the fact that we still must walk on it so you can get about and conduct our everyday living. If it was, for instance, a sore elbow, it's much simpler to stop using it. This makes the dealing with of foot conditions more complicated and the need to work with different offloading approaches.
There are lots of different ways to offload the foot. The commonest and oldest is probably the use of podiatry felt. This is mostly self adhesive and it is cut to contour so it fits about the area of the high force instead of over it. That way the pressure is removed from the region. Generally, adhesive tape is usually useful to help in keeping the padding in the proper place. The foot have to be kept dry and when necessary the felt may be replaced every few days. Podiatry felt is also reasonably inexpensive when compared with other techniques. The felt is frequently used for smaller locations that require offloading for example a corn, an ulcer or something like a sesamoiditis that is a painful disorder of the tiny bones underneath the big toe joint.
An additional common method of offloading will be the usage of foot supports. A foot orthotic which is made to the form of the feet, spreads the weight away uniformly on the whole foot, so helps to reduce the load on an location that has too much and distribute it to other parts of the foot. In some instances, hollows or holes might be cut in the foot orthotic to further off load a painful spot. The foot supports either can be customizable or of the pre-made type which could be adjusted to suit the feet more accurately.
With the far more serious instances, the most effective way to offload a foot that has a diabetic ulcer is by using a total contact cast or one of the comparable prefabricated walking braces. If the problem is a bone and joint one, then a moon boot or walking support can be used. These kinds of devices are quite effective at offloading and so are commonly used by podiatric physicians and other health care professionals that deal with the foot and lower limb conditions. They do make walking a little more challenging, but if that does motivate the user to walk considerably less then that is a positive thing. In some cases that limp that the brace triggers can result in other issues in the hip and lower back and there also can be a higher possibility for falls, therefore it has to be managed properly.