The truth about Orthotics – Do you really need them?

by | Nov 20, 2023

The truth about Orthotics- Do you really need them?

Do you have foot pain?

Have you read about orthotics and wondered if they are just a gimmick or do they really help?

Have you wondered WHO is the best person to talk to if you do want orthotics?

And finally – do you wonder if your insurance will cover the cost of your orthotics?

Well let’s jump in!!!

Majority of Foot problems are caused by: Lack of proper care, ill-fitting shoes and general foot neglect.

It’s important to understand your feet have a direct impact on the rest of your body and support you with each step.  A small abnormality in foot function can have a large impact on joints higher up in the body, causing pain and discomfort.

When you are running, the pressure on your feet can be three or four times your body weight. Even walking can produce more pressure than the sum of your body weight. The American Podiatric Medical Association says that the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. That adds up to about 115,000 miles in a lifetime or more than four times the circumference of the globe. That is a lot of walking with ill-fitting shoes or painful feet!!

In some cases foot problems  can be an early signal of more serious medical problems like arthritis or diabetes.Women have four times as many foot problems as men because they have a long history of wearing high heels and/or pointy toe shoes.

Orthotics and proper shoe fit are very important aspects of foot health.

Remember if you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your ankles, knees, hip joints or back….the direct cause may be the function of your feet or ill-fitting shoes.

What are Orthotics?

If you look at any shoe that you have and pull out the bottom layer this is called an insole

So What?

Well this thin insole is basically the only thing that lies between your feet and the ground. With every step your feet are pushing down on the ground and the ground is pushing back!!

An orthotic is a customized insole that is created specifically for YOUR foot – to give support, take off pressure, prevent further injury and help absorb all the pressure from each step you take.

The truth about Orthotics - Do you really need them?

Foot Facts

People punish their feet daily by wearing ill fitting shoes or by walking around on feet that do not function properly. Educate yourself and start improving the health of your feet.

1: 25% of the bones in the body are in your feet.

Your feet are a complex system of 52 bones, 66 joints, 214 ligaments, 38 muscles and tendons. It is no wonder that 75% of North Americans will experience foot health problems of varying degrees, at some point in their lives. You could be walking in comfort with professionally fitted custom orthotics.

2: The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day.

Your feet have an important job; they carry you throughout the day, with every step making an impact on your body. If your foot functions improperly it will have an effect on joints higher up the kinetic chain (your ankle, knee, hip and spine). This may result in pain or discomfort. Most individuals will seek out medical attention for the symptoms they are experiencing in their joints, but do not realize the source of their pain is their feet.

3: The right running shoe for you…

If you are active, it is important that you select the right athletic shoe for your sport and for your foot type.With so many choices on the market, you should consult an expert for the best brand and model for your particular foot each time you buy.

4: 60-70% of People with Diabetes have Mild to Severe 

Forms of Nerve Damage, Often  Impairing the 

Sensation of the Feet

Foot disease is one of the complications of diabetes. Severe nerve damage in the feet can lead to ulceration and often lower extremity amputations. Early prevention and treatment of foot disease can be managed by effective foot care practices. These practices include: diagnosis of high pressure areas on the diabetic foot and treatment with properly fitted orthotics or footwear.

5: Many Foot Conditions (Bunions, Calluses, Corns, etc. 

Are Caused by Ill Fitting Shoes

Most individuals buy shoes that do not properly fit their feet and that tend to aggravate foot ailments.  When shopping for shoes make sure you go in the afternoon – your feet swell during the day.  Also bring the proper socks for the style of shoe you will be buying, and if applicable, bring your custom orthotics.  Shoe sizes vary based on the shoe make and style – do not always assume you will be the same size every time.

Do Orthotics Really work?

Just as not everyone needs to wear eyeglasses, not everyone needs to wear orthotics!
But if you do have foot pain, knee pain and even back pain then MAYBE orthotics may help.
Not every foot is made the same – in fact sometimes our own feet are slightly different!
Some feet are physically made to have a high arch or a low arch.
Some feet need special care to prevent infection (diabetic feet) or further injury.

Achieving the proper fit:

  • The toe box should have a ton of room; make sure you can wiggle your toes
  • Ensure the width fits properly (your forefoot should never be wider than the shoe)
  • Your heel should be stable within the heel counter
  • The shoes should feel comfortable the moment you try them on

Who is the best person to talk to about orthotics?

If you have a thorough physical examination by an experienced Chiropractor or Physiotherapist you can find out:
  • If you have any issues with your bones, muscles
  • If you have any other conditions that could be affecting how you walk 
Then, your Chiropractor/Physiotherapist will be able to advise you if he/she thinks orthotics may be helpful in your specific case.
You can have special testing of your walking – one way is using computer scans – then your Chiropractor/Physiotherapist will go over the test to look at how your feet are functioning.

Frequently Asked Questions About Orthotics:

1. Is the cost of ORTHOTICS covered by my insurance?

Good question!!

Yes some insurance companies do cover the cost of orthotics.

Make sure you check on the following:

  1. Do you need a doctor’s prescription?
  2. Do you have an annual amount/date for ordering?
  3. Who is able to measure and dispense?

Certain jobs that require a lot of standing or walking often have insurance coverage as they know the demands that are being placed on the body.

2. What are the benefits of Orthotics?

If you want to know about a possible way to get rid of your foot, knee, back pain.

If you want to prevent future injuries or worsening pain.

If you want to lead an active healthy lifestyle

Just call to make a complimentary 15 minute consultation with one of our experienced Chiropractors or Physiotherapists. 

3. Does it matter which shoe I put the orthotics into? 

Orthotics are most effective in shoes that are constructed well, fit properly and are in good condition. It is best to bring in your shoes when your health care practitioner is fitting you for orthotics. Knowing the type of footwear you wear the most will help your practitioner prescribe the right style of orthotics for your lifestyle. It is quite normal for some practitioners to prescribe two pairs of orthotics to patients (ie. Dress and Sport). When shopping for new shoes, it is also best to bring your orthotics with you for fitting purposes.

ABOUT 16th Ave Chiropractic and Physiotherapy

You have your own personal goals. Maybe you want to return to sport, work, recover from surgery or get ready for a vacation. After 40 years in Richmond Hill our highly trained and experienced chiropractors and physiotherapists know what treatment/exercises you need to help you reach your goals.
Learn More

Make an appointment by calling us or emailing and talk about how we can help you.

Call us at 905-709-7147 or email us at info@chirophysio16th.com