Common Myths About Custom Orthotics


Posted by Dr. Scott Wilson | 15-Sep-2021

Custom orthotics are specially made medical devices that are designed to be worn inside your shoes. They come in various shapes and sizes and are made of many different materials, but they all have the same general purpose – they help to correct biomechanical foot issues. These foot issues can affect the way you walk and stand. They can also lead to a wide variety of different problems such as foot, knee, hip, and back pain. Properly fitted custom orthotics can help balance your foot’s position, absorb shock and protect your joints. They can even enhance your athletic performance.

Unfortunately, many myths regarding custom orthotics have arisen over the years. These myths have lead to misconceptions about how custom orthotics work and who can benefit from them. To help clear up this confusion, here’s a quick review of the more common misconceptions about these important medical devices.

1. Orthotics Will Hurt Your Feet

A common belief about custom orthotics is that they will be uncomfortable to wear. Many people believe that these devices will hurt their feet, causing even more pain and discomfort than they had before. Some people also believe that custom orthotics are made exclusively from hard, inflexible material. However, this just isn’t the case.

Custom orthotics are manufactured from various materials. Some of these materials are soft while some are more rigid. They come in all different styles and sizes. What you choose depends on the unique dimensions of your feet and on your corrective needs. Orthotics may feel different at first and may take some time to break in (just like a new pair of shoes). However, a properly designed, professional pair of custom orthotics should never create blisters or cause pain.

2. Orthotics Are Only for the Elderly

Many people believe that custom orthotics are only for seniors. This myth comes from the fact that, in the past, one of the only ways to treat foot disorders was with large, bulky, and unfashionable orthopedic shoes which were frequently only worn by seniors and the elderly. Thanks to advancements in technology, this is no longer the case.

The fact is that it isn’t only the elderly who suffer from foot and joint problems. People of all ages, from children to the elderly, suffer from these conditions. And they use custom orthotics to treat a wide variety of disorders. Many people use them to provide additional support and stability while undertaking the activities of daily living. Even high-level athletes use them to provide extra support while playing. The fact is that today’s custom orthotics are created to fit into almost any type of shoe, are highly discrete, and can be used to support anyone at any age.

3. Your Body Will Become Dependent on Them

A common question people ask about custom orthotics is, “will I become dependent on them?” The short answer is no. Some people believe, far too often, that wearing a supportive device will make their feet weaker. They fear that this will cause their feet to deteriorate and become completely reliant on the orthotic in order to live their lives.

The fact is that orthotics work in much the same way that eyeglasses do. When you wear them, they help you function better. , but when you take them off, they stop working. Glasses don’t make your eyes weaker; they merely provide support and better vision when you use them.

4. All Orthotics Work the Same

If you’ve browsed through any major drug store, you’ve probably seen the various pre-made foot orthotics available. Some of these are made with gel pads, while others offer a thin layer of cushioning. Some even look similar to the custom foot orthotics your Chiropodist, Chiropractor or Medical Doctor could prescribe. Unfortunately, store-bought orthotics have one thing in common; they are all created for the average foot.

Chances are, if you are experiencing any type of biomechanical foot or joint issue, your foot isn’t average. Because of this, a one-size-fits-all kind of approach isn’t going to give you the corrective support that your condition requires. A custom-made orthotic is a solution that takes the unique dimensions and characteristics of your feet, along with your specific requirements, into consideration to ensure you get the support you need. They are often a more effective solution because of this.

5. Orthotics Only Treat Foot Problems

Custom orthotics can help with more than foot related pain. They can also help with a variety of other issues such as ankle, knee, hip, back, and even should dysfunctions. Orthotics assist by correcting imbalances, whether structural or muscular, throughout your entire body. They help straighten your posture and correct your gait which has implications for your entire kinetic chain. This is why orthotics can help with more than just foot pain. Custom orthotics also absorb shock and provide general support. People who spend a lot of time walking or otherwise on their feet often use them. Athletes also use them to enhance their performance.

6. Orthotics Last Forever

Custom orthotics are subject to a lot of regular wear and tear. Because of this, and because our bodies change over time, orthotics do have a limited lifespan. You should review your custom orthotics and your prescription, every two to three years. If the base remains solid and your condition remains the same, a simple replacement of the top cover may be all that’s required. Of course, if your condition has changed or the degree of wear and tear is more significant, it may be time for a new pair.

Custom orthotics are a necessary medical device. They help provide support for, and relief from, a variety of pain resulting from poor foot mechanics. The fact is, our feet are our foundation. Having a solid and stable foundation can have a profound effect on the health of our entire body. Utilizing a custom foot orthotic, can improve your overall health, reduce pain levels and enhance performance of day-to-day activities.

If you’re struggling with pain in your feet, ankles, knees, hips, back, and even your shoulders, we can help. Contact us today and let us show you why, at Physiomed…Healthier Starts Here.


Dr. Scott Wilson

Dr. Scott Wilson is the Founder & Chairman of Physiomed; one of Canada’s largest franchised networks of inter-disciplinary healthcare clinics. A graduate of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Dr. Wilson founded Physiomed in 1994 and has since grown Physiomed to over 30 clinics in Southern Ontario and British Columbia. With hundreds of practitioners from over a dozen disciplines, Dr. Wilson and Physiomed have helped over 100,000 Canadians with physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, orthotic therapy, compression therapy and clinical conditioning as part of a program of rehabilitation and health optimization. In addition to helping patients improve their physical and mental well-being, Dr. Wilson has also mentored hundreds of practitioners to provide better care while enjoying more fulfilling careers. He is also a keynote speaker on many health related topics including how physiotherapy, chiropractic and health & wellness treatment can help with stress, weight loss, and unlocking the true potential within to achieve lasting physical well-being.

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