Orthotics: Are They Worth The Hype?

What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are a medical device usually in the form of a supportive insert customized to fit in an individual’s shoes in order to help alleviate discomfort or fatigue from an underlying foot condition.

When should Orthotics be used?

When looking at the underlying research, the use of orthotics is supported for the use in only certain foot and ankle conditions such as high arches (“pes cavus”), diabetes and “hallux valgus” (condition where the big toe points in toward other toes). Other conditions where orthotics can help include low arches (“pes planus”), plantar fasciitis, arthritis, metatarsalgia, and sesamoiditis.

Most of these conditions require only temporary treatment with an orthotic to help with acute pain unless the underlying change in anatomy is irreversible.

Often these conditions are best treated through careful assessment as to why the tissues are inflamed or why there is abnormal stress being placed against certain joints, tendons, ligaments, or muscles.

Orthotics are often marketed as a solution to correct posture, walking pattern and mechanics of movement. However, this line of thought often misguides patients away from the root cause of their underlying movement issue.

How are Orthotics customized to me?

An assessment is performed by a health care professional along with a scan of your foot and sent to a company where a certified Pedorthist (professional who specializes in orthotics) will build and tailor your orthotic to your foot.

Does Ignite Health offer assessments for Orthotics?

Yes, we offer assessments and dispensing of orthotic devices but only if the diagnosis supports the use of these devices.

Every effort will be made to find the root cause of the condition and correct the issue though improvement in joint function and exercise. In some circumstances an orthotic may be the best solution at least in the short term to treat the condition.