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What are Foot Orthotics?

Foot orthotics also known as orthoses are specially designed supportive shoe inserts worn against the foot to relieve pain, provide protection, and treat foot or ankle deformities. They are available in multiple sizes and shapes to deliver prescription-based foot correction or may be custom-made with the help of a plaster cast or computer-aided 3D imaging of the foot.

Indications for Foot Orthotics

Foot orthotics can be used to treat:

  • Foot ulceration
  • Heel pain
  • Charcot foot
  • Hallux rigidus
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Clubfoot
  • Corns and calluses
  • Tendonitis
  • Bunions
  • Bursitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Foot orthotics can also help in the treatment of knee, hip, and back pain 

Types of Foot Orthotics

Foot orthotics are mainly classified into three categories:

  • Rigid: These help improve foot form and function.
  • Semi-rigid: These provide support and improve balance with movement such as when walking and participating in sports.
  • Soft: These have shock-absorbing properties and are used to relieve pain due to foot deformities and arthritis, and to help heal corns, calluses, or diabetic ulcers.

How Does Foot Orthotics Work?

Foot orthotics are prescribed medical devices to control biomechanical foot problems. They can improve heel posture, provide arch support while standing and walking, relieve pain and improve healing of soft tissue injuries by offloading or redistributing the weight of the body. Your doctor will mostly recommend orthotics in conjugation with other treatment methods and physical therapy.

  • American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
  • American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery
  • Sky Ridge Medical Center