The Ins & Outs of Orthotics

How do I know if I should be using Orthotics?

Did you know, you don’t have to be experiencing any pain to be using orthotics! Nor do you need to have ‘flat feet’ to be using orthoses. Let’s talk about overload….

The load transferred through your feet changes with activity and foot type. For some people, the load can be excessive in one area. If you overload a structure in your foot, this causes stress that the foot cannot withstand. Over an extended period of time, this is likely to result in an overuse injury. Often people will consider investing in orthotics when they experience pain or injury. It is important to use orthoses for preventative measures if you are overloading a structure. The over-pronator (commonly known as ‘flat foot’) has been found to make up approximately 60% of the population, while over-supinators (typically a higher arch profile), are not as common.  Evidence finds that supinators and over-pronators are more at risk of developing foot symptoms and this is one reason they are common candidates for orthoses use.

What do orthotics do?

Orthotics have many benefits inclusive of:

  • Decreasing pain
  • Prevent or decrease progression of deformity
  • Assist to form a more functional foot
  • Decrease pressure areas / reduce overload
  • Offload muscles, tendons and bones
  • Assist prevention of injury
  • Provide support and stability
  • Realign the foot and skeletal position
  • Reduce corn, callus and ulcer formation


Which orthotic do I need?

There are many types of orthotics and innersole, particularly in the chemist! It is always best to have your foot posture and walking pattern assessed properly and according to your activity needs. This biomechanical assessment formulates the type of orthotic you require, whether this is a device “off the shelf” or more customised to your personal needs. Many people invest in gel innersoles as they feel comfortable and cushioned under one’s feet.  Gel is not designed to support your foot and does not reduce stress, nor change your loading pattern. We use video gait technology to assess your gait pattern and any footwear that you use. Footwear can alter your gait and biomechanics significantly and you can look completely different in bare-feet! For any queries, book an appointment for a personalized assessment and understanding of what your feet are doing. We will chat about footwear recommendations, clarify questions and make suggestions if an orthoses is thought to be to your benefit.

(Image sourced: Sole Integrity, 27 April 2021)

(Image sourced: Kintec, 28 April 2021)




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