Insoles and orthotics are effective solutions for reducing foot related pain and addressing postural problems, however it can often be confusing to know the difference between the two terms.

Insoles or inserts offer cushioning and shock absorption. They may feel comfortable at first, however they do not address any biomechanical problems and symptoms are likely to persist, or possibly worsen over time if not properly addressed.

Orthotics are devices designed to align the foot and ankle into the most biomechanically efficient position, correcting the alignment of the lower limb. Think about what happens to your tyres if the tracking on your car is out of alignment – they wear badly. The same mechanical principles apply to the body and even the slightest structural problems in your feet can lead to knock on effects on the rest of the body. Orthotics work to reduce the stress and strain on your body by bringing your feet back into proper alignment, in a similar way to how braces work to change the position of teeth, or much like how glasses can improve your eyesight.



A podiatrist will assess how your feet and lower limbs work, including the alignment of your hips, knees and pelvis. This assessment involves examining your joint range of movement and testing and observing pain. They will be able to identify if your injury is caused by poor structural alignment or function by assessing your biomechanical structure, using a range of techniques, including gait analysis. By identifying the cause of the problem they will be able to recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

For more information view the video produced by the College of Podiatry


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