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Varieties of orthotic experience - Input Junkie
June 1st, 2018
10:56 am


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Varieties of orthotic experience
I've posted about research on the value of orthotics, and I thought I'd do a little research of my own-- a casual survey on facebook. And I'd be glad to see more about people's experiences with orthotics.

Note: None of the replies implied that orthotics were being over-prescribed for flat feet.

Text on facebook:

I posted recently about an article saying that orthotics were mostly not useful for the disorders they were prescribed for. I got a couple of angry replies, and one which said they worked very well for the commenter's plantar facsiitis.

I should have checked more carefully.

When I looked into the article's sources, it seems to have overstated the research.

Here's the article:


Here are the sources:



A rant about low-quality custom orthotics, and the limits of orthotics in general.


Previously, my vague impression of custom orthotics was vague but favorable-- people were getting them and weren't complaining about this.

If anyone wants to write about their experience with orthotics, I'm interested in it. What were the orthotics prescribed for? Did they work?

For the record, while I'm enthusiastic about various methods of improving coordination, they are not a substitute for treatment for structural problems.

Summary of replies:

orthotics made things worse, skilled chiropractic worked
orthotics plus other treatment worked
orthotics didn't work, cheap insoles worked
orthotics helped by giving some respite from pain, but most of the improvement was from other methods-- the respite was important
over-the-counter foot supports worked
over-the-counter orthotics plus other methods worked, was lucky to get a good fit

This entry was posted at https://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1098201.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:June 1st, 2018 05:59 pm (UTC)
I've had prescription orthotics for ~20 years. They were the only thing that got rid of plantar facsiitis. Over-the-counter were pretty worthless. The custom built ones from plaster casts are great. They tend to last 4 or 5 years. I have very high arches, not flat feet. Tried physical therapy and the prednisone/lidocaine injections - which work great for a limited amount of time.

[User Picture]
Date:June 1st, 2018 07:50 pm (UTC)

Bad links?

The first three links are not working for me. I get a page not found.
[User Picture]
Date:June 1st, 2018 09:10 pm (UTC)

Re: Bad links?

Thank you for letting me know. I'm fixing them.

I need to remember not to copy and paste from Facebook posts.
[User Picture]
Date:June 1st, 2018 09:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Bad links?

They're fixed.
[User Picture]
Date:June 4th, 2018 06:50 pm (UTC)
I, too, have very high arches; found over-the-counter insoles pretty worthless; massage, exercises and chiropractic all helped some, but didn't fix the problem. I went to the podiatrist, got custom-built insoles, then had to buy more structured shoes than the soft boots I'd been wearing. In the house, I wear a pair of New Balance sandals that provide good arch support.

In addition to having had plantar fasciitis, which now seems completely cured, I also have arthritis in my big toes, especially the right. The orthotics are supposed to help with that too, but it's hard to tell if they do: my toes are better in my hiking boots, which is what I mostly wear, but not better in my sneakers. It may be that I need different sneakers, or need to just stick with boots or sandals... meh. The whole Quest for Foot Comfort is an ongoing process; there's no one solution.

Prescription orthotics are expensive, it's true, but so are the store-bought kind - I was spending as much on insoles as I spent for the shoes themselves; they didn't help much and didn't last long.
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