Dr. Horton explains if orthotics, custom foot supports are beneficial for women.
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There’s a lot of talk about orthotics these days. It’s probably one of the most abused modalities that results in the expenditure of a lot of money for very little in return. There are certainly disorders where orthotics can be helpful, but it’s important that you have somebody that has experience, that can tell you who is going to benefit from an orthotic and who is not, especially when you are talking about hundreds of dollars versus, you know, less in a custom versus an off-the-shelf model. Now there are generally two types of orthotics; one is a soft, semi-rigid type of orthotic that is off-the-shelf designed and then another is a rigid orthotic that has more of a mold built into it based upon your anatomy. Another way to look at it is having an accommodative orthotic versus a corrective orthotic. If you have a flexible foot, then you can correct certain elements of your foot posture. However, if your foot is rigid or inflexible, then you can’t correct those very readily, and therefore you are accommodating what the structure already consists of, I should say therefore you are accommodating what already exists. So conditions that are typically treated with orthotics include the heel pain syndrome, metatarsalgia, which is pain in the ball of the foot, flattened arches, as well as extremely high arches. All of these conditions can benefit from the use of orthotics if they are constructed wisely.