Are Flat Feet Orthotic Insoles Really Useful?

There are many patients with flat feet who have consulted about flat foot orthotic insoles, and they have been asking whether flat feet can be cured by wearing orthotic insoles.

That’s right, “wearing shoes and padded” can cure diseases. Many people have heard that their children have flat feet and are very nervous. This tension stems from a misunderstanding that ‘surgery is the main treatment for foot and ankle diseases. This view is not entirely correct. For diseases that cannot be treated by non-surgical methods, surgery is the first choice. More diseases should be treated conservatively. Auxiliary braces such as arch pads and functional exercises of the posterior tibial tendon are commonly used conservative treatments. method. Among them, orthotic insoles are a very good choice in conservative treatment.

In the early stages of many foot and ankle diseases and deformities, foot and ankle insoles can be used for intervention, and even after surgery, insoles can be used to assist rehabilitation, such as diabetic foot, high arch foot, flat foot deformity, plantar aponeurotic point bone spur, forefoot Freiberg Sickness and so on.

orthotics for flat feet

Two weights and three wears must be worn by science

“Since the orthotic insoles are useful, you can buy them online.” A netizen read our last manuscript and bought three pairs of “corrective insoles” online. \n\nThese practices are not advisable. Orthotic insoles are best to be customized. Taking flat feet as an example, they must be customized according to the degree of arch collapse to relieve the medial longitudinal arch more effectively. Just like children with myopia, we need to go through optometry and glasses to get a suitable pair of glasses. People with flat feet and other podiatry also need to follow scientific procedures to get a pair of insoles that suit them.

The first step: “certain” means to determine what kind of foot disease

Taking flat feet as an example, the naked eye results cannot be used as diagnostic criteria. So, how to tell if the child is flat feet?

Look: observe the child’s walking posture and whether the inner arch of the foot is collapsed when standing. “Flat feet are gradually formed during the development process at about 5-6 years old.” With age, the strength of the lower limbs increases. If the strength of the posterior tibial tendon still cannot maintain the arch, the medial longitudinal arch will collapse and eventually form a flat foot.

Analysis: Including the analysis of the child’s height, weight, and age. If the child has a collapsed medial arch at about 8 years old or is accompanied by signs of forefoot abduction and hindfoot valgus, flatfoot can be diagnosed.

X-ray examination: The front and side radiographs of the feet taken in the standing position are the most important imaging evidence for judging flat feet.

Step 2: “Second Measurement” means accurate measurement of foot data

Custom insoles depend on individual circumstances. For example, for flat feet, it is necessary to accurately measure the collapse of the arch. A professional physician must obtain various data of the arch on a professional instrument before customizing a personalized product. It is worth noting that there is a big difference between weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing arches, and the data obtained at the weight-bearing position is more accurate.

The third step: “three wears” means to wear scientifically

After getting a pair of customized insoles, you need to wear them scientifically.
1. Ensure enough wearing time
In the beginning, you should wear it for 1 to 2 hours a day and gradually transition to 7 to 8 hours. How long can the orthopedic insole be effective? It varies from person to person. Because adult bones have stopped developing, they need to be worn for a long time to correct the gait that tends to normal arches and straight legs. In addition to reducing discomfort, it can also reduce injuries or sports injuries caused by incorrect force. risks of. If it is a child and the bones are in the developmental period, you need to check the foot condition regularly and re-order the corrective insoles according to the actual situation until the flat feet are corrected.

Orthotic Insole for Flat Feet

2. Appropriate replacement according to the situation

Children’s shoes should be replaced in time when the number of shoe sizes is increased. Generally speaking, “it is more appropriate to change the insoles every six months.” Generally, there is no change in the size of adults. If it is used for heavy exercise It is often used, and a new pair of insoles need to be replaced for about 6 to 8 months to ensure the best use. For general exercise, adults-only need to change a pair of insoles for about 1 to 2 years.

3. Correct understanding of “discomfort”
There are two reasons for “discomfort”. One is improper wearing. Before changing to orthotic insoles, you should remove the old insoles. Otherwise, it will feel too tight. If you still feel too tight after taking it off, you can consider using shoes that are one size larger. The second is physiological “discomfort”. Most people feel “uncomfortable” when they first wear the insole. This is because the orthopedic insole is caused by muscle adjustment during the restructuring of the foot structure. When the body adapts, this discomfort will decrease or even disappear.

Finally, remind that some children have flat feet, but usually do not show discomfort and other symptoms, so parents will feel that there is no need for the child to correct. Adolescents with flexible flat feet are reversible. Although there are no clinical symptoms, the loss of the medial arch can lead to subtalar joint valgus, Achilles tendon atrophy, and other lower limb power transmission problems. If the flat feet are not corrected, surgery will be required when stiff flat feet are eventually formed.

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