Custom orthotics can improve the quality of life for many different types of people of varying ages, activity levels and health. However, they are often not utilized by those who could benefit from them because they believe one of the following “myths” or aren’t aware that custom orthotics could benefit their lives or relieve pain. Maybe you have heard some of the following myths about orthotics
1. If you have good shoes you don’t need orthotics
No matter how good quality your shoes are they are not custom made for your feet. The insoles are mass produced for everyone and do not correct any of your individual foot mechanic issues. Custom orthotics correct the mechanics of your feet by ensuring that the right muscles are used at the right time in order to reduce unnecessary stresses and strains on your body. The insoles that come with your footwear usually can be removed easily and can then replaced with your custom orthotics.
2. “Old People” wear orthotics
Many people think that only “old people” can benefit from custom orthotics or that they are clunky and need to be worn with orthopaedic shoes. While it is true that older people are more prone to problems with looser ligaments and tendons there are certainly some younger people who have issues as well depending on their lifestyle and activity levels. In addition, having the extra support can only impact you positively.
3. Wearing orthotics will weaken your feet
Orthotics do not act as a crutch or a brace. This is simply just not true. They provide support to key areas of the feet that need support while allowing the feet to function closer to normal. Feet that are in a poor mechanical position will have compromised muscle function and therefore an overall weakening of core muscle groups through the feet. By returning to a closer to normal foot function with custom orthotics we actually improve muscle function and the muscles will continue to strengthen themselves.
4. You don’t need orthotics if you don’t have foot pain
If pain or discomfort occurs in another area of the body including your ankle, knee, hip, low back and neck, custom orthotics may bring relief by correcting your specific foot imbalance and reducing overall strain. Foot pain sufferers are not the only ones who can benefit from custom orthotics. Even if your feet don’t hurt, they may not be optimally aligned and may be contributing to overall postural imbalance since your feet are the base of support for your entire skeleton. If the imbalances continue, future problems may ensue.
5. Only athletes need to wear orthotics
Because athletes feet and joints endure more load and impact than non athletes it’s even more crucial that their bodies are mechanically aligned. The more aligned they are, the less likely they will develop overuse injuries. However, even a non athlete may take up to 10000 steps a day and those who have standing jobs even more. A significant amount of foot injuries can be connected to the amount of time a person simply stands during the day. Having support for all those steps will certainly avoid future joint and back problems.
6. I can just buy arch supports at the drug store for much less
Similar to point 1, the arch supports at the drug store are mass produced for millions of people. However, no two feet are alike. For that reason, custom orthotics are created from precise imprints of your feet to fit each of your individual feet very much like prescription eye glasses are customized for the individual wearer. Bonus: many insurance companies will cover the cost of custom fit orthotics!
If you have any questions on how custom orthotics might benefit you, please contact Dr Mann for a consultation.