Question: I have rocker bottom feet caused by RA. I’ve seen two surgeons, but this can’t be fixed by surgery. I’ve gotten no suggestions about what shoes would be comfortable. I start the day with SAS oxfords fitted with Dr. Scholl’s inserts and gel pads under them and end the day in Crocs, even though they are a little loose and the design is getting away from the roomy toe box. Would diabetic shoes help me be able to walk in my quiet neighborhood? I am 79 and want to stay active. I have things to do!
Answer: Rocker bottom feet is characterized by a prominent heel bone and a convex rounded bottom to the foot. After several years, the foot appears to bend in the opposite direction to normal so it resembles the shape of the bottom of a rocking chair. Rocker bottom feet cause pain while standing and walking.
Henry Willis has been the manager of McMahan Shoes, footwear fitting specialists in Atlanta, for 56 years. He said, “She needs an extra depth shoe with a dual or tri-density orthotic inside. This should remove pressure from the heel and give stability to the rest of the foot.” He suggests a visit to an orthopedist or podiatrist who can provide a prescription for proper orthotics — shoe supports, braces, or splints to support, align, and correct the function of the movable parts of the foot. They are intended to correct an abnormal or irregular walking pattern by altering the angles at which the foot strikes a walking surface. Prescription orthotics are better than the ones you currently use.
Willis said, “If you do the shoe and orthotic right, this should take care of the problem and she should be walking pain-free.” If you are diabetic, any good diabetic shoe will provide more support than a regular shoe, he said, and Medicare will reimburse you 80 percent of the cost.
Our expert: Jackson Rainer is a board-certified clinical psychologist who practices with the Care and Counseling Center in Decatur, Georgia, helping people living with chronic illnesses. He consults with a variety of experts to answer a selection of readers’ questions in each issue of Pain-Free Living.
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