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Is the prescribing of orthotics a good thing?

Often times, I see a patient who has had a myriad of lower limb pains and they have found their way to seeing a podiatrist. The approach is generally to prescribe orthotics (foot devices) to help to stabilise the foot. However, once I have seen them and mobilised various joints in the foot and in particular the joints of the mid-foot, this helps to improve foot function. So is the prescribing of orthotics a good thing?

Here is what one lady had to say:

I had experienced knee problems for 7 years following an arduous walking holiday in Greece. I had been to see physios, podiatrists and doctors at the hospital. I also in the early stages went to see a private podiatrist who recommended orthotics in my shoes which I continued to wear. Of late I had been experiencing numbness on the outside of my left foot and pain in my left knee and lower back.

I was recommended by my massage therapist to seek Paul's advise.

I was sceptical when Paul said I should throw away my orthotics and I wondered whether I would be able to walk without them. He indicated that over time the orthotics had forced me to walk awkwardly which had moved my frame out of alignment.

I began walking without the orthotics and to my surprise this felt easy and normal. The numbness in my foot disappeared and I had more movement in my back.

Much better, walking well without orthotics and without pain in my back and numbness in my foot. I am hopeful that with some further treatment and exercise that my knees and feet will be strengthened. As a bonus I am able to wear shoes I had not been able to wear for sometime.

Give it a try - it has certainly helped me. I was beginning to think that I would be unable to contemplate long walks again.

RL Alfreton