Custom foot orthotics are one of the most commonly prescribed treatments for foot pain. They’re used to treat a variety of conditions including plantar fasciitis, bunions, tendonitis, and other causes of foot, ankle, and knee pain. Before spending your money it’s important to ask, do custom orthotics really work?
What Do Foot Orthotics Do?
Orthotics provide a passive support of the foot. They contour to your foot and provide support for your arch. This provides temporary pain relief by taking pressure off your feet as you move through your day.
By only providing passive support – orthotics fails to correct the underlying cause of foot pain. The alignment and strength issues of your feet that cause foot, ankle, knee and hip pain are still there. And as we know, managing symptoms without addressing underlying causes ALWAYS leads to problems getting worse as you age.
In short, orthotics serve as a crutch. They help you to live with a problem without actually solving it. By providing passive support for your feet, your muscles, joints, ligaments don’t have to. In the long run, this leads to weaker feet that are less able to handle the demands of your daily life.
A Better Approach To Treating Foot Pain
A better approach to treating foot pain corrects the underlying aliglnment and strength issues that cause your foot pain. The first thing to focus on in restoring proper alignment of your feet. Many people spend all day in cramped shoes that actually change the shape of your foot. This is one of the primary causes of foot pain as we get older. Toe spacers, like those at Correct Toes, are a natural way to restore proper alignment of our feet and begin building proper support for our feet.
Next, we need to shift your focus to building STRONG feet. Your feet should be strong enough to support Spending all day in cramped shoes or relying on custom orthotics creates WEAK feet. Toe yoga, is a great way to regain control of your feet and begin to strengthen the small, intrinsic muscles of your feet for more natural support.
Lastly, we need to buil full body strength. Foot pain is rarely just a foot issue. Weakness in your hips can cause your foot to roll inward contributing to foot problems. Building strength, and improving control of the entire low extremity limits impact on your feet so you experience less foot pain.
Toe Taps, are one of my favorite entry level exercise to improve foot and hip strength as well as build balance and strength in the entire leg.
So to answer the question, ‘do custom orthotics really work?’ They provide temporary relief to help you get through your day. But ignoring the alignment and strength issues that cause your foot pain almost guarantees that your foot pain will be a problem for a much longer time.
For the last 10 years I’ve been helping adults learn to solve chronic joint pain and maintain their lifestyle as they get older. I’ve put together a free, step-by-step program to help you get started treating your joint pain from home. Download your free copy of ‘Solving Pain With Strength’ at the link below.