Are Orthotics Worth It?

Orthotics are fantastic; they can ease pain and prevent it before it occurs and make your day-to-day life much more comfortable so the simple answer is yes! Orthotics are definitely worth it. Orthotics have been used successfully to treat a whole variety of foot problems and improve comfort for centuries now; the theory and practice, much like everything else, have evolved and revolutionised, but the idea is still the same. Originally made with metal, orthotics have improved over time to better your comfort and, more specifically, target the exact cause of your pain. Orthotics are now made of durable and custom-designed and shaped, 3D-printed plastics. 

What conditions can orthotics be used to treat? 

As mentioned previously, orthotics are fantastic! They can be used to treat a whole host of foot problems, depending on the type of orthotic that you have. Custom-made orthotics are most often given following a full biomechanical examination with a podiatrist and are the best orthotics to treat certain foot conditions. Custom-designed orthotics can treat conditions such as:

It’s important to note that in most cases, orthotics will not be a stand-alone solution to your foot problems. Orthotics are best used in conjunction with other foot treatments, therapies and exercises. 

What are the different types of orthotics?

There are two main types of devices that people know as orthotics. The first is not actually an orthotic, but rather a traditional shoe insert, which can be purchased at most pharmacies and supermarkets. This type of shoe insert will likely be able to provide some extra comfort to your shoes and has the potential to ease the pain caused by some foot conditions; however, they are by no means the best as they are not specifically designed to treat your foot condition. 

The second is a fully customised and designed shoe insert, prescribed or supplied by a podiatrist following a full biomechanical, lower limb and gait analysis. This type of analysis will fully examine your foot and lower limbs, how they function while moving and stationary, as well as how well they function with one another. It will allow your podiatrist to identify any abnormalities and design the orthotic device to provide support and prevent that issue. 

Commonly asked questions about orthotics

Do orthotics work for flat feet?

Orthotics can help flat feet. Orthotics can ease the tension caused by many foot abnormalities or deformities and support the ankle where needed. Orthotics can also help with back pain, high arches, arthritis, hammer toes and heel spurs. 

Are there three types of orthotics?

Soft, rigid and semi-rigid are three of the most common types of orthotics used today, providing slightly different benefits. Soft orthotics provide extra cushioning and shock absorption when the foot is placed on the ground in movement. Semi-rigid orthotics provide a good balance between cushioning and stability (this is why they’re commonly used with flat feet). Rigid orthotics offer large amounts of stability and prevent unwanted movement. 

Are orthotics and arch supports the same thing?

While they are both similar, as they will be placed in your shoes, they are not the same thing. Orthotics are specifically designed and fitted to your feet, while arch supports are similar to shoe inserts and provide little more than comfort. 

If you feel like you could benefit from orthotics or have any other questions about how they could help you, contact us! We are happy to answer any other questions you may have. 

*This blog contains general information about medical conditions and is not advice. You must not rely upon the information in this blog as medical advice. Medical advice should always be sought from an appropriately qualified podiatrist such as ourselves.