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Are Orthotics Right For You?

Do you have fallen arches? “Pes planus” is the medical term to describe fallen arches, or “flat feet”. We know that many painful foot and ankle conditions can be related to overpronation observed among individuals with flat feet. Overpronation and other abnormal foot biomechanics can contribute to muscle and joint pain further up the kinetic chain and can be a potential cause of many painful knee, hip, and back conditions. A custom orthotic can help to improve foot biomechanics and restore function.

Should Everyone Get Orthotics?

So, should everyone with abnormal foot mechanics be fitted with a custom orthotic? This topic remains controversial among many health care providers. A common sense approach to orthotic prescription would be to only correct abnormal biomechanics that are contributing to symptoms. Many professional athletes for example, perform at the top of their game and remain pain free despite having less than perfect feet. Prescribing a custom orthotic does not guarantee that the athlete will perform any better. In fact, needlessly altering their foot biomechanics may even have a negative impact on their athletic performance.

Is An Orthotic Right For You?

The most important question to ask when considering orthotic correction is, “Will this orthotic improve the symptoms I’m currently experiencing?” If the answer is yes, a custom orthotic may be right for you.

Orthotics and Your Insurance Company

Many group benefit plans include orthotic coverage. Some insurance providers require a doctor’s prescription for orthotic coverage. Other third party payers will allow your treating physiotherapist to provide the prescription for your orthotics. It’s usually a good idea for you to contact your insurer regarding the details of your individual policy prior to being fitted with an orthotic. If you have any questions regarding the purchase of orthotics, give our staff a call. We would be pleased to help.

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