Not everyone needs orthotics, but they can play an integral role in treating or relieving several conditions. It is best to seek advice from your podiatrist so you know what your options are.
Here's a few signs that you may want to consider orthotics for:
1. When you look at your feet do they role inwards? This may be because you have a pronated foot type/low arch profile or flatter feet. Although slight rolling of the arch is needed as an important stage of your walking, over pronating can lead or cause several different types of foot, knee and even lower back pain.
2. Are you wearing the sole out on the outside of your shoes? Are you known to roll your ankle? You may have a supinated or high arched foot type. Having this foot type does not mean you need orthotics but you are developing secondary issues to this predisposed foot positioning such as lateral ankle instability, leg length differences or even pressure on lateral borders of your feet or tips of your toes.
3. Do you have ongoing pressure areas on your feet? Annoying painful callus? Developing corns? or maybe even ulcer? Orthotics can be used to not only correct foot positions but offload areas of increased pressure.
4. Are you getting ongoing pain in your legs or have unresolved injuries causing complications? Often orthotics can be used to assist with pain reduction and alignment to alleviate these issues. More than half the time podiatrists will prescribe orthotics and unintentionally help in resolving other secondary issues such as lower back pain.
5. Do you fall a lot? Are you worried about mum or dad, nan or pop who keep hurting themself? Falls can be avoided and should be! Reducing falls in the elderly will increase their life expectancy. Orthotic devices along with footwear and exercise prescription can reduce a number of preventable falls.
Knowing when an orthotic is right for you is key. Your podiatrist will be able to do extensive assessments to assess and diagnose your individual issues or problems. So, before wondering if you need orthotics, get a bigger picture on what's going on with your body, then we can make recommendations on whether you need orthotics or not.