While I’ve never had serious foot pain, I have certainly worked my share of retail positions on my feet, and I’ve felt the benefits of over the counter inserts. If you’ve ever felt serious foot pain, or even back pain, you may want to see a physical therapist or a doctor to see if inserts or orthotics could relieve your pain. You never know what may be causing it.
Shoe inserts and orthotics: Are they right for you?
While people may downplay foot pain as nothing to worry about, it can be debilitating, forcing you to limit your time on your feet or even to see a doctor. Even worse, structural problems with your feet can lead to poor body alignment and problems like neck and back pain, all from compensating for foot issues. So if you’re having foot pain, you may want to consider using shoe inserts or orthotics to relieve pain and improve your alignment.
Even though shoe inserts and orthotics are often lumped into one category, Kristina Holland, a physical therapist assistant at Clinton Physical Therapy Center (a Physiquality network member in Tennessee), says there is a key distinction between inserts and orthotics: “Shoe inserts are designed to provide comfort, whereas orthotics are designed to correct a structural problem with your foot or feet.” She adds, “Inserts provide cushioning, but do nothing to correct foot problems, like flat arches.” They can be helpful if you’re on your feet all day at your job, or if you run long distances and could use added support in your running shoes.