Orthotics are devices placed inside your shoes with the purpose of restoring our natural foot function helping aid your recovery. Many common complaints such as foot pain, knee pain and lower back pain are caused by poor foot movement patterns.
The most common form of a bad foot movement pattern is over-pronation, or ‘’fallen arches’’, which affects an estimated 70% of the population. Orthotic insoles correct this over-pronation and help to realign the foot and ankle bones to their neutral position, restoring natural foot function. In turn, this will help alleviate problems not only in the feet, but also in other parts of the body, such as the knees, hips, and lower back.
HOW ARE ORTHOTICS DIFFERENT FROM REGULAR SHOE INSOLES?
There’s a significant difference between regular insoles and orthotics. Regular insoles are purely designed to provide a cushioning effect and shock absorption. They may feel comfortable at first, however they do not address any biomechanical problems, i.e. they are not designed to correct over-pronation. However, some insoles do feature an arch support, however they tend to be mostly made of soft materials. As a result, the support they provide is often too weak to have any effect. Insoles are generally very cheap and commonly have a short life span before needing to be replaced.
On the other hand, orthotics are a functional device, designed to correct and optimize our foot function. Orthotics are more expensive, but because of this they are more stable, more durable and more specific to your abnormal foot movements.
HOW DO ORTHOTICS EXACTLY WORK?
First of all, orthotics do a lot more than support the arches. Orthotics help realign the feet and ankles if they are not in a normal position. They restore normal foot position and function. In addition, orthotics enable a more even weight distribution, taking pressure off sore spots (e.g. the heels, the ball of the foot, corns in between toes, and bunions).
They also provide some degree of shock absorption, but this is not their main purpose. The main purpose of an orthotic insole is to improve foot function, in many cases reducing pain and preventing serious problems and injuries in the future.
What Conditions Do Orthotics Most Commonly Help?
- Plantar fasciitis (heel pain)
- Over-Pronation (fallen arches)
- Over-Supination (high arches)
- Hallux Valgus (bunion)
- Mortons Neuroma
- Stress Fracture
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Tibialis Posterior Dysfunction (TPD)