Foot orthotics are used for many different foot and lower limb problems such as the conditions of plantar fasciitis and posterior tibial tendon dysfunction and biomechanical abnormalities such as forefoot varus and forefoot supinatus. For example they are generally designed to do a number of things:
- to remove weight off a painful area
- to support the arch of the foot
- to change alignment of the foot
- to limit overpronation
What type do you need?
There are many different types of foot orthotics and many different types of materials.You need the one the meets the desired aims in what it is trying to achieve. For some that may mean custom made; for others the prefabricated over-the-counter ones will be just fine. It will all depend on the foot type, foot alignment, the nature of the problem, the purpose of the device, footwear used and many other things. A one-size-fits all over-the-counter device is not going to meet all those requirements except by luck.
Soft or Rigid?
Again, its not a simple choice. You need what you need. A soft device will not help anyone if the supination resistance is high.
What happens if they do not work?
If you have had foot orthotics and they have not helped, then consider this:
- they were never indicated in the first place
- they are of the wrong type with the wrong design features
- they actually worked, but you are having problems for other reasons
A final word:
And most important, do not listen to the nonsense that foot orthotics weaken muscles. They don’t.