Are their any alternatives to foot orthotics?

Foot orthotics are a commonly used intervention for a wide range of foot and leg biomechanical problems. They are designed and used to correct alignment and functional problems. All the research evidence is that they are generally quite successful and the patient satisfaction type research shows that they are well received by those that use them. That does not mean that they do not have problems. They do have problems. They can only be used in footwear that has the room for them to fit into. This means that they can not be used in some types of sports footwear and some footwear used in specific occupations. Also, in some climates closed in shoes are not that popular due to the temperatures. Some people just have a philosophical objection to foot orthotics as they see them as being unnatural and as crutches that should not be used.

While foot orthotics are simple and can easily be made to work in the short to medium term, there are alternatives if users want to pursue that option. Exercise therapy is one alternative and muscle strength can be increased and used instead. However, this can take many months to work and it may be a good idea to use foot orthotics initially as they can help get some improvement almost straight away. If footwear is the problem and it is not possible for financial, occupational, sporting or lifestyle reasons to change the footwear, then there are options like the Archie Flip Flops which come from Australia and have a reasonable amount of arch support built in. There are other types of footwear like these that do have support built in, but the amount is quite small compared to the Archies and may not do much good. As always you should always talk to your health professional about what they think is the best option for you.

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