Orthotics: An income or a solution

Custom made orthotics can be a really good source of income for your doctor. But does it really help? The answer to this question is dependent on your diagnosis and the doctor prescribing it. Even though many practitioners can make orthotics, they don’t really fully understand how to make them.
The biggest misconception about orthotics is its effect on relieving foot pain only. As humans, we spend the majority of our times on our feet; therefore any excessive movement in our feet will affect our knees, hips and lower back (called the Kinetic Chain). The majority of people getting orthotics are diagnosed by over-pronation, which simply means rolling your foot in. Here is a picture of normal vs. severe over-pronated foot.
About 90% of people are over-pronators, but that doesnt mean they all need orthtoics! A custom made orthotic should be prescribed after a complete history, biomechanical exam, gait analysis (gait analysis is analysing the way you walk most often using a scanner), and casting techniques.
An orthotic is a device desinged to align the foot and ankle into the most anatomically efficient position. they look like insoles, but are biomechanical medical appliances that are custom made to correct your specific foot imbalance. You are not required to get bigger shoes and they usually feel really comfortable the first time you use them.
Orthotics can be a good compliment in the resolution of your pain and discomfort, but having proper shoes along with proper exercises and lifestyle changes can be of a bigger importance.
So, is orthotics a good source of income for your doctor or a solution to your problem? The answer is dependent on you diagnosis, your doctor’s ethics and knowledge of prescribing the right pair of orthotics for your condition.
Dr.  Ali Masoumi
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