Why Doctors Recommend It?
Orthotics are orthopedic devices made of lightweight materials that range in complexity from simple shoe inserts that are bought over-the-counter to custom-made pieces that require impressions, casting, and computer technology to create. The two should not be confused with each other because there is a great difference in effectiveness and quality. The “one-size-fits-all” orthotics cost less but are told that they won’t fix the problem and that they will do more harm than good.
It’s told that the purpose of orthotics is to permit the healing of various foot conditions such as Achilles Tendonitis, Bunions, Plantar Fasciitis, and Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. The list is endless for the ailments that orthotics say they can treat.
Doctors tell you that they help restore your ability to walk, run and jump by reducing pain and swelling, and they increase the stability of unstable joints and provide better arch support. They also ease problems in other parts of the body, such as the back and hips. A major talking point is aligning and supporting the body properly and to help prevent foot deformities.
There are two general categories for orthotics. There are functional orthotics and accommodative orthotics.
Functional orthotics are designed to support abnormal foot biomechanics. They are usually made of materials such as plastic polymer and are good for reducing foot pronation. They also help with shock absorption while you are walking or in motion. Functional orthotics are used to correct various foot deformities while supporting the rear foot and the mid-foot regions.
Accommodative orthotics examples are braces, splints, casts, gait plates, and night bars. These types of orthotics can be used by anyone, and are told that they can relieve mild foot pain and correct minor foot problems.
Why Is This Bad?
Orthotics can be extremely beneficial in certain circumstances and should not be abused by practitioners who prey on uneducated patients in regards to how effective orthotics are, and why they should be used. Using an orthotic fix a foot deformity is a great example of how foot orthotics can be effective.
Shoe inserts or orthotics may be helpful as a short-term solution, preventing injuries in some athletes. But it is not clear how to make inserts that work. The idea that they are supposed to correct mechanical-alignment problems does not hold up.