If you suffer from foot pain, you’ve probably looked into many forms of relief, from massage therapy to specific exercises, and most likely, the topic of orthotics has come up. You might have heard some untrue statements relating to orthotics and orthotic treatments. For example, the myth that orthotics can cause weakness in the feet and legs. So, how do you sort the fact from fiction? Here’s what you need to know about wearing custom orthotics and the effect it can have on your overall foot health.
Do Orthotics Weaken Feet?
It’s a question that many foot health professionals and Pedorthists hear quite often. The short answer is no. There are no studies that indicate that the use of orthotics can cause long term or short-term weakness in the feet or legs. In fact, just the opposite is true. Studies show that the use of custom-designed orthotics can provide support to patients who may be experiencing weakness in the feet and legs. Orthotics that are designed specifically for a patient’s unique foot structure and function can provide support and improve alignment, joint function and reduce symptoms of pain and fatigue.
Orthotics May Increase Muscle Activation
While we know that there is no evidence to suggest that orthotics weaken the foot, there is some research that suggests that wearing orthotics may, in fact, increase muscle activation in the foot and lower leg. When appropriately designed, custom foot orthoses help to maximize joint function, making the muscles and joints of your foot and lower leg work more efficiently. This may, in turn, increase activation of some muscles which were previously not working as efficiently. This effect, of course, is only seen while the orthotics are in use, as orthotics do not change your feet, but rather provide support and alter movement patterns while in use.
Improve Your Foot Health with SoleScience
Changing your gait and your stance, with orthotics, can be the key to relieving pain that inhibits you from enjoying basic activities. For custom solutions to relieving your foot pain and to better understand your foot health, contact the expert Pedorthists at SoleScience today to schedule a consultation.