Why are we spending so much on Orthotics?

Back to school this week for many of our patients and parents!

A new school year often means new stationary, new uniform and new shoes! Which got us thinking about a trend we saw this summer. Perhaps it was due to more people running, or perhaps it was coincidental – but SO many people have been asking us the question:

‘Do you think I need insoles or orthotics?’

Now I know they benefit a lot of people. However, for the majority of people, changing the weight bearing surface of the foot means a change in ‘load’ on other joints. A large percentage of people who begin using orthotics report pain in other joints shortly after using them. So they might have fixed one problem, but caused a new one! This doesn’t make sense to me!

If you think about it, if you start getting pain in your 40s or 50s because of the way your foot is – why haven’t you had pain before? To me, it is far more likely you have changed something – whether that be a change in training or you are walking differently due to a weakness or injury somewhere else. 

What’s more – some of these orthotics and insoles cost thousands of pounds! I have an alternative idea:

1/ If you start getting pain, try to think about something that might have changed in the past few months. Have you bought new shoes? Have you changed how you train? Or have you been walking more?

2/ Consult with a physiotherapist first to establish any underlying weaknesses or injuries that may be contributing to your pain.

3/ If there is nothing picked up by the physiotherapist, why not try a cheaper set of generic insoles? You can pick these up at around £20 from pharmacies or online.

4/ IF those insoles have helped, then perhaps insoles or orthotics are for you. Seek out a great podiatrist to help fit them for you rather than the running shop. These guys are specialists in feet! 

Sorry for the slight rant! 

If you have been getting heel pain, foot pain, knee or hip pain – why not speak to one of our experts to see if we can help you before you invest a lot of money into something you may not need. 

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