Foot and ankle problems usually fall into the following categories:
- Acquired from improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot.
- Arthritic foot problems, which typically involve one or more joint.
- Congenital foot problems, which occur at birth, are generally inherited.
- Infectious foot problems, which are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal disorders.
- Neoplastic disorders, usually called tumors, which are the result of abnormal growth of tissue and may be benign or malignant.
- Traumatic foot problems, which are associated with foot and ankle injuries.
Arch supports and shoe inserts are devices that are placed inside of shoes to support and align the foot and lower extremities (knees, hips, and lower back), thus preventing the progression of a foot deformity, improving the function of the foot, and diminishing or eliminating pain.
These devices can range from generic over-the-counter inserts to prescription devices custom made for the individual’s foot and/or foot problem.