Orthotics are very rarely needed as a permanent answer to pain...
I saw a new client the other day, who during the assessment, mentioned she wore orthotics. These had been given to her 3 years ago when she had suffered from Plantar Fasciitis. I was not too surprised to hear that she was still wearing them religiously.
I was also not too surprised to see that when I got her to remove her shoes for our assessment that she was completely STUCK in supination (high arches). Her feet had forgotten how to pronate (arches move towards the ground) as she had taught her brain that this was a "bad" movement or position to be in. As well as the orthotics completely preventing her from even trying to pronate her feet.
I have discussed in the past how pronation is not a bad movement at all but completely necessary for good biomechanics, the problem is when you are unable to move out of pronation, then it needs addressing. This can be helped with specific movement correction exercises.
Wearing orthotics long term for a temporary issue can cause a lot of problems further up the chain. My client was suffering from knee pain on one side and had excessive rotation at the hips with additional tightness on one side. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the issue with her knee was due to being stuck in the orthotics. Orthotics are useful tools as a temporary answer to promote good biomechanics, they are very rarely needed as a permanent fix.
Many roads lead to Plantar Fasciitis. It is not just a problem at the foot, it could be due to footwear; inflexible calves or hamstrings; poor movement patterns through the hip/knee/ankle complex or even a temporary altered walking pattern due to injury anywhere else in the body.
The site of pain is not always the cause of pain.
View the video below for some useful tips on choosing good footwear for walking/running/exercise or just going about your daily routine. Look at footwear first to prevent problems with the feet or ankle/knee/hip/back for that matter.
If you currently suffer with Plantar Fasciitis or foot pain then get in touch to have an assessment and get on the road to recovery.