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Do I Need Orthotics

February 5, 2024

Do I need Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts added inside shoes to support the foot’s natural structure. They help in the treatment of foot, lower leg, hip and back pain. Whether you need orthotics are not depends on a few factors – firstly, let’s take a look at what type of foot you have:

     1. Neutral

A neutral foot type is where the arch is neither too high nor too flat.

     2. Pronated

A pronated foot is one where the arch has fallen. Some people have only a mildly pronated foot and don’t have any issues, some have a completely ‘flat foot’.

The problem with either one or both feet being pronated is that it is not always an isolated problem with the arch. There is a multitude of things that could be going on with your body here. For example it might just look like the arch is fallen because the entire leg is rotated inwards.

     3. Supinated

A supinated foot is where the foot has high arches. Less common than the pronated foot, it is usually considered an ‘inflexible foot’ i.e the arch is fixed in that position. It doesn’t tend to be from other tricks like your hips being rotated inwards as in our pronated foot example.


Is my foot position causing pain?  


It could be. First of all do you have pain? If you’re reading this because you have a pronated or supinated foot but you’re not suffering from any pain than the good news is that you probably don’t need orthotics! At most, you need to look at your shoe type and if you are not getting enough cushioning from it you can add a light support.


If you are having pain anywhere from the spine downwards orthotics may help. The reason is that if you have pronated or supinated feet, this causes malalignment through the rest of the body, putting extra pressures on certain areas. Custom orthotics can help restore this alignment.


Where do I get orthotics?


You can buy ‘off the shelf’ orthotics at most pharmacies and shoe stores. The problem is that, every person’s foot is different and unique, like a fingerprint. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to supportive insoles. That’s why at ReBalance Physiotherapy we take a mould of your foot and specific measurements that are used to make your custom orthotics. Please call us at 01 441 0100 if you would like any more information.