Questioning the Benefits of Custom Orthotics

Jul20th 2017

When it comes to the motivation to work out, there may be nothing more damaging than foot pain. When your feet hurt, it is like your whole body hurts. Every step is a reminder of the discomfort that you are experiencing. When other parts of your body experience pain you find ways to give them a break. You shut your eyes when your head hurts, or be extra careful with your posture when your back hurts. But when your feet hurt you don’t have a lot of options.

Staying off your feet means stepping back from your life, and for many people that really isn’t an option. What’s worse: foot pain is often chronic. This means that the discomfort is likely to linger, leaving you out of your work out game for way longer than you originally anticipated as it will likely grow more and more painful simply trying to get around the office.

To Orthotic or Not to Orthotic: The Big Question

In desperation to find relief, many people seek out support from orthotics to alleviate foot pain. Orthotics range in price and quality. While there are a handful of options that you can find at your local grocery store, others can cost hundreds of dollars and can be customized to your feet. But does shelling out the money for custom orthotics make a difference?

There is actually not a simple answer to this question. Whether or not custom orthotics will alleviate your foot pain depends a lot on the type of foot pain you have, the severity of the pain, and to a large extent your level of physical activity.

The Pros and Cons of Orthotics

The benefit of a custom orthotic is that it is developed to your particular needs. If you go to a podiatrist with foot pain as a result of fallen arches, and your podiatrist creates an orthotic for you that is designed to improve fallen arches, then that orthotic is going to help alleviate your foot pain much better than an orthotic that is designed to reduce heel pain from plantar fasciitis. The issue isn’t necessarily that one orthotic was custom made and the other was store bought. The issue instead was that the orthotics were designed with two different issues in mind.

The problem is that it is often hard to know what is causing your foot pain without going to a foot doctor. Once at the foot doctor, if your podiatrist can create an orthotic that is tailored to your needs, then that orthotic is probably going to be the best option for your pain. That isn’t to say that a non-customized orthotic wouldn’t help. But most likely the one that is designed to help you is going to be better.

So, how well do the orthotics work? The entire point of an orthotic is to alleviate pain while you are walking or running so that you are able to engage in exercise without being held back by chronic foot pain. The orthotic may not be capable of fixing the pain in your foot when you are not wearing your orthotic-laden shoes, but while the orthotics are on your feet, chances are your feet will feel better.

In the end, it is possible that using an orthotic can help you get back in action and reduce foot pain. However, that doesn’t mean that an orthotic is going to fix your problem for good. If you are dealing with ongoing foot pain, give us a call to find out how we can help you get back on your feet and feeling your best.