Can Orthotics Help You with Pain?
Orthotics are specialized devices like shoe inserts, knee braces or ankle braces that are designed to support your bone and muscle health. The most commonly used orthotics are shoe inserts that improve foot and ankle health.
True foot orthotics can’t be bought in a shoe store. These customized shoe inserts, available from physical therapists, podiatrists or other healthcare providers, need to be specially designed for your feet and even some shoes.
What do orthotics do?
Orthotics, which can be soft or rigid, are inserted into your shoe. They are designed to hold your foot in a certain position as you walk or run. By ensuring your foot is in the right position, they help stabilize your feet and ankles. They may reduce your risk of injury and relieve foot pain.
Orthotics can support just the heel or the entire foot. They can be made to fit into specific shoes, like track cleats, or be easily moved between different types of shoes. You may need to replace your orthotics every six months or so, depending on how often you use them.
Are orthotics right for me?
You may benefit from orthotics if you have one of the following conditions:
- Calluses or corns
- Hammer or claw toe
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- IT Band syndrome
- Patella tendonitis
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome
- Shin splints
These conditions often cause foot pain. You may also benefit from orthotics if you experience problems such as:
- Abnormal shoe wear (one side of the sole wears out faster than the other)
- Chronic heel, knee or low back pain
- Flat feet
- Frequent ankle injuries
- Gait abnormalities
- High arches
How can I get orthotics?
To receive customized orthotics, you’ll need to undergo an evaluation with someone trained to provide orthotics, such as a physical therapist. You may need to get your foot measured as well as a gait analysis completed. The orthotics should be designed to handle your specific diagnosis or problem.
Your doctor may write a prescription for orthotics, which may make them more affordable. However, you don’t need a prescription for orthotics.
At Bon Secours, our expert physical therapists provide custom orthotics for people with foot pain as well as athletes. Learn more about our orthotics services.