I’m in pain: Common foot problems that our custom orthotics can help to relieve

If you’re experiencing foot pain, custom orthotics may be your pal.

Custom orthotics help to relieve pain by providing cushioning, support and correct foot positioning.

PAL Health Technologies fabricates custom orthotics to doctor’s specifications for their patients. That means that each orthotic is manufactured, in a multi-step process, using measurements taken by the doctor of each patient’s foot.

Orthotics can’t reverse damage that may already have occurred in the foot but may slow or stop additional damage and reduce pain.

Orthotics can relieve a variety of degenerative joint issues and deformities. Here are a few examples:


  • Plantar Fasciitis

    Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes.

    Essentially, all of PAL Health’s orthotics relieve plantar fasciitis by providing a layer of cushioning, which adds shock absorption and helps to alleviate pain.

    For runners, the System 3.0 Sport, Pro-Tech, Advantage+ Sport and Marathotic are popular custom orthotics that address plantar fasciitis.

    For non-runners, Tri-Lam Elite provides relief. Tri-Lam Elite is an accommodative device that provides cushioning and additional support to relieve foot pain. Tri-Lam Elite has a cork shell, with UCOlen, a semi-rigid copolymer blend, on top of the cork to reinforce it. On top of the UCOlen is a top cover of black EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) blue PORON and blue swirl EVA.


  • Achilles Tendinitis

    Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.

    Many of the PAL products that address plantar fasciitis also address Achilles tendinitis with the addition of incorporating a heel lift. By incorporating a heel lift onto the device, the orthotics will relax the Achilles tendon and promote healing.

  • Posterior Tibial Dysfunction

    Posterior tibial dysfunction happens when the posterior tibial tendon becomes inflamed or torn. The tendon may not be able to provide stability and support for the arch of the foot, resulting in flatfoot.

    PAL’s custom orthotics and ankle-foot orthotics (AFOs) can address posterior tibial dysfunction by incorporating a deep heel cup and a Shaffer medial, which makes the device wider in the heel and arch. Pro-Tech, Advantage+ Sport, Pedestrian and Platinum Ankle Brace are among PAL products that address posterior tibial dysfunction.

  • Morton’s Foot

    Morton’s foot is a condition in which the second toe is longer than the big toe. While this is a common condition, in some people, the toe may increase the chances of calluses forming on the sole of the foot and other foot pain.

    PAL can address this condition by adding a Morton’s extension to any functional orthotic. The extension provides more support under the metatarsal head (the balls of the foot), which relieves pain from Morton’s foot.

  • Diabetes

    Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage that can occur when you have diabetes. High blood sugar can injure nerves throughout the body. Diabetic neuropathy often damages nerves in the legs and feet. Symptoms can range from numbness to debilitating pain.

    PAL’s custom diabetic inserts help to ensure that the patient’s feet are properly taken care of by covering the plantar surface of the foot with a soft surface that will not cause irritation and help to relieve ulcerations.

    PAL manufactures three different diabetic inserts: the XFit Standard, XFit Plus 55 and XFit Diasystem Plus. Which insert a patient receives depends on each patient’s weight.

    The top cover for all three types of inserts is made of Plastozote, which is soft, form-fitting and won’t cause irritation. The shell for the XFit Standard and XFit Plus 55 is made of EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate). The shell for the XFit Diasystem Plus is made of cork. The XFit Diasystem Plus also includes an additional layer of PPT (polyurethane), a cushioning material.

  • Severe Pronation

    Overpronation is when your foot rolls inward as you walk or run. If you overpronate, you flatten your arch, putting you at greater risk of injury.

    When pronation is severe, PAL orthotics can help. By incorporating a deep heel cup and a Shaffer’s medial into an ankle-foot orthotic, overpronation of the foot is prevented.

  • Ankle Instability

    Ankle instability is “giving way” of the outer side of the ankle. The condition often develops after repeated ankle sprains.

    Each of PAL’s AFOs – including the Platinum Plastic, Platinum Leather and Platinum Balance brace - help to address ankle instability. Specifically, deep heel cups, uprights and ankle straps help with ankle instability.

  • Drop Foot

    Drop foot, or foot drop, means you have difficulty lifting the front part of your foot because of a neurological, muscular or anatomical problem.

    Either a fixed brace on PAL’s Platinum AFO line or adding a dorsi assist to one of PAL’s existing braces can address drop foot. The dorsi assists attach to the outside of the brace.

  • Metatarsalgia

    Metatarsalgia is a condition in which the ball of the foot, or the metatarsal head, becomes inflamed and painful.

    Many PAL devices can help to relieve this condition with cushioned top covers and metatarsal pads. That raises up the distal edge of the orthotic, which takes pressure off the metatarsal head.

    Next week, we’ll continue our conversation when we talk about the top things that we want people to know about our orthotics.

    Have a question, concern or idea for a future blog topic? Email us at [email protected]


    Paul Swiech is vice president of communications with PAL Health Technologies. Before he joined PAL, he was a newspaper reporter for 37 years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and exercising