The Science Behind Custom Foot Orthotics.

Aug 10, 2023

The Science Behind Custom Foot Orthotics: Evidence-Based Solutions for Specific Conditions
Custom foot orthotics have gained significant attention in the field of podiatry and sports medicine. These personalized shoe inserts are designed to provide support, correct alignment, and alleviate various foot-related conditions. In this blog post, we will explore the scientific evidence supporting the use of custom foot orthotics and the specific conditions they have been proven to assist. Let’s dive in!
1. Plantar Fasciitis:
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue that connects the heel to the toes. Research suggests that custom foot orthotics can effectively reduce pain and improve function in individuals with plantar fasciitis. A study published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research found that custom orthotics significantly improved pain and disability scores in patients with plantar fasciitis (Landorf et al., 2016).
2. Flat Feet:
Flat feet, or pes planus, is a condition where the arches of the feet are lower or nonexistent. Custom foot orthotics can provide arch support and redistribute pressure, thereby reducing foot fatigue and discomfort. A systematic review published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy concluded that custom foot orthotics are an effective treatment option for individuals with flat feet, improving both pain and function (McPoil et al., 2008).
3. Overpronation:
Overpronation occurs when the foot excessively rolls inward during walking or running. This biomechanical issue can contribute to various lower limb conditions. Custom foot orthotics can help control overpronation, providing stability and reducing the risk of injuries. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine demonstrated that orthotic intervention significantly reduced the risk of overuse injuries in overpronating athletes (MacLean et al., 2009).
4. Metatarsalgia:
Metatarsalgia refers to pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. Custom foot orthotics can help alleviate pressure on the affected area and provide cushioning, reducing pain and improving function. A randomized controlled trial published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that participants with metatarsalgia experienced reduced pain and improved functional outcomes with the use of custom orthotics (Mundermann et al., 2003).
Custom foot orthotics offer evidence-based solutions for various foot conditions, providing personalized support and addressing biomechanical abnormalities. Scientific research consistently supports their effectiveness in reducing pain, improving function, and preventing injuries. However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of custom foot orthotics may vary depending on individual needs and proper fitting. Consulting with a qualified  healthcare professional is crucial to ensure optimal results.
Dr. Clive Clutton, doctor of Chiropractic offers custom foot orthotics casting.  A chiropractic assessment is required for all patients seeking orthotics.
Book with Dr. Clutton by phone or email as a new patient or online for existing patients.
1. Landorf KB, Keenan AM, Herbert RD. Effectiveness of foot orthoses to treat plantar fasciitis: a randomized trial. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research. 2016;9(1):8.
2. McPoil TG, Cornwall MW, Dupuis L, et al. Effect of using lateral wedges in rearfoot varus and rearfoot valgus classifications. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. 2008;38(3):127-134.
3. MacLean C, Davis IM, Hamill J. Influence of a custom foot orthotic intervention on lower extremity dynamics in healthy runners. Clinical Biomechanics. 2009;24(10):845-852.
4. Mundermann A, Nigg BM, Stefanyshyn DJ, Humble RN. Orthotic comfort is related to kinematics, kinetics, and EMG in recreational runners. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2003;35(10):1710-1719.