Ask A Pro

Q

I have been having trouble with my knees. I have heard that my feet could be the problem and that orthotics may help. What are foot orthotics and for what conditions are they used?

 
A

A foot orthotic is a custom made device placed in the shoe to either support the foot or correct abnormal foot mechanics. In most cases, these are structural in origin, and cannot be actually corrected but rather are accommodated. Orthotics do not correct the anatomical sources of malalignments, but accommodate for the structural deformity in order to improve function. To achieve balance of a malaligned foot, additional material, called a post, is added at selected locations on the insole intended to support or to control movement. Through this buildup, the ground is essentially brought up to the bottom surface of the foot, thereby limiting or controlling excessive movement. There are several diagnosis and symptoms that may respond to orthotic intervention. Among them are: plantar fasciitis – pain along the bottom of the foot or heel, tarsal tunnel syndrome – numbness in the toes, ankle sprains, shin splints – pain along the anterior shin, achilles tendonitis, patella femoral syndrome – anterior knee pain, trochanteric bursitis – hip pain, iliotibial band syndrome, back pain, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Consult a Physical Therapist for an evaluation to determine if foot orthotics can help improve your knee pain.

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