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What Purpose Does a Heel Lift Serve?

Many people often suffer from a difference in the length of their legs. With time, this cause pain in the knee, back, and hip. The Achilles tendon also endures a great amount of stress with this condition. In order to help in the rehabilitation of this type of deformity, heel lifts are often used.

These are to help in elevating the shorter leg to establish a shift in balance and to improve gait but are not designed for absorbing shock or spreading heel pressure. Heel lifts are designed to be inserted into the heel of the shoe and are usually wedge shaped. Most are made of silicone or cork. Heel lifts are sometimes also used in both shoes just to give a person added height.

Many Uses Many individuals use heel lifts for various reasons. Those suffering with tendonitis often find the use of heel lifts to be therapeutic. To improve their performance and comfort, those who regularly walk, run, jog, and hike often use heel lifts. Wide assortments of people feel that wearing these boosts their self confidence and in some case their social standing. Golfers find heel lifts beneficial in the improvement of their golf swing.

Choosing Heel Lifts

There are many types of heel lifts available and each offers varying benefits, different comfort levels, and many levels of durability and adjustability. When choosing beneficial heel lifts, it is ideal that these be the right length and they at least reach just above the arch of the foot.

Many find it better when these fill the entire shoe. In some cases, problems with the foot can develop if the length of the heel lifts is too short. The slope created by insertion of the lifts should be smooth and even because a slope that is steep will allow the slipping forward of the feet during walking.

Different pairs of shoes will more than likely need different types of lifts. People with a discrepancy in the length of their legs will usually find the use of adjustable heel lifts more beneficial.

Possible Side Effects

Those who use heel lifts should use caution in making sure that arches of their feet are being supported correctly. Other possible effects of wearing heel lifts are as follows:

• Injury to one or both feet may occur due to the sloping of the foot.
• Feet can become deformed from prolonged use of heel lifts. Hammertoe can often develop if the toes do not have adequate space in the toe-box of the shoe.
• Formation of bunions and calluses is also likely. The chance of these side effects occurring can be lessened by the use of socks to protect the feet from friction. Daily monitoring will be needed to ensure that the skin is not breaking down.

Professional Advice

As with most all devices made to help in the activities of daily living, one should seek the advice of either a physician or in the case of issues related to the feet, the advice of a podiatrist would be advised. There are tests and X-rays that may need to be done to help in determining the correct type of heel lifts that are needed. Even after one starts using the heel lifts, they will need to continue to follow up with a doctor or podiatrist as changes may occur in the feet.
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