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How do walking orthotics work?

   

An orthotic can be a soft or hard material (soft foam or hard plastic) which is usually inserted into the shoe to help support the foot during standing or walking.  The orthotic helps support the foot when walking by redistributing the forces the foot must experience as well as supporting its proper position in order for the foot to function properly. The orthotic should help to position the foot optimally so that it can function when hitting the ground as well as pushing off from the ground. An orthotic can be used to support a functional flatfoot (dropped arch) position, a pronated (foot is caving in) or supinated foot (high arch or positioned on the outside of the foot).  However, if the position of the foot is a structural problem i.e. ligaments of the foot are stretched out, diabetic foot, trauma sustained from accident or fall etc.), then the support of the orthotic will be very little if anything at all.

Orthotics is similar to the insoles of your shoes. They give addition support to your body when using the shoe. Orthotics may be the full length of your shoe or be the length up to the ball of your foot, mainly supporting the arch and heel. As you walk, your support will be redistributed with additional support.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.