Do Orthotics or Insoles Actually Work?
Getting Rid Of Foot Pain
One of the most common reasons for foot pain is called Plantar Fasciitis. According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), it affects 2 million Americans a year and about 10 percent of the world population. So now you know. If you keep feeling that shooting pain on the heel of your foot, you are not alone.
The question remains, what can you do to relieve plantar fasciitis? There is a huge market devoted to the health of your feet. We want to focus on giving you practical and useful information on orthotics/insoles and give you the real answers: Do orthotics or shoe insoles actually work? Do you need to get the expensive ones for them to be effective?
Plantar fasciitis is a very common condition that includes stabbing pain across the heel. The reason for this pain is irritation, weakness and swelling in your plantar fascia. Your plantar fascia is the ligament that runs across your foot and connects your heel to your toes. One of the most indicative symptoms that you might have this condition is if the first few steps you take in the morning are really painful. You’ll feel the pain right in the heel of your foot. Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a number of reasons. Some of the most common factors attributing to this condition are having tight weak muscles, being on your feet a lot, inappropriate shoes, or even the natural alignment of your feet.
Do orthotics work?
Good news! Current evidence suggests that custom or prefabricated foot orthotics can potentially improve pain and function in patients with persistent plantar fasciitis. According to the Journal Of Sports and Physical Therapy (JOSPT), clinicians can consider custom or prefabricated foot orthosis to improve pain and function in patients with plantar fasciitis. So what does this mean? This means orthotics could work for you if they are the appropriate ones! Physical Therapists can help you evaluate if an orthotic could help your current condition as well as determine if they are the right kind of orthotic or insole.
Custom orthotics vs. over the counter?
It depends. The question can only be answered when you consider what your specific condition is and what would be best for you as anindividual. With that said, the good news is that the most expensive orthotic or insole is not necessarily what’s right for you! Studies have actually shown that less expensive over-the-counter orthotics are not necessarily worse than really expensive ones. Be sure to ask your physical therapist or orthopedist to see what they recommend. Whether it’s custom or over the counter, it’s very important that you wear only the right orthotic or insole. Be advised: using the wrong orthotic or insole might do more damage than help. You want to be sure an expert helps you find the right one.
What do orthotics do?
Orthotics are devices that are inserted inside your shoe to either provide foot support, maintain balance or correct some type of alignment. According to our trusted brand of orthotics, Aline, “Foot insoles, or orthotics, can change the foot type by putting stress on different areas, balancing it differently or working as a cushion.” Orthotics are most also most effective when used in conjunction with your physical therapy treatment. Both physical therapy and orthotics could potentially be a good non-invasive option for treating your foot injury before you decide on getting surgery.
We now know, orthotics could be beneficial as part of your plan of care to treat plantar fasciitis. Of course just getting an orthotic or insole is not the whole story. There are other factors that should be taken into consideration, such as the material orthotics are made of and the type of shoes you wear. For example, foam or gel alone won’t support alignment but firm rubber, hard plastic or leather will. You also want to make sure your shoes are able to control abnormal movement and correctly accommodate the orthotic in order for treatment to be successful.
It’s very important to make sure your condition is treated by a physical therapist or an orthopedic doctor that is experienced in treating sports and orthopedic injuries. They will not only help you find and measure an insole that is right for you but they could also help make sure you don’t spend more than you need if you do end up needing one.
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