Foot Orthotic Myths You Should Know

October 30, 2019

Danelle Kenny (Podiatrist), now working from our Sunshine Coast clinic wants people with, or considering orthotics to know that orthotics do not need to be used long term. She often treats patients who have foot orthotics that think once you get orthotics you need to keep replacing them and using them forever. Orthotics are a lot like a splint for a sprained wrist. They immobilise movement until the area has healed and pain resolved. Most of us recognise that if we get a wrist splint it is temporary. With foot Orthotics this same message is not getting out there. Orthotics can be a costly unnecessary expense you may no longer need to make.

At the time foot orthotics first came into vogue there was also compelling evidence supporting the opposite approach. Rather than immobilise the foot even more with orthotics it supported more mobilisation, strengthening and increasing the range of movement. When we think about it, while modern shoes protect our feet they also cause problems. Our feet are mostly immobilised in our modern shoes so some of our stabilising muscles weaken. Walking barefoot is natural and engages our muscles more broadly. Elite athletes are switching back to bare feet style running shoes as they recognise the advantages when the foot muscles are all working as they should. But be cautious if you are considering it because switching from standard shoes to barefoot shoes too quickly can also create problems.   

Danelle has completed Level 2 (advanced) Foot Manipulation and Mobilisation Therapy.  This involves using chiropractic type techniques to increase the range of motion at the foot joints (by releasing soft tissue restrictions) combined with strength and conditioning techniques to increase movement and often reduce pain.  More movement may be as beneficial as splints, braces or orthotics.   Clients who have not noticed improvement with insole therapy often experience the most benefit. Foot manipulation and mobilisation also can be used in conjunction with insole therapy for faster and more durable symptom relief.

Danelle also has a Cert IV in Fitness meaning her combination of personal training and podiatry reflect in her therapeutic options for clients with musculoskeletal concerns.  She encourages clients to improve their own situation in a holistic way. If this information aligns with your difficult foot pain, perhaps an appointment with Danelle could really help.