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  • Writer's pictureDr. McHardy

What Orthotics Don’t Do

Orthotics only work when you’re wearing them.

They don’t “cure” foot problems. Orthotics can improve the pain and mechanical issues associated with flat feet, but the person will still have flat feet. They might help slow the progression of a condition such as bunions, but they won’t make the bunion go away.

Orthotics are like wearing glasses. When you wear them, they work and when you don’t wear them you cannot see as well. It doesn’t matter if you wear them for years it doesn’t fix the eyesight problem but it does make things better when you wear them. Orthotics work on the same premise. When you use them you feel better, walk straighter and feel less pain.

Drugstore products versus custom orthotics

Drugstores carry a variety of insoles and shoe inserts. They can range from simple flat foam insoles to moulded footbeds made by well-known shoe companies. Some of these are called orthotics, but obviously they are not custom-made.

All off-the-shelf products are mass-produced based on the average foot, while a custom orthotic is a precision medical device based on a particular foot and its specific mechanics.

There is a price difference, with off-the-shelf products ranging in price from less than $10 to about $65, while custom orthotics cost about $450-$500. Most insurance companies cover the cost of custom orthotics

Off-the-shelf products can provide some pain relief and work very well for some people. They won’t work with everybody. Likewise, a custom orthotic won’t work for everybody.

A consultation with a Chiropodist will answer any questions about your choice in a custom made orthotic. Not everybody needs a custom orthotic. A lot of people need something, but not necessarily a custom orthotic People who are having mechanical issues that aren’t resolving with good footwear and maybe some exercises might want to consider an orthotic.


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