Modern Medicine

Orthotics Explained: Who Needs Them and How They Can Help

by | Nov 26, 2023

Imagine your body as a complex machine, with each part playing a vital role in its smooth operation. Your feet, often overlooked, are like the foundation of this machine. If they don’t function correctly, it can lead to a cascade of problems throughout your body. 

This is where orthotics come into play. To help you understand this better, we will explore what orthotics are, who might benefit from them, and how they can make a difference in your life.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are medical devices designed to support and improve the functioning of your feet, which, in turn, can alleviate various problems affecting the rest of your body. 

These podiatry devices are typically inserted into your shoes to correct abnormal or irregular walking patterns. They can be made from various materials, including foam, gel, or rigid plastic, depending on the specific needs of the patient.

Who Needs Orthotics?

Orthotics can be beneficial in addressing a variety of conditions and concerns related to foot health. They offer relief from foot pain associated with conditions like plantar fasciitis, bunions, or flat feet, providing support and cushioning to reduce discomfort and inflammation. 

Furthermore, orthotics can be a valuable tool for individuals with arthritis in their feet, as they help redistribute pressure, reduce pain, and prevent further joint damage. Athletes often find orthotics to be beneficial in enhancing their performance and minimising the risk of sports-related injuries. Custom-made orthotics can correct gait abnormalities and provide stability. 

Moreover, individuals with diabetes, who are susceptible to foot complications due to poor circulation and nerve damage, can rely on orthotics to prevent ulcers and offer extra cushioning for foot protection. Orthotic inserts are also useful in relieving the pain associated with plantar fasciitis by supporting the arch and alleviating strain on the plantar fascia. 

Additionally, children with foot deformities, such as flat feet, can benefit from orthotics to correct their gait and support healthy foot development. In cases where there is a leg length discrepancy, orthotics can address this issue by compensating for the imbalance. 

Lastly, orthotics can play a role in improving posture, as many posture problems can be linked to issues with the feet. By helping align the body correctly, orthotics contribute to better posture and overall comfort.

How Orthotics Can Help

Now that we’ve discussed who may benefit from orthotics, let’s delve into how these devices can make a significant difference in your life:

  • Pain Minimisation: Orthotics may provide relief from chronic foot, knee, hip, and lower back pain. By correcting the way you walk or stand, they can reduce the stress on your joints and muscles.
  • Improved Mobility: If you’ve been struggling with mobility issues due to pain or discomfort, orthotics can help you move more comfortably. This is particularly valuable for athletes or people who need to stay active.
  • Prevention of Injuries: For athletes and active individuals, orthotics can reduce the risk of injuries by improving biomechanical alignment and providing better shock absorption.
  • Enhanced Sports Performance: Athletes can benefit from custom orthotics that are tailored to their unique needs. These may optimise performance by ensuring the most efficient foot function during sports and physical activities.
  • Alignment and Balance: Orthotics can help correct alignment issues, ensuring that your body weight is distributed evenly, promoting better balance and preventing falls.
  • Support During Healing: If you’ve suffered a foot injury or undergone surgery, orthotics can provide support and protection during the healing process, allowing for a smoother and faster recovery.

Types of Orthotics

There are various types of orthotics available to address different needs. The two primary categories are:

  • Custom Orthotics: These are specially designed for an individual’s unique foot shape and walking pattern. Custom orthotics offer the most precise and personalised support. To obtain custom orthotics, a healthcare provider will perform a thorough assessment and take impressions of your feet.
  • Over-the-Counter (OTC) Orthotics: OTC orthotics are pre-made and available in stores without a prescription. They are more affordable and can be a good starting point for those with mild foot issues. However, they may not provide the same level of support and customisation as custom orthotics.

It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional to determine which type of orthotic is best for your specific needs.

Leverage Orthotic Support for Your Feet

Today, orthotics are valuable tools that can provide relief from various foot-related issues, improve mobility, and enhance your overall quality of life. Whether you suffer from chronic foot pain, arthritis, sports injuries, or posture problems, orthotics can make a significant difference. Remember to consult a healthcare professional to determine the best type of orthotic for your needs.

If you’re interested in exploring the benefits of orthotics or need guidance on your specific foot concerns, Modern Medicine is here to help. Our experienced team of healthcare providers can assess your condition and recommend suitable orthotic solutions. 


Sam Balson Modern Medicine

Sam Balson


Sam Balson, Clinical Myotherapist and Director at Modern Medicine, combines his ballet background with expertise in injury rehab and pain management. His dance injuries fuel his passion for helping others achieve pain-free lives.

Sam’s multidisciplinary approach at Modern Medicine prioritises exceptional care and strong client relationships, setting new standards in healthcare.

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