Do Orthotics Help Flat Feet

Mar 13, 2024

Flat feet is a relatively common issue and while some people with flat feet experience no issues, others may encounter pain, discomfort, and balance problems. If you're a busy and active individual who spends a lot of time on your feet, these symptoms can be especially problematic. One potential solution to alleviate these issues is orthotics.

To learn more about flat feet, check out our post explaining the causes of flat feet here.

Do Orthotics Help Flat Feet?

Orthotics work by supporting the arch and redistributing pressure across your feet more evenly. This helps alleviate the pain and discomfort often associated with flat feet. The design of orthotics also encourages better foot alignment, which can reduce strain on your feet and lower body.

There's solid evidence to support the effectiveness of orthotics for flat feet. A comprehensive review of studies published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research found that orthotics significantly improve foot function in people with flat feet.

What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are devices worn inside your shoes to correct biomechanical foot issues such as problems with how you walk, stand, or run. They can also help with foot pain caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, and arthritis.

There are two main types of orthotics: custom-made and over-the-counter. Custom orthotics are designed specifically for your feet based on a podiatrist's prescription, while over-the-counter orthotics are mass-produced and can be purchased without a prescription.

How custom orthotics can help flat feet

Custom orthotics can help flat feet by providing personalised support that is tailored to the specific needs of your feet.

This individualised approach can address alignment issues and prevent knee or ankle pain associated with flat feet, potentially negating the need for surgical intervention. While off-the-shelf orthotics are available, they may not offer the same level of support as custom-made ones and could exacerbate existing problems.

A good podiatrist will take a comprehensive approach to fitting you with orthotics, taking into account your medical history, current concerns, and physical examination results. By identifying the root causes of any issues you may be experiencing, they'll be able to fit you with custom orthotics that dramatically improve your discomfort.

Using custom orthotics can lead to reduced pain and discomfort caused by flat feet, as well as improved balance and stability throughout the day. These specialised inserts also enhance comfort during prolonged periods of standing or walking, allowing you to stay on your feet without experiencing fatigue or strain. With proper support from custom orthotics, individuals with flat feet can enjoy increased mobility and overall foot health.

When deciding on orthotics, consider the type of activity you'll be doing, the severity of your flat feet, and what feels most comfortable to you.

If you're an active individual who's on their feet all day, for example, you might need a different type of orthotic than someone who spends more time sitting. Make sure you raise this with your podiatrist if you are getting custom orthotics.

It's also crucial to seek professional advice when choosing orthotics. A podiatrist can examine your feet and gait to determine which type of orthotic will provide the most benefit.

Custom Orthotics vs. Store-Bought Orthotics

You can find shoe inserts and insoles in almost any drugstore, and many packages claim these inserts are orthotics. But while these over-the-counter solutions can provide some cushioning and arch support, they lack the advanced technology required for significant pain relief.

Choosing custom orthotics ensures you get inserts that address the root cause of your pain. They fit your feet perfectly, and many people find them more effective and more durable than store-bought options.

FAQs On Orthotics

Q: Can I wear orthotics all day?

A: Yes, you can wear orthotics throughout the day. However, it's recommended to gradually increase your wear time over a few weeks to let your body adjust.

Q: Are custom orthotics worth it?

A: Custom orthotics often provide more effective relief than over-the-counter options. They are specifically designed for your feet, providing superior comfort and durability.

Q: Can orthotics be worn with any shoe?

A: Although most orthotics are designed to fit in a variety of shoe types, some shoes may not accommodate them well. It's best to try orthotics with different shoes to ensure a good fit.

Remember, while orthotics can provide substantial relief for flat feet, they should be part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include exercises, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.

Final Words

In conclusion, orthotics offer numerous benefits for individuals with flat feet, including reduced pain and discomfort, improved balance, and enhanced comfort during prolonged standing or walking. If you're a busy individual who spends a lot of time on your feet, orthotics could be the solution you're looking for to manage your flat feet.

Don't hesitate to reach out to a podiatrist who can guide you in choosing the right orthotics for your needs.

About Dan Everson Podiatry

We are a team of experienced podiatrists on the Sunshine Coast with clinics in Caloundra, Taringa, Deception Bay, Maroochydore, Nambour, Mapleton, Golden Beach and Noosa. If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment at one of our podiatry clinics, then simply contact us today.