Think Orthotic Insoles are Just for Grandma?
Orthotic insoles have had somewhat of a bad reputation. So, we’ve decided to debunk some of the common myths and misconceptions out there!
Orthotics insoles are basically a slimline medical brace that’s discretely inserted into your shoe to support and improve foot function.
Orthotic insoles are helpful for certain foot conditions and anatomies. However, only when you wear them will they help the root-cause of your particular problem. Unfortunately, they don’t work by magic if left in a drawer or bottom of your sports bag!
Let’s get myth busting…
Orthotic insoles are only for ‘old people’!
Busted: Orthotics are not just for ‘old people’ or those who must wear ‘ugly’ orthopaedic shoes.
Regardless of age, foot problems can affect anyone. Painful arches, heel pain, bunions, callouses are but a few. Pain related conditions such as arthritis or diabetes can affect anyone. Such conditions will benefit from Orthotic insoles.
Prevention and treatment of conditions for children and teenagers, as well as adults and seniors utilise Orthotic insoles. In fact, early treatment might keep any problems from getting worse.
And you don’t have to compromise on shoes either!
New or existing footwear can be discretely fitted with bespoke Orthotic insoles. This may also include fashionable footwear. However it is important to wear appropriate footwear.
A shoe acts as a foundation for the foot and provides a stable base for an orthotic to sit on. Therefore, flat ballet pumps for example would not work well with orthotics. However, that doesn’t sentence you to unfashionable shoes. There are plenty of options out there for stylish shoes that will take an Orthotic insole.
Tip: Always remember to take you orthotics with you when you go to buy shoes. You can then make sure you get a comfortable fit and keep the orthotics discreet.
Custom prescription orthotic insoles are the same as retail store-bought shoe inserts!
Busted: Your feet are different to my feet; your particular feet problems relate to your body. So it’s important to get orthotics that are customised to treat your specific anatomy and condition.
Only a health professional such as a Podiatrist can effectively prescribe bespoke corrective orthotics. This happens only after examining your walk (gait analysis) and a biomechanical assessment of your feet and lower legs.
Manufactured from tried and tested soft foam to hard plastic materials, the prescription Orthotic provides support. It also provides cushioning in the exact proportions needed for your specific problems. Mass-produced, one-size-fits-all insoles do not meet with these exacting specifications.
Because prescription orthotic insoles change how your foot moves and functions, it is very important to get them right. By self-prescribing an off-the-shelf insert or orthotic you risk facing additional discomfort and potential damage to your feet, knees, hips and back!
Custom made Orthotic insoles are much more expensive!
Busted: Basic over-the-counter, mass produced, foot insoles are typically cheaper than custom-made foot orthotics (at first glance). However, over-the-counter foot insoles generally have a much shorter lifespan. As such, cheaper insoles may end up being more expensive over time.
Without professional help you might purchase the incorrect product or one that is ill-fitting. This could aggravate your foot condition instead of improving it.
A Biomechanical Assessment consultation with a Podiatrist for a bespoke prescription and Orthotic fitting will save you money over the long term. A good Biomechanical Assessment should occupy around 1 hour of 1-2-1 time between you and your Podiatrist.
No follow-up appointments are necessary!
Busted: Follow-up is an essential part of orthotic treatment.
After fitting your orthotics your Podiatrist will generally want to see you again after you’ve had a chance to wear them in. This check-up will confirm that everything is working as it should be.
As well as prescribing your orthotics your podiatrist should also give you a strengthening and stretching program to help with your condition. Check-ups will track your progress and make any changes to your treatment regime as required.
An annual check-up will make sure your orthotic is working over time. Should your condition change, modifications or adjustments can be made.
You need Orthotic insoles for ‘flat feet’!
Busted: Not all people with ‘flat feet’ need orthotics. Some people have naturally low arches.
Generally if your feet are pain-free then you won’t need orthotics regardless of whether you have ‘flat feet’. Your first step should be to check your shoes. Make sure you wear shoes with some structure and support to them.
You should consult with your podiatrist if you have any pain or discomfort in your feet. They will assess what the root cause of your problem is. You may need orthotics insoles, or another treatment or intervention – one that is specific to your needs.
Foot function corrections can be very effective with Orthotics. They alleviate pain and correct foot function. However, to fit with your specific anatomy and condition, they must be customised. Whether you have a low profile arch, or a high arch that has dropped whilst weight-bearing, your requirements will differ. Bespoke Orthotics will always require you to attend for a Biomechanical Assessment, which will include Posture Analysis. The Orthotic prescription should be bespoke to your foot profile, foot pathology and anatomy.