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Can Orthotics Cause Back Pain?

When orthotics are not properly fitted or used inappropriately, they can cause more foot/arch discomfort and lead to pain at the ankle, knee, and also the back

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By Babafemi Adebajo
Joel Taylor
Edited by Joel Taylor

Updated March 24, 2023.

Using orthotics for back pain can be an excellent way to prevent or address stress on the spine and relieve pain. Unfortunately, when custom orthotics aren’t used properly, they can cause more back pain. Contrarily, when used correctly, orthotics will reduce the pain you feel on your back.

It is thus essential to get custom-made and well-fitted orthotics and use them properly to prevent pain.

Why Using Orthotics Can Cause Pain

Orthotics can result in pain for the following reasons:

Overuse during the "break-in" period

Like contact lenses, it takes some time for your body to get used to an orthotic device. That period is known as the break-in period. During the break-in period, you are expected to wear the orthotics for, at most, 1-2 hours every day until there is adaptation. However, overusing the orthotics during this time can cause foot/arch discomfort and pain at the ankle, knee, and back.

Incorrectly fitted/designed orthotics

These can cause foot malalignment, which can, in turn, cause pain in the following areas:

  • Shins
  • Ankles
  • Calves
  • Thighs
  • Lower back

It can also increase the risk of ankle sprain and put strain on the arches, knees, ankles, and hips that can lead to joint pain and inflammation. The lack of proper padding and arch support can cause the ligaments and tendons in the feet to overstretch, leading to lower back pain.

» Want to invest in orthotics? Browse Upstep's range of custom orthotics to get started

Importance of Correctly Managed Orthotics

While an incorrectly fitted orthotic can cause pain, a correctly managed one can help prevent or manage pain. Upstep can assist you in this regard. Our custom orthotics are designed according to your foot impressions and are tailored to your specific feet needs. They guarantee maximum benefit for the user, including improving function, restricting movement, correcting alignment, reducing pain, and improving deformities.

» Alleviate pain with the best insoles for back pain.